Early Stage

Combining autonomous retail and ecommerce to revolutionize golf

Combining autonomous retail and ecommerce to revolutionize golf


Raised this Round: Raised: $509,833

Total Commitments ($USD)



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Min. Goal
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Security Type

Equity - Common



SEC Filing Type

RegCF    Open SEC Filing

Price Per Share


Pre-Money Valuation


Year Founded



Consumer Products, Goods & Services

Tech Sector


Distribution Model




Capital Intensity



Nashville, Tennessee

Business Type


Cadi, with a pre-money valuation of $42 million, is raising crowdfunding on StartEngine. The company is revolutionizing golf by combining retail and e-commerce. Cadi uses technology to connect golfers with the products they love and leads the autonomous future of golf retail. Tyler Gottstein and Matt Ahrens founded Cadi in 2016. The current round of crowdfunding has a minimum raise of $10,000 and a maximum raise of $3,520,000. The raise’s proceeds will be used to take the business to the next stage, research and development, marketing, working capital and expand operations. Cadi has already signed letters of intent with 63 golf courses in the pilot testing stage and has access to over 250,000 golfers.

Summary Profit and Loss Statement

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Financials as of: 12/16/2021
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Raise History

Offering Name Close Date Platform Valuation/Cap Total Raised Security Type Status Reg Type
Cadi 04/30/2023 Dealmaker Securities $49,800,000 $370,851 Equity - Common Funded RegCF
Cadi 04/29/2022 StartEngine $42,000,000 $509,833 Equity - Common Funded RegCF
Cadi 07/28/2021 StartEngine $10,051,686 $1,518,804 Equity - Common Funded RegCF
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Price per Share History

Note: Share prices shown in earlier rounds may not be indicative of any stock splits.

Valuation History

Revenue History

Note: Revenue data points reflect the latest of either the most recent fiscal year's financials, or updated revenues directly from the founder, at each raise's close date.

Employee History

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According to the National Golf Foundation, more than 24.8 million Americans played golf in 2020. That is about 7.5% of the total US population. And that is more than 2% year-over-year growth and the largest net increase in 17 years. During the pandemic, the golf equipment industry surged 10.1% compared to 2019. But while the socially distant nature of golf gave it a boost during the pandemic, the sport has been in a long-term decline. Between 2003 and 2018, players decreased by more than 6.8 million, and 1,200 courses closed. The golf equipment market is also growing slowly, which signals that new innovations are needed to disrupt it. 

Cadi is a retail automation company that is revolutionizing the way people shop for golf equipment. Using Cadi’s self-service kiosk, golfers can shop for equipment ahead of time and try the equipment on a golf course before committing to buy it. This helps ensure customer satisfaction, so buyers can avoid the hassle and cost of returning equipment.

Cadi’s current StartEngine raise has been rated a Neutral Deal by the KingsCrowd investment team. 

Next Section: Price


Cadi is offering common equity at a valuation of $42 million. According to the founder, Cadi generated around $450,000 in revenue in 2021. This yields a revenue-to-valuation multiple of 93.3x. Across all industries, this is an above-average multiple. For comparison, golf equipment competitor Acushnet Holdings Corp has a revenue multiple below 2x. Cadi’s valuation also increased by 4x since its last round in 2021, even though its revenue decreased by 38%. Cadi needs to increase its revenue growth over the next few years in order to justify its valuation to investors. For those reasons, Cadi’s price is overvalued.

Next Section: Market


The US golf equipment market is estimated to be worth $2.1 billion in 2022, and the global market stands at $7 billion with an annual growth rate of 2.2%. The market is fairly small and has a steady but slow growth rate. Startups usually capture 5% to 10% of the market. If Cadi can capture 10% of the US market, it will be a $210 million opportunity. This is decent but might not be a huge return for investors given Cadi’s lofty $42 million valuation.

And despite the steady growth of the golf equipment market, a look at Google Trends shows that golf has been declining in popularity since 2004. The number of golfers has decreased by 3% to 4.5% every year since 2006. Although golf’s popularity has increased during the pandemic, it’s unclear how long that boost will last. People mostly played golf because they had more time, and golf easily allows for social distancing. Overall, the small market, slow growth, and overall downward trend gives Cadi a low market score.

Next Section: Team


Cadi co-founder and CEO Tyler Gottstein holds a master’s degree in education from the University of Washington and an MBA from Concordia University Irvine. Although he describes himself as a four-time serial founder, his LinkedIn page only mentions a real estate company he founded in 2016, the same year he founded Cadi. Although his entrepreneurship and educational background help him in running Cadi, Gottstein seems to still be involved in running his other company, which could impact his commitment to Cadi.

Co-founder Matt Ahrens serves as Cadi’s chief operating officer. He earned an undergraduate degree from California State University, Long Beach and holds a master’s in education from the University of Washington. He previously worked in a petroleum company as an account manager and director of business operations. He also founded a company, called Fash Forward, prior to starting Cadi. His entrepreneurial and managerial experience makes him a good fit for Cadi. 

Although not mentioned in the raise page, LinkedIn lists two other people, Michael Johnson and David Felker (also the company’s advisor) as founders as well. It is unclear how much both of them are involved in Cadi’s operations, but their leadership and entrepreneurial experience add value to the company.

Although Cadi has a good founding team, it lacks industry experience. The company also lacks personnel in engineering, marketing, and sales roles, which are crucial for the development and progress of Cadi’s kiosk machines and expanding partnerships. Without members dedicated to developing product technology and attracting sales, the company could have limited growth.

Next Section: Differentiators


Cadi’s biggest differentiator is that it’s the only company providing golf equipment through autonomous retail machines. People no longer need to visit traditional retail stores to shop for golf clubs. They can get equipment and try them on golf courses using Cadi’s kiosks before committing to buying them. However, it’s not clear how these kiosk machines are stocked and how much inventory they can hold. Cadi is also developing an app where golfers can browse products curated by Cadi’s data analytics.

Even with convenient online shopping options, it can be a hassle to return golf equipment. Not all stores accept returns, and even if they do, return shipping can be expensive. And if a golfer wants to try equipment before buying it, existing options are still costly. On average, consumers have to pay a $25 to $50 trial fee just to try new equipment. Cadi’s solution seems to solve those cost and return pain points for customers. Cadi’s technology is patent pending, which protects it from competitors trying to replicate the concept. And it’s possible for Cadi to expand its technology to include other sporting goods in the future. This would allow the company to increase its revenue streams.

Overall, Cadi stands out as the only self-service sporting goods kiosk where customers can try golf equipment on-course before buying them.

Next Section: Performance


Cadi’s revenue increased by 107% from 2019 to 2020, going from $349,595 to $726,891. The company operated with a gross margin of 35%, which is average for hardware companies. The company was also profitable in 2020. Although it had an impressive revenue increase in 2020, the company earned around $450,000 in 2021 — a 38% decrease from 2020 revenue. This is concerning and indicates that the company might not be able to keep generating revenue. The increase in revenue in 2020 could have been due to a temporary increased interest in golfing during the pandemic, which is not a sustainable trend. It’s also hard to know whether the company was profitable in 2021 since the company did not officially report its 2021 financials.

That said, Cadi has shown good traction with 63 letters of intent from golf courses and $1.5 million in pilot testing sales. So far, it has sold to more than 7,500 customers. Cadi has also raised more than $1.7 million, $1.4 million of which came from its past crowdfunding campaign. Although this is a huge accomplishment for any startup, the company still remains low on cash. According to its most recent financial statement, it holds just $128,914 in cash. A hardware technology company like Cadi typically needs a lot more capital to finish developing a product — especially since the company is still in its prototype and testing phase. Cadi needs to spend money on research and development of the kiosk machines and the launch of its app.

With its decent revenue and partnerships, Cadi has proven product-market fit. However, the company will need to address how it will increase its revenue and gross profit margin level, as well as its lack of cash.

Next Section: Risks


An investment in Cadi comes with a moderate risk profile. The company needs a lot of capital to continue developing its product, which is still in the prototype phase. According to its most recent financial statements, the company has only $128,914 in cash on hand. This might affect Cadi’s ability to complete and deliver its products to the 63 golf courses that have signed letters of intent. Although Cadi generated revenue in 2021, it was less than 2020 revenue. That could be because the product is still in the prototype phase and the popularity of golf only increased during the peak of the pandemic, when restrictions and safety guidelines were more strict. 

Another risk is the team. The founders have managerial and entrepreneurial skills. However, they don’t have golf industry or hardware technology experience. It is not clear whether the other two founders listed only on LinkedIn are committed to the company, which could affect Cadi’s progress. The company also lacks marketing, sales, and engineering team members. All of these factors are important for the development of the product and the business’s scalability.

Next Section: Updates Since Last Round

Updates Since Last Round

Cadi’s last crowdfunding round was on StartEngine and closed in July 2021. Since then, the company’s valuation has increased 4x from $10.1 million to $42 million. This is good for investors of the past round. But for investors trying to invest this round, the company is overvalued, especially when taking into account its decreased revenue in 2021. Since the close of the last round, Cadi hired 20 more people, though the company hasn’t disclosed their exact roles. However, when it comes to product development, customer base, and partnerships, Cadi does not seem to have made any progress. While it’s understandable for the company to not make significant progress in less than six months since the last funding round, its steep valuation increase is less understandable. Since Cadi has not made much progress since its last round and has significantly increased its valuation, Cadi has been downgraded from a Deal to Watch to a Neutral rating.

Next Section: Bearish Outlook

Bearish Outlook

For Cadi, the big question is whether golf will retain its popularity after the COVID-19 pandemic slows down, businesses open up, and people no longer need to practice social distancing. Even though golf has gained popularity during COVID-19, the sport has been in a long-term downturn since the early 2000s. For example, the stock price of Callaway Golf Company, a public golf equipment company, increased during the peak of the pandemic but has been leveling down in the past year. Even if Cadi has been obtaining partnerships and letters of intent with golf courses, the construction of golf courses has dwindled over the years. And the US golf equipment market, at only $2.1 billion, is small compared to other industries. If Cadi hypothetically captures 10% of the US golf equipment market, this will be a 4.6x return for investors, which is a best-case scenario for investors in this round. All of these factors will affect the business’s scalability and customer reach. It is also important to note that even though Cadi has 63 letters of intent, these are not guaranteed. The company also largely lacks cash, so it is not guaranteed that it will be able to finish developing its product and deliver its product to customers.

Next Section: Bullish Outlook

Bullish Outlook

Through its pilot testing sales and autonomous retail kiosk, Cadi has proven its product-market fit. The company has already sold to 7,500 customers. And although revenue declined in 2021, Cadi’s gross sales hit $1.1 million in the past two years. This is thanks to Cadi’s technology, which eliminates the middleman and allows users to try golf equipment before buying it. Cadi’s retail kiosks offer an innovative new shopping experience for golfers. Cadi has also been lucky to enter the market during a time when retail stores, especially sports and golfing stores, have taken a hit and e-commerce sales have been increasing due to the pandemic. Finally, Cadi’s patent pending technology could be easily applied to other sports, which could help the company scale its business and increase its streams of revenue.

Next Section: Executive Summary

Executive Summary

Cadi is a golf equipment retail automation company that lets golfers try equipment before buying it. The company’s core technology is patent pending and still under development. However, its self-service equipment kiosk stands out among competitors and has the potential to disrupt the golf equipment market. Cadi has 63 letters of intent from golf courses and has generated $1.5 million in pilot testing sales. The company has also managed to raise $1.7 million, despite its currently low cash on hand.

But there are a few concerns for those looking to invest in Cadi. The company’s valuation increased from $10.1 million to $42 million in the six months since its last crowdfunding campaign. This is not justifiable because the company’s revenue decreased by 38% from 2020 to 2021. Cadi is operating in a slowly growing niche market. And although the golf market boomed during the COVID-19 pandemic, its future remains uncertain with its overall slow market growth. It is also worth noting that Cadi’s founders have managerial and entrepreneurial experience, but they lack experience in hardware technology and the golf industry. The team also lacks critical members in engineering, sales, and marketing. For these reasons, Cadi has been rated a Neutral Deal.

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Analysis written by Yasmin Sharbaf on January 10, 2022. 

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Cadi on StartEngine 2021
Platform: StartEngine
Security Type: Equity - Common
Valuation: $42,000,000
Price per Share: $1.40

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