Early Stage

Combining autonomous retail and ecommerce to revolutionize golf


Raised to Date: Raised: $1,518,804

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Consumer Products, Goods & Services

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Nashville, Tennessee

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Cadi, with a pre-money valuation of $10.1 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 $9,999.65 and a maximum raise of $1,069,998.67. The raise’s proceeds will be used to take the business to the next stage, expand the technology, and positively impact recreational sports. Cadi has already signed letters of intent with 63 golf courses in the pilot testing stage and has access to over 250,000 golfers.

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Financials as of: 11/13/2020
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Raise History

Offering Name Close Date Platform Valuation/Cap Total Raised Security Type Status Reg Type
Cadi 05/01/2023 Dealmaker Securities $49,800,000 $0 Equity - Common Active RegCF
Cadi 04/30/2022 StartEngine $42,000,000 $509,833 Equity - Common Funded RegCF
Cadi 07/29/2021 StartEngine $10,051,686 $1,518,804 Equity - Common Funded RegCF
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In recent years, many experts felt that golf was a declining sport. It’s been 15 years since U.S. golf participation peaked at 30 million players. Tiger Woods made golf “cool” during his most successful years in the 2000s, but the sport has lacked culturally-relevant star power since. However, golf was reinvigorated during the COVID-19 pandemic. In recent months, golf has reinvented itself as one of the most safe and fun ways to get active and connect with friends during quarantine. Some golf courses posted 20% year-over-year growth thanks to the sport’s recent boost in popularity. 

A new era of golf is potentially emerging, and players expect their experience to compare to other modern areas of life. However, many aspects of golf are stuck in the past — including golf equipment retail. The global golf equipment market was valued at $6.5 billion in 2018. It is projected to expand at a slow but steady CAGR of 2.2% through 2025. There exists a sizable market for golf equipment, but the primary method of buying clubs and accessories doesn’t live up to modern consumer expectations. Most golfers purchase equipment at sporting goods stores or golf specialty stores, where they can give clubs a couple test swings in the presence of a pushy salesperson. Buying online is worse — clubs arrive at the door with no opportunity for a test drive, increasing the probability of dissatisfaction with the purchase. 

Cadi aims to improve the system of golf retail. The company’s interactive retail kiosks, placed primarily on golf courses, allow golfers to try clubs before they buy. Golfers can browse and reserve equipment ahead of time, then pick up clubs at the Cadi kiosk before their tee time. After a fully-realistic round with the new equipment, they can decide whether to buy. 

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


Cadi’s equity offering is priced at a $10.05 million valuation. This is a so-so price. The company does have some intrinsic value given intellectual property from its interactive retail kiosks, and year-over-year revenue growth from 2019 to 2020 seems to be strong. However, 2020 revenue figures are not detailed specifically in Cadi offering documents, so the only audited financials list revenue at just $350,000 for 2019. Even at $700,000 or more in 2020 revenue — as Cadi implies on its raise page — represents a slightly high revenue multiple given the stage and niche market of the business. Therefore, Cadi’s price rating is moderately low. 


The global golf equipment market was valued at $6.5 billion in 2018, with a CAGR of 2.2% through 2025. It’s difficult to predict the overall future of golf. Some believe that millennials and Gen-Zers don’t embrace golf, so the game will decline in coming years. Yet COVID has undoubtedly boosted interest in the game. Overall, Cadi is serving a relatively niche market that could expand in coming years — but could also decline. Therefore, the company’s market rating is close to middle-of-the-road.


Cadi was founded by Tyler Gottstein (CEO) and Matt Ahrens (COO). Gottstein is an entrepreneur, who has spent his entire professional career since graduation from college running his own real estate business (according to his LinkedIn page, though he describes himself as a 4x founder on StartEngine). He holds an MBA from Concordia University-Irvine and a Master’s in Education from the University of Washington. 

COO Ahrens worked in the oil industry before founding Cadi. He earned an undergraduate degree from California State University-Long Beach before joining Pinnacle Petroleum as an Accounting Manager. He ultimately served as the Director of Business Operations at Pinnacle after stints gaining his Master’s in Education from the University of Washington and founding a company called Flash Forward. 

Both founders have a background in business, including advanced degrees. However, neither founder has specific experience in retail entrepreneurship or the golf industry. Therefore, Cadi’s team rating is moderately low. 


Cadi’s principal strength is its differentiation from the traditional golf retail experience. As any golfer knows, buying clubs is usually a pain. Spending time browsing clubs and taking a few test swings at a sporting goods store — often under the watchful eye of a salesperson — is not a good way to assess whether a club will help or hinder a real golf game. Nor is purchasing a club online and swinging it for the first time after it’s already been bought and shipped. Cadi’s on-course try before you buy program is unique, convenient, and in tune with what consumers really need. 

It’s also compelling that Cadi’s core technology could be easily adapted to serve other sports. The company indicates that skiing is a potential future path. Skiers face many of the same retail challenges as golfers in terms of poor demo opportunities, and it’s easy to envision Cadi’s kiosk design being modified to fit ski equipment.

The core concept behind Cadi is strong and well-differentiated, and the company has the opportunity to extend this differentiation into additional markets. Therefore, Cadi’s differentiation rating is its strongest.


Cadi has grown reliably over the last three years. In 2018, the company generated just $13,000 in revenue. That figure jumped to almost $350,000 in 2019, and the company reports to have doubled sales this year to $700,000. More than 6,000 customers have bought products with Cadi, and the company has secured 63 letters of intent to place Cadi kiosks on golf courses nationwide. 

However, Cadi’s margins are relatively low. Cost of goods sold represented 65% of gross revenue in 2019, which drove a net loss of $45,000 last year. In addition, investors can’t evaluate Cadi’s most recent financial performance. Audited financials are only available through 2019, and the company doesn’t offer specific details about revenue, margins, or profitability for 2020. 

Overall, Cadi seems to have achieved decent product-market fit and is generating a decent amount of revenue with yearly growth. Therefore, Cadi’s performance rating is relatively high.

Bearish Outlook

Cadi’s risks stem primarily from uncertainty about the long-term size of the golf market and questions about the team’s ability to build a world-class business in this niche. Golf has experienced a small boom in recent months, but it’s one of those activities that is difficult to predict the post-COVID future of. Will new golfers stick around next year and beyond, or will they move on to activities that they might find more exciting and engaging after the pandemic? 

Moreover, Cadi’s founders portray themselves as experienced retail and golf entrepreneurs, but there is little evidence to indicate that they have any particular expertise in these fields. Both founders do have business backgrounds. However, it’s not clear whether their experience in real estate and oil will translate well to operational success in the golf industry or to building a strong consumer golf brand. 

While Cadi has certainly demonstrated some degree of product-market fit, prospective investors might wonder whether the company has the potential to grow more rapidly into a highly lucrative business (particularly given somewhat low margins).

Bullish Outlook

A bullish perspective on Cadi is driven by the company’s strong year-over-year growth and demonstration of product-market fit. In three years, the company has generated more than $1 million in gross revenue and has partnered with 60+ golf courses for next year. Consumers clearly see the value of Cadi’s highly differentiated retail model, and golf course managers do too. 

Even more potential lies in Cadi’s opportunity to expand to additional niche sporting markets. Skiers could benefit from on-mountain demos just like golfers, as could tennis players, hockey players, and more. Cadi has developed a solid core concept that has already resonated with more than 6,000 customers. There’s reason to believe that hundreds of thousands more would also appreciate the ability to demo equipment before buying.

Executive Summary

Cadi’s founders have correctly identified the need for a better retail solution in golf — and potentially in other sporting markets — and developed a unique kiosk and e-commerce retail solution that is already resonating with golfers. Year-over-year revenue growth is a strong signal that Cadi has the ability to transform retail in the sporting world. 

Cadi’s team does not yet bear strong retail or golf experience, though the founders’ business backgrounds have clearly gotten the company this far. Less than 50% profit margins on gross revenue is another flag for prospective investors. While 2020 financial numbers might reveal that margins improved this year, they might also reveal that margins suffered.

Overall, though, Cadi is bringing a strong product to a market in need and is generating solid revenue as a result. Therefore, Cadi has been rated a Deal to Watch. 

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Cadi on StartEngine
Platform: StartEngine
Security Type: Equity - Common
Valuation: $10,051,686

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