First Foods Funding invests in short-term merchant cash advances that have been producing immediate high rates of return on capital. The Funding Division continues to achieve rapid growth through the reinvestment of its profits while attracting substantial new funds from outside investors.
On October 19, 2017, the First Foods Funding Division was launched with FIFG's Board directing $100,000 of Company funds into the burgeoning merchant advance industry. Five short months later, the Company has more than doubled the number of merchants in its portfolio to 42 and more than tripled the funds deployed to $371,000. Within the first 100 days, the original $100,000 deployed by the Company was completely paid back, earning an impressive 45% gross return and 34% net return after deferred commissions. In fact, the Company’s most significant merchant paid $89,000 on its $60,000 advance in only 15 weeks for a gross return of 48% and a net return of 43%. The Company’s merchant advance business was evaluated as part of the Company’s annual financial statement audit; the results of which have been disclosed in the Company’s recently filed 10k.
CFO Mark Keeley is the head of First Foods Funding and personally supplied all the start-up capital for this Division. Mark will be continually directing the purchase of additional advances and will be overseeing the raise-up of significant new funds for the Company using this model. Mr. Keeley asserts, “This short-term payback provides the financial flexibility that keeps the Company nimble and able to quickly respond to promising business opportunities.”
Since 1977, Harold Kestenbaum has been one of the world’s foremost franchise attorneys, compiling an unparalleled list of clients that make up a Who’s Who of the franchise food industry. From May 1982 until September 1986, Kestenbaum served as franchise and general counsel to Sbarro, Inc., the national franchisor of more than a thousand family-style Italian restaurants, and also served as a Director on Sbarro’s Board from March 1985 to December 2006. Other more notable clients along the way include 1-800-FLOWERS, Nathan's Famous, and Five Guys, one of the leading burger franchises of our day.
From September 1983 to October 1989, he served as President and Chairman of the Board of FranchiseIt Corporation, the first publicly traded company specializing in providing marketing, consulting services and equity financing to emerging franchise companies. Kestenbaum has more than 140 active franchise clients in foodservice and other retail sectors.
Over the past 30 years Mark Keeley has been the Chief Financial Officer for a number of private and public entities, as well as a signing partner for 15 years with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, where he was the leader of a financial management consulting business that generated annual revenue of $25M from over 10 multi-year contracts with over $500M in ceiling value.
Keeley brings experience from some of the largest and most sophisticated companies in the world, as well as mid-level and startup companies. He regularly works with the highest levels of senior management, boards of directors, external auditors, investors, and regulators to build consensus and reach a common understanding of complex financial matters. He has testified to the United States Congress regarding financial accounting and auditing aspects of the U.S. Federal Government and served as PwC’s representative to Congressman Michael Conaway.