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A Perfect Match?

If you think an intermediary service has the quick fix you need for finding investors, take a second look.

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This story appears in the October 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Entrepreneurs Ahmed and Reem Rahim recently took a significant first step in the half-million-dollar expansion of their organic tea company, Numi Teas. The brother-and-sister team made their first-ever fund-raising pitch to a group of potential investors at a venture fair in Oakland, California, in April.

Their funding search thus far had been limited to the event's sponsor, a matchmaking service called Investors' Circle in Brookline, Massachusetts, that links socially responsible companies with like-minded investors. Numi Teas, also in Oakland, California, was entering a critical growth phase in its four-year history when it enlisted the help of the intermediary to find capital for a new product launch, expand its inventory, and triple the size of its office and warehouse space. Because of their strong social component-not only is their tea organic and certified kosher, but they also outsource some of their tea packaging to an organization that employs disabled adults-the Rahims considered Investors' Circle an obvious starting point after hearing about the matchmaker from other entrepreneurs and their own financial advisor. "We thought it would be a great fit to be a part of an investors' [network] that was looking to support organic [products] and sustainability in the environment," explains Ahmed, 35.

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