Crowd funding for equity has been a minefield for startups because selling equity is covered by the complex rules surrounding the securities markets. (stocks and bonds)
Traditional crowdfunding has been for rewards or gifts. This means the funds actually end up being 'sales' for the company.
In the equity model, the funds end up being equity and the people providing the funds are given shares in the company.
Restaurants poses an interesting industry for this to be growing because of the traditionally high failure rate in this industry.
I like the new term 'investomers.' Interesting article.
View an earlier blog post about how crowd funding is threatening traditional lenders [HERE]