Serial investor David Gardner is among the investors in a $3.7 million round by a husband-and-wife team of entrepreneurs in Durham who have turned The King’s Daughters Inn into an award-winning boutique “art deco” resort. And he did this as an individual, not as part of the recently launched Cofunders Fund, which he leads.

In an email interview with WRAL TechWire, Gardner explains why he invested in the company led by Colin and Deanna Crossman. And he did his due dilligence – including a stay at the startup’s first venture. “We were blown away,” he says.

“This investment does not fit the model for Cofounders so I invested as an individual,” he explains. 

“I’ve been involved some with economic development in Cary especially in revitalizing the downtown area.  The downtown manger asked me to meet with the Crossmans regarding the Mayton Inn, their newest Inn being built here and opening in January,” he added.

“Upon meeting them, I was immediately impressed.”

So what’s happening here?

The Crossmans disclosed in a securities filing that they have closed on more than $1 million of a targeted $3 million round to grow their LLC staturp known as “Memento Mori.”

That’s Latin for “Remember that you can die.” And the phrase has been used in media before, including games, websites, and by Hollywood.

The Crossmans are restoring to life historic properties, and Gardner likes what he sees.

“This husband-wife team were originally scientists but decided to give up all of that  to pursue their real passions. – hospitality and historic building renovation\preservation,” Gardner says. 

“Their vision was to rescue and restore historic properties turning them into unique event and travel stay experiences.”

Other investors agree with Gardner’s assessment.

The Crossmans have raised at least $50,000 each from 12 other investors in addition to Gardner, who also is listed as a director of the startup.

The first project ( is touted as a “17-room, Art Deco style boutique Inn” and has already received several awards.

Gardner says he sees a bright future for the duo, in part due to due diligence in the form of a stay.

“I was intrigued with their vision and loved the idea of restoring some of our state’s landmarks to their original and functioning glory.  My wife agreed so we stayed incognito one night at The King’s Daughters Inn in Durham, their original property,” he says.

“We were blown away.  

“From the elegant furnishings and food down to all the little touches like a chocolate matched to a fine port on our night stand that evening, the experience felt like a five diamond hotel but priced like a four.”

Gardner says the Crossman’s plans and attitude as entrepreneurs excite him.

“The investment strategy that has served me well is finding super smart passionate entrepreneurs creating exceptional value while doing what they love,” he says. “This certainly seemed to fit that model.”  

“The Crossmans are uniquely suited to this task holding between them a law degree and master’s contractors license with over thirty successful historic renovations in their resumes.  I encourage them to create a way for local investors to participate in their vision creating a little war chest that would increase their ability to add more historic properties to their fleet.”