Equity crowdfunding platform CircleUp has raised $14 million in a new round of financing, the company announced today.
The company, which attempts to enable entrepreneurs to reach qualified investors online to initiate or complete fund-raising rounds, says it has helped more than 30 companies raise over $30 million in growth capital, mostly in the consumer products space.
The round was led by Canaan Partners, along with investment from Google Ventures, Union Square Ventures, Maveron and Rose Park Advisors.
“With this new funding, we’ll continue to build a transparent, tech-enabled marketplace,” said Ryan Caldbeck, CEO of CircleUp. “Companies and accredited investors can compare data on revenue, valuation, industry trends, and more.”
On an incubation level, the company has developed a series of partnerships with companies like General Mills, Procter & Gamble, and Virgin America.
“Through these partnerships and other means, we provide mentorship, incubator days, and help with distribution channels for companies,” Caldbeck said. “The partners receive access to emerging companies so these partnerships are a win-win for partners and companies”
Beverage companies that have worked with CircleUp include Bhakti Chai, which raised more than $600,000, and Zum XR, which is currently working on a raise through the platform.
In addition to a pair of liquor companies, at least nine other beverage companies are currently trying to raise money through CircleUp, although some of them may be spirits companies. We aren’t qualified to see them, not being wealthy, accredited investors.
You can see the whole press release below.
CircleUp Closes $14M Series B Funding Led by Canaan Partners
Additional Investments from Google Ventures, Union Square Ventures, Maveron
and Rose Park Advisors
San Francisco, Calif. March 26, 2014 – CircleUp (www.circleup.com), a leading equity-based crowdfunding platform, announced today it has closed a $14 million Series B round of funding, the largest raise for an equity crowdfunding platform. The Series B round, led by Canaan Partners with additional investment from Google Ventures, Union Square Ventures, Maveron and Rose Park Advisors will be used to invest in product and data analytics – making it easier for investors to identify, diligence and invest in companies they understand. This announcement comes just before CircleUp’s second anniversary.
Since CircleUp’s equity crowdfunding platform launched in April 2012, the company has helped more than 30 companies raise over $30 million in growth capital, making it the largest equity crowdfunding site in the U.S. The amount invested through the platform grew 5X in 2013. The team expects this rapid growth to continue. It took 134 days for the first $1 million raised through the platform — the most recent million took just 7 days.
With Canaan, CircleUp adds another investor with deep experience in online markets. Dan Ciporin, currently on the Board of Lending Club, will also join CircleUp’s Board.
“Canaan looks for breakout leaders in huge markets where technology can add significant value,” explained Dan Ciporin, General Partner at Canaan Partners. “We saw that with Lending Club in the credit marketplace space in 2007, and we see that with CircleUp in the equity marketplace sector in 2014. In similar fashion to how Lending Club is beginning to completely transform the consumer and small business credit industry, we think the equity fundraising space is poised for similar and equally massive disruption, and that CircleUp is the demonstrable leader in the space.”
“We’re proud of the momentum from our first two years of operation and happy to welcome Dan Ciporin of Canaan Partners to our Board,” said Ryan Caldbeck, CEO and co-founder of CircleUp. “With this new financing, we will build out our platform to help more exceptional consumer and retail brands raise funds on CircleUp and to help additional investors identify and invest in companies they understand and respect.”
CircleUp’s featured companies in Q4 of 2013 averaged 185% growth rate with 37% gross margin and 2.9X sales multiple. CircleUp continues to see a strong market opportunity for investing in brands as businesses that are understandable and accessible for both experts and main street investors. CircleUp was also recognized by Forbes as one of America’s 100 Most Promising Companies earlier this year, and has raised a total of $23M since the company was founded in 2011.
CircleUp is a leading equity-based crowdfunding platform where accredited investors find free
access to select private investments, easy tools to identify and diligence companies and online transaction capability to make investments. For retail and consumer product entrepreneurs, CircleUp offers an efficient way to access a network of sophisticated investors as well as value added partners. For more information, visit http://circleup.com/ or https://circleup.com/jobs/ and send resumes to firstname.lastname@example.org.