CircleUp closes $30m Series C

By Guglielmo de Stefano on Thursday 12 November 2015

Alternative Lending

Equity crowdfunding platform CircleUp has closed a $30 million investment round led by Collaborative Fund. 


San Francisco-based equity crowdfunding platform CircleUp has announced today the closure of a $30m Series C investment round. Collaborative Fund – a platform providing sources of seed capital for creative entrepreneurs in the US, led the round, together with the likes of Capital One co-founder Nigel Morris and a bunch of former CEOs and presidents of Goldman Sachs, Thomson Reuters and the Stanford Endowment. The fresh injection of capital will be employed by the company for product development and personnel hiring purposes. 


CircleUp CEO Ryan Caldbeck, commented: 


“In our Series C round, we’re thrilled to welcome investors from both Silicon Valley and Wall Street, as both the technology and finance worlds recognize our marketplace’s value. Collaborative Fund is a great partner for us not only for their expertise in marketplaces and consumer, but also because a number of their Limited Partners are joining the round and committing capital on the platform, continuing the trend of larger institutional investors joining our marketplace.”


CircleUp is a US marketplace that gathers investors - passionate about innovative consumer products and retail companies - and entrepreneurs - struggling to find the support they need to grow their brand - together in an online equity crowdfunding portal. The platform aims to make the communication process among investors and entrepreneurs more efficient and easier, creating more direct paths among them. 


According to Collaborative Fund, Circle Up stands out within the space as a best-in-class offering. Collaborative Fund founder Craig Shapiro explained: 


“We’ve looked at dozens of platforms and CircleUp stood out for the quality of its team, the remarkable and accelerating growth of the platform, and the performance of the underlying asset class. The companies on CircleUp have done very well since raising – creating a virtuous circle of more capital, more companies and more investors joining the platform.”


What really stands out is the way that companies are listed on the platform. Entrepreneurs need to submit a detailed documentation reviewed by a team of private equity professionals, as a staple in the platform’s due diligence process. If the company is a good fit for the investors on the platform, it may be listed on the site. However, CircleUp suggests that investors thoroughly consider the materials that each entrepreneur provides as a starting point and additional research is always recommended. 


Nigel Morris, co-founder of Capital One, concluded: 


“CircleUp is applying the best practices of the marketplace lending model to an entirely different asset class: growth equity for small businesses. By leveraging data, we see the potential for greater risk-adjusted returns, drawing in more capital to benefit from the transparency, liquidity and low fees of a marketplace approach.”

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