Clearbanc touches down in the UK and promises £500m cash injection to Britain’s startups

By Aisling Finn on Thursday 8 October 2020

Digital Banking

The firm already invested £30m into UK firms during its beta testing round.

Clearbanc touches down in the UK and promises £500m cash injection to Britain’s startups
Image source: Michele Romanow/Clearbanc

 

Clearbanc (not to be confused with Clearbank) has today launched in the UK and has hit the ground running, already promising to invest £500m into British start-ups. 

Since 2015, Clearbanc has invested over $1 billion into more than 3,300 startups across the US and Canada. 

Clearbanc, which was founded by Canadian Dragon’s Den star Michele Romanow and her partner Andrew D’Souza, has already invested £30m into 250 UK companies during its beta testing. 

As part of the launch, the investment firm will be introducing an inventory financing programme to the UK, whereby Clearbanc will buy inventory directly from suppliers with the company only paying Clearbanc once their products have been bought by customers. 

Startups can sign up for ‘non-dilutive’ share agreements with Clearbanc, that can offer financing from between £10,000 and £10m with fees of between six and 12 per cent. 

Michele Romanow, co-founder and president of Clearbanc, said: “2020 has been incredibly hard for founders, but it's also brought a ton of opportunities for online businesses.”  

“Consumer behaviour has completely adapted to this new way of life, and for companies to succeed in this new wave of shutdowns, it's critical to capitalise on the rise of online traffic. It's not as easy as building an online store — founders need the funding, data insights, and global network to grow.” 

The fintech uses artificial intelligence to make decisions on investments of up to £10m within 48 hours and remove bias from finance decisions, with the firm having invested in eight times more female-founded companies than traditional VC firms. 

Jessica Mason, founder of luxury bedding brand Piglet and Clearbanc customer, said: “We love that Clearbanc really understands what it means to run an e-commerce business.” 

“There's room to continuously scale without worrying about limitations on their side to provide the funding we need. We had the confidence to expand and know that we could continue what we were doing with Clearbanc’s full support.” 

Under Clearbanc’s guidance, Piglet’s bedding and linen business grew by seven per cent after just two months of using the firm’s funding, with the return on investment to date currently standing at 6,900 per cent. 

During beta testing in the UK, Clearbanc funded over 250 companies, 70 per cent of which are based outside of London.

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