By Aisling Finn on Wednesday 21 April 2021
Alongside the $100m in equity, Clearco has also secured a $250m debt facility from Credigy, a subsidiary of the National Bank of Canada.
Looks like the world of e-commerce is not ready to slow down just yet.
After a bumper 2020, Clearbanc, the world’s largest ecommerce investor, has announced a $100m Series C funding round, as investors continue to bank on the digital revolution.
As well as scooping the fresh equity and seeing its valuation leap to nearly $2bn, Clearbanc is also rebranding, shedding its former name to become Clearco.
"The move from Clearbanc to Clearco really signals our move beyond capital," said co-founder and president, Michele Romanow.
"We've invested US$2 billion in 4,500 plus companies, and we're building a product suite to support founders that goes far beyond funding, based on what they've told us they need most. Our new name reflects our broad commitment to partnering with founders to build thriving businesses."
The decision was made to help the alternative lender move away from its original mission of being a source of capital for businesses to its now, broader platform that offers a range of growth products and services.
As well as raising $100m in equity, Clearco scored a $250m debt facility from Credigy (a subsidiary of the National Bank of Canada) to help it fund businesses across Canada, the US and UK.
According to Clearco, in 2020 alone it funded eight times as many companies headed by female founders as the industry average, with 13 per cent of its funding also going to companies founded by Black and LatinX founders, compared to just 2.6 per cent from traditional VCs.
"Our goal is to change the face of fundraising, and we're really proud to be showing it can be done," Romanow added.
Clearco is also determined to help companies based outside the traditional tech hubs.
In the US, 80 per cent of VC funding in 2020 went to just four states (California, Texas, New York and Massachusetts), while only 45 per cent of Clearco’s funding going to companies based in those states.
Across the pond here in the UK, 70 per cent of funds went to companies based outside of London, which couldn’t be further from recent data published by Innovate Finance that found 91 per cent of all VC funding in the UK went to London-based firms.
As part of the funding deal, Annie Lamont, co-founder and managing partner of lead investment firm Oak HC/FT will join Clearco’s board.