CircleUp is a company that focuses on helping passionate consumer entrepreneurs to find support needed to grow their brand. CircleUp believes that great entrepreneurs deserve funding from passionate investors so they have built a crowd-funding platform that connects product businesses with accredited investors. CircleUp has raised $7.5 million in funding led by Union Square Ventures. Google Ventures, Rose Park Advisors, and Maveron Venture Partners also participated in this round.
CircleUp launched in April 2012 and they have helped consumer companies raise over $10 million through crowd-funding. CircleUp features companies that already are in production and distribution phases, but want to scale their products to larger markets.
?We love that investors are able to see, touch, taste, and experience the company?s products first hand,? said CircleUp CEO Ryan Caldbeck. ?An investor on our site can go to their local Whole Foods or Starbucks to see and test the products, which we believe helps the investor feel more connected to the investment that they are making. We also believe the lack of traditional funding for early stage consumer/retail products creates an opportunity unlike investments in other industries, where the risk of adverse selection for crowd funding platforms is greater.?
Companies that CircleUp decides to feature end up raising an average of $1 million. CircleUp helps drive investments into these companies by partnering with corporations like General Mills and Procter & Gamble. The amount of money that flows through the CircleUp platform has doubled since the beginning of 2013.