CircleUp, a marketplace for equity investments in private companies have announced it securing $30 million in Series C round of funding led by Collaborative Fund. The round had other participants like Capital One co-founder Nigel Morris and former CEOs and president of Goldman Sachs, Thoman Reuters and the Stanford Endowment and existing investors that include Union Square Ventures, Canaan Partners, Maveron and Rose Park Advisors. It raises the total funding of the company to $53 million.
Founded in 2011, CircleUp is a platform or marketplace for raising funds for anything but tech startups. Through this, accredited investors find free access to select private investments, easy tools to identify and diligence companies and online transaction capability to make investments. The company provides an efficient way to access a network of sophisticated investors and value added partners for retail and consumer product entrepreneurs. Its competitors in the sector includes AngelList, FundersClub, MicroVentures, OneVest and SeedInvest.
With the fresh funds, co-founders Rory Eakin and Ryan Caldbeck plans to introduce new products and services for both entrepreneurs and investors that use the CircleUp platform. It also plans to strengthen its team with the new capital.
CEO Caldbeck said, “We are a marketplace that connects innovative small businesses with the capital needed to grow. The companies that use our platform tend to have over $1M in revenue and are quickly growing, but fall outside of the historical focus of VCs, are too small for most private equity firms. On the investor side, we provide access to a new asset class, private equity in highly curated consumer and retail companies, that may provide stable and strong returns.
He added, “We’ve seen our marketplace hit an inflection point over the past 12 months, as institutional investors see the performance of the asset class we have opened up, and increase their demand for additional early-stage, non-technology investment opportunities. 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.”
Craig Shapiro, Collaborative Fund founder said, “CircleUp is helping reshape the financial system and create a more direct and efficient path between sources of capital and the most attractive private companies. 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.”
Many online marketplace are changing the traditional lending and investment process globally. CircleUp heads the category of online equity platforms, helping small-scale enterprises raise capital to a channel of investors. Till date, more than 120 companies have raised funds that sums to more than $135 million with the CircleUp’s assistance. The average company that has raised capital through CircleUp has grown more than 80% yearly since it acquired funds from the company.