Ryan Caldbeck

All posts by Ryan Caldbeck

How to Close Your Funding Round

This post features an essential closing checklist, downloadable and printable here, which we helped create for entrepreneurs to guide and monitor fundraising periods. Fundraising is really hard to do, no matter how attractive the company. It is especially hard in for emerging consumer and retail brands, where there’s no centralized network surfacing the most promising ...

How the Rise of Marketplace Investing Will Change Finance

In five years, no one will be talking about crowdfunding. The term is inherently flawed, as it focuses on the wrong side of any investment: the donor/investor. And it’s become too broad to be meaningful. The missions of the leading players are widely misunderstood, even by their own users. ‘Crowdfunding’ conflates a variety of very ...

Why Early-Stage Consumer Entrepreneurs Are Having More Success Fundraising

Companies that sell food, clothes and packaged goods are less profitable than companies pushing software and online services, right? Not exactly. Saar Gur, a general partner at Charles River Ventures, a multi-billion technology venture capital fund, recently published detailed research challenging conventional wisdom about the potential for consumer product companies. Gur’s research (reproduced with expressed ...

Our Data-Driven Approach to Marketplace Investing

By: Ryan Caldbeck Read more about the Classifier in the Wall Street Journal. Today we’re announcing the Classifier, our data-driven approach to Marketplace Investing. Over the past 19 months, we have created a machine-learning algorithm that automatically evaluates companies on an average of over 92,000 data points, each, before they are accepted onto CircleUp. Since we started ...

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Introducing the CircleUp Marketplace Index Fund

By: Ryan Caldbeck Today, we’re excited to introduce the CircleUp Marketplace Index (MIX) Fund. The MIX Fund will allow you to invest in a diversified basket of 25 companies raising on CircleUp with a single investment for the price of an ETF. This completely changes how you can access growth-stage private investments. We are incredibly excited ...

The 25 Most Innovative Consumer And Retail Brands For 2015

The 2015 CircleUp25 winners were announced on Forbes here. Innovation and disruption in consumer and retail is exploding. Ignited by the maturation of Millennial consumers—who are voting with their wallet and opting for new and authentic brands—emerging brands are re-imagining nearly every consumer category, and sometimes creating entirely new ones. Investors are seeing the strong ...

Early Stage Consumer As An Asset Class

In the past quarter I’ve seen a marked increase in interest in CircleUp’s asset class, early stage consumer, from institutional investors. Having built a platform to identify, evaluate and fund early stage non-technology opportunities at an unprecedented scale, we pride ourselves in having greater access to data on the early stage consumer market than anyone ...

Early Stage Markets — The (Unsurprising) Correlation Between Size and Performance

Anyone who says that size does not hurt investment performance is selling. The highest rates of return I’ve ever achieved were in the 1950s. I killed the Dow. You ought to see the numbers. But I was investing peanuts then. It’s a huge structural advantage not to have a lot of money. — Warren Buffett ...

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When Convertible Notes Make Sense for Consumer Companies

Convertible notes seem to be all the rage for pre-revenue tech startups these days. Convertible notes (aka convertible debt or convertible loans) are a financing mechanism whereby a company raises debt capital from investors at time zero, with the ability for the investor to convert this debt into equity at a later date at a ...