Ryan Caldbeck

All posts by Ryan Caldbeck

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 ...

In Praise of the Moonshot

Consumers are hungry for innovation. Disruptive innovation. That means more than simply labeling an old product “All Natural.” Making a product natural or organic is often a great thing, but not disruptive innovation. Here’s a story. In 2010, passing through the Denver airport, I stopped to eat. Four years later, I’m still telling people about ...

Raising private equity? Seven questions to ask your investment banker—before you hire them.

What entrepreneur wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to have an investment bank introduce their company to a hundred plus potential investors or acquirers? Me. And here’s why. Last February a consumer company was searching for investors… The company had $15 million in revenue and hired a boutique investment bank that specializes in the consumer and ...

While Silicon Valley Screams Tech, We Say Consumer. Here’s Why.

“Why are you focusing only on consumer product and retail companies at CircleUp—won’t your investors miss out on the next Twitter or LinkedIn?” Alas, living in Silicon Valley, I hear this question often. Here, tech investing isn’t a sub-category of early-stage investing—it is early stage investing. The numbers don’t lie: according to PricewaterhouseCoopers’ and the ...

3 Consumer and Retail Trends to Watch in 2015

At CircleUp we’re fortunate to sit at the intersection of private equity investing and data. This provides us with exceptionally rich insight into what’s happening in the private markets. We capture metrics and indicators from thousands of consumer and retail companies that apply to join the CircleUp platform, as well as activity data from the ...

CircleUp Insights: Investing in the Pet industry

This week I was at the Global Pet Expo in Orlando, FL, the pet industry’s largest trade show each year with seven thousand attendees. The buzz at the show, and the performance of the companies he talked with, continued to reflect the strong growth of the industry. In particular, alternative format dog food companies are seeing incredible ...