Category: Helio

Sources of “Edge” in Investing

Part of building a new way of approaching private investing with data science is studying how others have succeeded in disrupting their own industries. Lately for me that’s been a fascination of learning from public market investors, brought about by Patrick O’Shaughnessy’s podcast Invest Like The Best. Earlier this year, Patrick interviewed Jason Karp, Founder and CEO ...

Know your data – improving brand presence

Many early-stage CPG companies could be characterized as “strapped” – strapped for time, strapped for cash, boot-strapped. Alongside lean and tenacious teams, entrepreneurs must juggle responsibilities across the business ranging from FP&A to inventory management. Founders recognize that data can serve a range of needs, and they’re hungry for access to insights that characterize shifting ...

Using Helio to Identify the Best Wine Regions in the Country

Summer’s here which means so are long weekend trips to wine country. Most of us have our favorite types of wines and our favorite wine regions. Here in San Francisco, a lot of folks will take the drive out to Napa while others argue that Sonoma is superior. Others point to wineries in Washington, or ...

The Future of Private Investing Part IV: How systematic investing will help entrepreneurs

By William Dowling and Jonathan Scherr Part I: Why we want to build a systematic investing strategy Part II:  The operational hurdle of valuing companies at scale Part III: Other investors in the ecosystem Part IV: How systematic investing will help entrepreneurs Part V: Getting the deal done – from outreach to close  In the world ...

Data Science Update – The Ingredients of a Good Product Model

We built our machine learning platform Helio to evaluate consumer brands across an array of different dimensions, and we’ve gotten pretty darn good at doing that. We can look at the branding, financials, distribution and other factors to assess the attractiveness of a certain company as an investment. But ultimately a great company is made ...

Probabilistic Private Investing – How a tiny information advantage can help amplify returns

At CircleUp, we’re re-imagining the mechanics of investing in early-stage companies through the use of Helio, our machine learning platform. As part of that paradigm shift, we like to think about early- stage investing probabilistically much as investors in public markets have done for decades. In what follows, I’d like to use a bit of ...

The Future of Private Investing Part II: The operational hurdle of valuing companies at scale

By William Dowling and Jonathan Scherr  Part I: Why we want to build a systematic investing strategy Part II:  The operational hurdle of valuing companies at scale Part III: Other investors in the ecosystem Part IV: How systematic investing will help entrepreneurs Part V: Getting the deal done – from outreach to close  In Part 1 ...

The Business Case for Caring – A Helio Analysis of Certified B Corps

“The business of business is business” is an oft repeated paraphrase of Milton Friedman’s ideas on the role of business in society. Friedman, and many profit minded shareholders and investors before and since him, argue that the sole role of a business is to generate profit for its owners. Any activities undertaken without this end ...

Entity Resolution – The Foundation of Helio

By Raquel Rodriguez, Ryan Munro, and Emma Stubbs  Since inception, CircleUp has taken on a meaty technical challenge that we call entity resolution – sounds boring right? It’s not. Entity resolution is the process of distinguishing between unique brands or “entities” and accurately assigning data from dispersed sources to each brand. But the scope of ...

Food Trends to Watch in the Year Ahead – as Identified by Machine Learning

How do you identify which food trends will take off in the year ahead?  For many retailers, big consumer companies, and investors, trade shows like Expo West and Fancy Food serve as the best way to discover new products and get a sense for what could be breakout consumer trends. While shows like these certainly ...