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 ...

The JOBS Act Title III is A Step In The Right Direction, But Comes Up Short

At this point, CircleUp has decided not to actively pursue fundraises under Title III. We are excited about the promise of a more accessible private equity market, but believe that the Title’s regulations create too many burdens for entrepreneurs and adverse selection for investors. What is Title III? The JOBS (Jumpstart Our Business Startups) Act ...

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 ...

Ask a CFO: Grant Burton of Watershot on the Ever-Changing World of Fundraising

By: CircleUp It’s the same old story: operations and finance guy moves to California; gets entrepreneurial bug; and leaves corporate job to work on startups. Except Grant Burton didn’t quit his job the moment he landed in California. Instead, he says, it took years to convince him to make the leap from a steady job ...

REBBL: Why The Former CEO Of Clif Bar Is Introducing Americans To Adaptogen Herbs And Taking On Human Trafficking

Sheryl O’Loughlin thought she was done being a CEO. After a long, successful run leading Clif Bar and then co-founding, running, and selling Plum Organics, O’Loughlin was settling into a quieter life. “The plan was to teach entrepreneurship at Sonoma State, and just lie on my back porch,” O’Loughlin jokes. “And then randomly, about five ...

Junior Explorers: The Educational Startup Aiming To Take Over The Kids Market And Inspire a Generation

Educational games are notoriously bad. With the exception of a handful of gems — shoutout to the legendary Oregon Trail — they’re almost universally boring, prescriptive, and not actually that great at teaching kids much of anything. The problem isn’t that kids don’t want to learn (learning is what their brains are built to do, ...

Punch Bowl Social: The Successful Eatertainment Concept that was Hiding in Plain Sight

The best way to describe Punch Bowl Social is if your favorite local restaurant started hanging out with a hipster diner, got really into craft cocktails and microbrews, married a bowling alley, and then took up with an old-school arcade — and it’s a huge success. Each of the massive, 24,000 square foot locations boast four bars, ...

The Secrets of Annie’s Purpose Driven Success

 By: John Foraker Editor’s note: John Foraker is the President of Annie’s, Inc. John joined Annie’s in 1999. He’s grown the business to more than $250MM in revenues and led its successful sale to General Mills in October 2014 for $820MM. Follow John on Twitter at @AnniesCEO. How did we make this purpose driven business so successful? ...