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CircleUp's $125 Million Fund Looks To Bring Moneyball To Backing Consumer Brand Winners
CircleUp’s fund is using Helio to bring a Moneyball style approach to investing in startups. Helio can scan about 1.2 million companies, identifying brands making between $1 million and $15 million as likely to breakout through a range of metrics from increasing SKUs to marketplace activity – billions of data points in all.
A new fund uses A.I. to invest in consumer and retail products with the best chance of success
To identify the hottest consumer start-ups for potential deals, CircleUp will be using its proprietary machine learning software, called Helio. There are 240 kombucha brands, 832 popcorn brands and 4,684 nail polish brands in the U.S. alone, according to Helio analysis shared with CNBC.
Big Food Looks to Startups for Ideas, Innovation
“It’s hard for consumer companies to step out of what they’ve been locked into for 60 or 80 years,” said Ryan Caldbeck, founder and chief executive of CircleUp, a business that connects private-equity firms with food startups. CircleUp says large consumer-goods companies lost $18 billion in market share to smaller competitors between 2011 and 2015.
What Silicon Valley tech VCs get wrong about consumer investing
Despite the size of the market, early-stage consumer has historically been underserved by investors due to market inefficiencies like the geographic dispersion of brands and a lack of structured information sources. In theory, the recent trend of VC dollars going to fill a capital gap in CPG should result in a win-win. In effect, many of the tech VC investments into consumer are misguided, and sometimes harmful. Investors may lose money, but entrepreneurs can lose companies they’ve spent lifetimes building.
CircleUp's $125 Million Fund Looks To Bring Moneyball To Backing Consumer Brand Winners
CircleUp’s fund is using Helio to bring a Moneyball style approach to investing in startups. Helio can scan about 1.2 million companies, identifying brands making between $1 million and $15 million as likely to breakout through a range of metrics from increasing SKUs to marketplace activity – billions of data points in all.
29 start-ups that prove Silicon Valley innovation isn't dead
CircleUp uses machine learning to then predict which products are likely to strike a chord with consumers, and which companies are best positioned within those categories. The company's AI platform, Helio, helps investors make bets on promising food and beverage start-ups, and helps those companies figure out how to tweak their strategies and product lines.
Clean Cosmetics Brand Kosås Receives Financial Investment From CircleUp Growth Partners
Kosås is the latest addition to CircleUp’s portfolio of consumer goods companies that includes Hum Nutrition, and Supergoop. Focused on early stage investment, CircleUp leverages its proprietary technology asset, Helio, to identify potential brands as investment targets. Ryu remains bullish on beauty, asserting the sector will remain a focus for CircleUp going forward.
The Forbes Fintech 50 For 2018
While crypto hogs the headlines, technology is disrupting the $8.5 trillion (market cap) U.S. financial services industry in less flashy ways, changing how we invest, borrow and save; how big banks control risk; and how hedge funds analyze data and place their bets.
Forbes Fintech 50 2018: The Future Of Investing
In a world saturated with trading apps and robo-advisors, these eight investing and wealth management companies have something that sets them apart, from Robinhood's new crypto trading option to CircleUp's new $125 million venture fund.
What Silicon Valley tech VCs get wrong about consumer investing
Despite the size of the market, early-stage consumer has historically been underserved by investors due to market inefficiencies like the geographic dispersion of brands and a lack of structured information sources. In theory, the recent trend of VC dollars going to fill a capital gap in CPG should result in a win-win. In effect, many of the tech VC investments into consumer are misguided, and sometimes harmful. Investors may lose money, but entrepreneurs can lose companies they’ve spent lifetimes building.
Is CircleUp the Most Equitable Way to Find Investors?
The problem with “pattern recognition” is that human brains are great at finding meaningful patterns even where they might not exist—like in the fact that many successful founders are straight, white, male, and in the Bay Area. By assessing businesses in a more democratic, data-driven way, CircleUp is reducing the likelihood of unconscious bias in investment decisions and evening the playing field for businesses led by people from traditionally underfunded groups, especially women.
Investing in tech for hospitality and food, Almanac Investments raises $30 million
Indeed, the investor ecosystem for these types of firms continues to expand. Late last year, CircleUp announced a $125 million fund to focus on the area as well. “We do see a lot more capital coming into consumer today than we did five years ago. That both excites me and scares me,” says Ryan Caldbeck, CircleUp’s founder and chief executive. “Our mission is to help entrepreneurs to thrive. Having more capital come into the sector is a wonderful thing when it’ s done in an appropriate and prudent way.”

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