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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.
TechCrunch: 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.
RECODE: The Rise Of Giant Consumer Startups That Said No To Investor Money
Ryan Caldbeck, the founder and CEO of CircleUp, sees several factors at play. CircleUp uses proprietary algorithms to evaluate and identify consumer startups to which it should offer equity investments and working capital loans, typically to companies with $1 million to $15 million in revenue. Caldbeck argues that a combination of competition, arrogance and a lack of deep industry knowledge has led to venture capital investments that saddle consumer brands with unrealistic valuations — and expectations.
BevNET: Liquid I.V. Secures $5M Series B Round
Liquid I.V. was identified by Helio, a proprietary machine learning system used by CircleUp to identify brands with high growth potential. Kiva Dickinson, a partner at CircleUp, explained that the data showed Liquid I.V. had doubled its revenues in consecutive quarters, while boasting strong “cross channel brand power” and social media presence.
Beauty Independent: What Are The Secrets To Successful Fundraising? Investors Provided Clues At BeautyX Capital Summit
At BeautyX Capital Summit on Monday, 20 investors, advisors and beauty company founders who’ve been through the fundraising process clued 140 entrepreneurial attendees into the ins and outs of the money chase across several levels of brand maturation.
Forbes: Mented Cosmetics Raises $3 Million In Funding, Highlighting Opportunity For Multicultural Makeup Brands
Today, the company has announced a new round of $3M in series seed from lead investor CircleUp Growth Partners, which focuses on early-stage consumer brands and has a history of investing in female-led companies like nutpods and Kosås.
Beauty Independent: 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.
Inc: Why This Startup Wants to Humanize Pet Food
The business has become decidedly more sophisticated, and NomNomNow has long since moved out of Nate and Zach's apartments and into headquarters in Oakland, Calif. Now, the company has closed $10 million in Series A funding to continue its mission of delivering fresh, custom portioned dog food to pet parents. The round includes participation from ​Bullish, CircleUp, e.ventures, Tandem Capital, Greycroft and others. This brings company's total funding to $13 million, which includes a previously unannounced seed round from 2016.

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