CircleUp, a leading equity-based crowdfunding platform, announced today it has closed a $14 million Series B round of funding, the largest raise for an equity crowdfunding platform. The Series B round, led by Canaan Partners with additional investment from Google Ventures, Union Square Ventures, Maveron and Rose Park Advisors will be used to invest in product and data analytics—making it easier for investors to identify, diligence and invest in companies they understand. This announcement comes just before CircleUp’s second anniversary.
Since CircleUp’s equity crowdfunding platform launched in April 2012, the company has helped more than 30 companies raise over $30 million in growth capital, making it the largest equity crowdfunding site in the U.S. The amount invested through the platform grew 5X in 2013. The team expects this rapid growth to continue. It took 134 days for the first $1 million raised through the platform—the most recent million took just 7 days.
With Canaan, CircleUp adds another investor with deep experience in online markets. Dan Ciporin, currently on the Board of Lending Club, will also join CircleUp’s Board.
“Canaan looks for breakout leaders in huge markets where technology can add significant value,” explained Dan Ciporin, general partner at Canaan Partners. “We saw that with Lending Club in the credit marketplace space in 2007, and we see that with CircleUp in the equity marketplace sector in 2014. In similar fashion to how Lending Club is beginning to completely transform the consumer and small business credit industry, we think the equity fundraising space is poised for similar and equally massive disruption, and that CircleUp is the demonstrable leader in the space.”
“We’re proud of the momentum from our first two years of operation and happy to welcome Dan Ciporin of Canaan Partners to our Board,” said Ryan Caldbeck, CEO and co-founder of CircleUp. “With this new financing, we will build out our platform to help more exceptional consumer and retail brands raise funds on CircleUp and to help additional investors identify and invest in companies they understand and respect.”
CircleUp’s featured companies in Q4 of 2013 averaged 185% growth rate with 37% gross margin and 2.9X sales multiple. CircleUp continues to see a strong market opportunity for investing in brands as businesses that are understandable and accessible for both experts and main street investors. CircleUp was also recognized by Forbes as one of America’s 100 Most Promising Companies earlier this year, and has raised a total of $23M since the company was founded in 2011.