Crowdfunding platform CircleUp raises another $14 million

Crowdfunding platform CircleUp raises another $14 million

Equity-based crowdfunding continues to draw interest from natural products entrepreneurs and investors

CircleUp has now raised $23 million in three rounds that bring Canaan Partners, Maveron, Rose Park Advisors, Union Square Ventures and Google Ventures into its close circle of advisors. The Series B round announced today stands at $14 million and was led by Canaan Partners, with general partner Dan Ciporin joining the board. Ciporin is the former CEO of shopping.com and also sits on the board of Lending Club, a social marketplace disrupting the credit markets for consumers and small businesses.

“Canaan looks for breakout leaders in huge markets where technology can add significant value,” says Ciporin in a statement. “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.”

Proceeds of the round will go toward further development of the platform and data analytics. In just under two years, CircleUp has raised more than $30 million for over 30 companies in the consumer space, many well-grounded in natural products. For more metrics on the platform's performance, see the full press release.

Says CircleUp CEO Ryan Caldbeck: "What's most exciting to me is not just the year-over-year increases in companies on our site—3X—or dollars moving through the platform—up 4X—but the quality we attract. The average company we list today is larger than a year ago, it has higher revenues, higher gross margins, and a lower valuation."

Why the lower valuations? Transparency. "We can provide data on what 'market' really is, which keeps entrepreneurs from chasing unfair valuations for 18 months." Score one more for the power of technology to open up markets.

New Hope and CircleUp launched a content partnership in February 2013.

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