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January 11, 2013
CircleUp (circleup.com), an equity-based crowdfunding platform that allows investors to make direct investments in private companies, announced that five food-related businesses have secured fundraising. In aggregate, the companies raised nearly $5.5 million in their fundraising rounds.
“We have been blown away with the quality of high-growth consumer businesses that have applied for funding via CircleUp—many of which have national distribution at stores like Whole Foods,” said Ryan Caldbeck, CEO and cofounder of CircleUp. “Based on the interest in these deals by sophisticated and experienced investors, we believe CircleUp provides a great new channel for finding investment opportunities investors may not otherwise discover.”
Organic, healthy food options garner interest from investors
The following companies were successfully funded on CircleUp:
Little Duck Organics (Brooklyn, N.Y.): Makes no-sugar-added kid snacks using nutritious and natural ingredients.
18 Rabbits (San Francisco, Calif.): Launched in 2008, 18 Rabbits brings food back to its roots by creating delicious granola and granola bars using clean, premium ingredients.
Melt (Boise, Idaho): A line of all-natural buttery spreads for butter lovers seeking a healthier alternative.
Rhythm Superfoods (Austin, Texas): Founded in 2010, the kale chip manufacturer is dedicated to using only the best organic ingredients to create its raw, vegan, nourishing snack foods.
“Companies that focus on natural or organic ingredients, or brands that have a functional benefit, have been popular with investors,” continued Caldbeck. “We think investors are seeing the trend in healthy living and expect the companies that address this lifestyle could be more successful.”
Platform provides resource for companies neglected by traditional funding channels
CircleUp focuses on raising capital for consumer and retail product companies, a segment that has traditionally been neglected by the tech-focused venture capital community. The companies on CircleUp typically have $1 to $10 million in trailing revenue and are too small to garner interest from the larger traditional private equity firms.
“Raising money for a consumer company is never easy—it’s long and a takes a lot of time from the management team,” said Alison Bailey Vercruysse, founder of 18 Rabbits. “CircleUp made this whole process much more efficient, providing tremendous value. They not only found great investors for us, but also made it a lot easier to convert investors we already knew. Whether it was the stamp of approval from CircleUp, or the ease of use, we just found success came more quickly than raising money offline. I definitely recommend CircleUp.”
“One of the things we loved about CircleUp is the positive signal it sends about our brand,” said Meg Carlson, CEO of Prosperity Organics. “While raising money for an emerging growth consumer products company can be challenging, having Prosperity Organics, makers of Rich & Creamy Melt® Organic spreads, approved for the CircleUp platform and then successfully securing the commitment from new investors is very gratifying.”
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