The company, an online marketplace that connects consumer-product startups with accredited investors who can make investments through its platform, created a technology that automatically assesses startups that apply to raise funding on its site based on factors such as financial performance, product, brand, team, customers, and competition.
Recently, the startup partnered with the venture firm Collaborative Fund to create a new fund focused on consumer product startups, which will use the same technology to pinpoint possible investments. “Unlike tech, where the bulk of companies are in major cities, there’s new consumer product startups all over the country,” says Craig Shapiro, the founder and managing partner of Collaborative Fund, about why it makes sense to use CircleUp’s technology for the fund. “It kind of gives us a head start. It allows us to dig into the efforts we’re most interested in.”
The Collaborative Fund is also an investor in CircleUp. Rory Eakin, CircleUp’s cofounder and COO, says he hopes to make similar partnerships with early-stage venture firms in the future. “The way data and data science has been used for public market investors,” he says, “we think that’s a skill set that’s inevitable for the private market.”