20VC FF 035: Why Crowdfunding Is Not Right For Tech Startups with Ryan Caldbeck @ CircleUp

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Ryan Caldbeck is the Founder & CEO @ CircleUp, the online investing platform that allows you to invest in innovative consumer companies. They have raised funding from some of the best including USV, Maveron and Canaan Partners (all past guests). Before Ryan founded CircleUp, he worked in consumer product and retail-focused private equity at TSG Consumer Partners and Encore Consumer Capital, where he was exposed to hundreds of great consumer and retail businesses that were too small to obtain funding through the customary private equity channels and did not fit the risk profiles many VCs demanded. As a result, Ryan decided to build the solution, a private equity marketplace with the economics and scale to make funding available to these promising companies.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Ryan make the move from the world of VC to founding his own tech startup?

2.) Why is CircleUp marketplace investing, not crowdfunding? What does Ryan believe are the misnomers around the term crowdfunding?

3.) Where does this sector make sense and where is it  inefficient? Why is it wrong for tech companies?

4.) One major aspect in the UK that this segment has struggled with is it’s ability to attract institutional investors to the sector. So with CircleUp, how are institutional investors getting into this market and is there anything more Ryan would like to see with this regard?

5.) To what extent does Ryan think this is disrupting private capital formation? Should VCs be concerned? What sector of the funding environment is most vulnerable to being disrupted by the rise of marketplace investing?

6.) How was the funding process for Ryan? CircleUp raised over $50m over several rounds with investors from our friends at USV and Maveron, how that came about and what Ryan would advise founders entering the process?

Items Mentioned In Todays Show:

Ryan’s Fave Blog: AVC, Jeff Jordan, Bill Gurley

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This episode was supported by Wunder Capital, the leading online investment platform that allows individuals to invest in large scale solar projects across the U.S. Wunder’s solar investment funds allow you to earn up to 11% annually, while diversifying your portfolio, curbing pollution and combating global climate change. Do well by doing good and sign up for a free account here and join the thousands of people that are already achieving their investment targets.