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circleup.com/equity

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Investments

34

Portfolio Exits

3

Funds

2

About CircleUp Growth Partners

CircleUp Growth Partners is an early stage consumer fund with a data-driven, scalable approach to investing in visionary founders.

CircleUp Growth Partners Headquarter Location

30 Maiden Lane Floor 6

San Francisco, California, 94108,

United States

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Latest CircleUp Growth Partners News

Why CircleUp thinks machine learning may be the hottest item in consumer goods

May 26, 2022

Key Points Initially a crowdfunding platform that connected accredited investors with food and beverage start-ups, CircleUp has evolved into a consumer goods data platform that also operates its own venture fund and credit business. That focus on data comes as the industry is rapidly changing alongside consumer interest shifts and the success of products moving well beyond just retail placement. Overall consumer packaged goods volume sales grew 4.3% in 2021, and CircleUp CEO Danny Mitchell expects the category to remain resilient amid inflationary forces. In this weekly series, CNBC takes a look at companies that made the inaugural Disruptor 50 list, 10 years later. Disruptive companies have shaped the ever-growing consumer packaged goods industry in recent years, from the rise in plant-based products from companies like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods to an increased focus on personal care products from CNBC Disruptor 50 companies like Beautycounter and Dollar Shave Club . Consumer behaviors, demands, and expectations have started to flip the industry as well, with shoppers willing to go well beyond a grocery store shelf to find a product they want to buy. The viability of businesses built around direct-to-consumer, e-commerce, and social media has only further accelerated that. In fact, the top 20 consumer packaged goods companies are estimated to grow five times slower than their smaller category competitors,  according to an Accenture report . Add the growth of the category on top of that – overall consumer packaged goods volume sales g rew 4.3% in 2021  – and the emphasis on finding the next big thing has become even more important for companies and investors in the space, as well as the desire for founders with those ideas to access funding. CircleUp, whose start as a crowdfunding platform that connected accredited investors with food and beverage start-ups landed it on the inaugural CNBC Disruptor 50 list , has looked to evolve alongside the industry. Having already launched its own early-stage investment fund called CircleUp Growth Partners and a credit business that has helped it support more than 500 different brands, its next step is to open its data platform up to the industry to further facilitate more investment. More coverage of the 2022 CNBC Disruptor 50 Danny Mitchell, recently named CircleUp CEO after previously serving as CFO, said that with how quickly the industry is evolving on top of companies like Amazon and Instacart changing how consumers are purchasing products on top of social media platforms, the importance of data in this space is only growing. "You may have point-of-sale data, or something focused on social media, but you need that holistic view to get a true picture of the category, the trends and the categories, as well as individual companies," Mitchell said. "The Fortune 100 companies in this space are concerned about their existing brands being cannibalized by up-and-coming brands that you may have never even known about or went from 1,000 followers to a million followers on Instagram in six months." That has also meant staying on top of flavor and ingredient trends with consumers perhaps more willing to try new products than ever before. Mitchell pointed to Asian-inspired sparkling water brand Sanzo, which CircleUp Growth Partners led a $10 million Series A round in February and which features flavors like lychee, calamansi lime, and yuzu ginger. "You're asking these open-ended questions like is an ingredient as popular today as it was three years ago or even three months?" Mitchell said. "These are the kinds of things that we're trying to constantly analyze and that we can provide clients." Mitchell said Helio, the data platform, should appeal to those Fortune 100 brands trying to stay ahead of the curve with new products while also looking for possible acquisitions, investment firms, and even smaller companies looking for market insights as they grow revenue. Answering those sorts of questions will likely become even more important as concerns over inflation and a potential recession heighten the focus on consumer spending. Mitchell said that he believes consumer staples will continue to perform better than peer companies and that many of the early-stage companies that CircleUp is drawing attention to "have product fit but generally have revenue," making some of those bets a bit less risky. "It's a difficult time but I think that the consumer space will perform better and the opportunities in M&A, and from a bottom-line return from an investment standpoint, are better than the other sectors that we face," he said. While CircleUp is hoping to facilitate more activity in the CPG space, the company itself does not have any plans to enter the capital markets this coming year, Mitchell said, adding that he expects to the company to "start looking at potential fundraising" next year. Sign up  for our weekly, original newsletter that goes beyond the annual Disruptor 50 list, offering a closer look at list-making companies and their innovative founders.

CircleUp Growth Partners Investments

34 Investments

CircleUp Growth Partners has made 34 investments. Their latest investment was in Partake Brewing as part of their Series B on March 3, 2022.

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CircleUp Growth Partners Investments Activity

investments chart

Date

Round

Company

Amount

New?

Co-Investors

Sources

3/7/2022

Series B

Partake Brewing

$16.5M

No

7

2/22/2022

Series A

Sanzo

$10M

Yes

2

9/29/2021

Series A

Three Spirit Drinks

$3M

Yes

1

9/17/2021

Series A

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$99M

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10

6/16/2021

Series A

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$99M

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10

Date

3/7/2022

2/22/2022

9/29/2021

9/17/2021

6/16/2021

Round

Series B

Series A

Series A

Series A

Series A

Company

Partake Brewing

Sanzo

Three Spirit Drinks

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Amount

$16.5M

$10M

$3M

$99M

$99M

New?

No

Yes

Yes

Subscribe to see more

Subscribe to see more

Co-Investors

Sources

7

2

1

10

10

CircleUp Growth Partners Portfolio Exits

3 Portfolio Exits

CircleUp Growth Partners has 3 portfolio exits. Their latest portfolio exit was 4505 Meats on February 02, 2022.

Date

Exit

Companies

Valuation
Valuations are submitted by companies, mined from state filings or news, provided by VentureSource, or based on a comparables valuation model.

Acquirer

Sources

2/2/2022

Acquired

$99M

2

1/14/2022

Acquired

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$99M

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10

9/2/2020

Acquired

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$99M

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10

Date

2/2/2022

1/14/2022

9/2/2020

Exit

Acquired

Acquired

Acquired

Companies

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Valuation

$99M

$99M

$99M

Acquirer

Subscribe to see more

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Sources

2

10

10

CircleUp Growth Partners Fund History

2 Fund Histories

CircleUp Growth Partners has 2 funds, including CircleUp Growth Partners GP.

Closing Date

Fund

Fund Type

Status

Amount

Sources

1/22/2018

CircleUp Growth Partners GP

$0.8M

1

10/31/2017

CircleUp Growth Partners Fund I

$99M

10

Closing Date

1/22/2018

10/31/2017

Fund

CircleUp Growth Partners GP

CircleUp Growth Partners Fund I

Fund Type

Status

Amount

$0.8M

$99M

Sources

1

10

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