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FUNDS AVAILABLE: It can pay for emerging consumer products companies to be crowd pleasers. CircleUp, an online crowd-funding platform launching Wednesday, is connecting companies generating $1 million to $5 million in annual sales with potential investors to raise $100,000 to $1 million in growth equity. Co-founder and chief executive officer Ryan Caldbeck said 150 up-and-coming companies have already contacted CircleUp and noted of particular interest to CircleUp are personal care, retail and apparel businesses. “A huge pain point for these companies is taking the time to go around and do hundreds of investor meetings and tell the same story over and over again,” said Caldbeck, who previously worked at TSG Consumer Partners and Encore Consumer Capital. “We enable you to reach a much bigger audience because there are literally hundreds of accredited investors on our site.”
Accredited investors are required make $200,000 annually individually, $300,000 as a couple or have $1 million in assets, excluding primary residences. Businesses seeking to gain access to those investors via CircleUp must provide a business plan and financials, and submit to background checks. CircleUp will also feature videos by entrepreneurs talking about their companies, conferencing capabilities for those entrepreneurs to further discuss their visions with interested investors and post-deal investor relations assistance. CircleUp has received $1.5 million in angel funding from venture capital firm Maveron, former JP Morgan vice chairman of investment banking David Topper and other angel investors.