CircleUp raises $7.5m to expand its crowdfunding platform to more consumer companies

CircleUp raises $7.5m to expand its crowdfunding platform to more consumer companies

CircleUp, a one year old crowdfunding platform aimed at connecting consumer-facing companies with investors, has scored a deal of its own after closing a $7.5 million Series A round led by Union Square Ventures.

Google Ventures, Maveron and Rose Park Advisors — a Boston-based firm founded by Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen — also participated in the round. The new revenue will be used to hire engineers and developers to expand the CircleUp platform to further accommodate independent investors and small companies seeking funding, the company confirmed.

The deal will see CircleUp gain experience with Union Square Ventures’ Managing Partner Andy Weissman taking a seat on the CircleUp board of directors. David Krane, General Partner at Google Ventures, is also climbing aboard as a board observer.

CircleUp launched its crowdfunded platform for consumer products in April 2012, and the service helped 11 companies from across the US raise more than $10 million in combined funding during its first year of operation. Now, with fresh revenue and a set of new investors on board, CEO and co-founder Ryan Caldbeck is aiming to take the service even further.

“The combination of Union Square’s incredible marketplace experience, and Google Ventures’ amazing operating team, will enable us to serve more customers and continue to hire exceptional talent to improve the transparency of private capital markets,” Caldbeck said in a statement.

Crowdfunding is taking off of late with Indiegogo and Kickstarter taking the lead on consumer projects, and AngelList blazing a trail for marrying investors and companies seeking funding. AngelList launched its own  investment tool in partnership with SecondMarket in December, and it helped startups raise $12 million within 30 days of going live. Now, even investors like 500 Startups are raising money for their funds from the social network.

While AngelList remains focused on startups, CircleUp is combining the consumer approach of Kickstart with an AngelList-like reach into the investment community.

CircleUp previously raised a $1.5 million seed round in April 2012.

Headline image via Flickr

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