CircleUp Banks $30 Million to Help Investors Find Top Food Startups

CircleUp CEO and co-founder Ryan Caldbeck.

CircleUp Network Inc., a startup that connects accredited investors with consumer goods and retail businesses, has raised a $30 million round of Series C venture funding led by Collaborative Fund.

San Francisco-based CircleUp, which is known as a fundraising platform for anything but tech startups, has been a dark horse in the emerging industry of equity crowdfunding in the U.S.

Other investors in the round included QED Investors, a fund run by Capital One co-founder Nigel Morris and other former Capital One executives; Jon Winkelreid, co-CEO of private equity giant TPG Capital; former Stanford Endowment Chief and a current managing director at Credit Suisse , John Powers; and Tom Glocer, the former CEO of Thomson Reuters and a current director with Morgan Stanley.

CircleUp’s competitors include many other marketplaces that allow startups to raise funds online from investors, including AngelList, FundersClub, MicroVentures, OneVest and SeedInvest. None of these have focused strictly on the consumer goods sector.

Co-founders Rory Eakin and Ryan Caldbeck said the Series C funding would go toward new products and services for both entrepreneurs and investors that use the CircleUp platform.

CircleUp sends product samples from companies raising funds on its site to potentially interested backers. Also, CircleUp provides market data in aggregate to investors interested in consumer goods as an asset class.

Capital One co-founder Nigel Morris said CircleUp is following in the footsteps of peer-to-peer lending companies the likes of Prosper Marketplace, which his fund QED also backed, or LendingClub Corp. and SoFi.

CircleUp’s earlier backers also joined the Series C round, including Union Square Ventures, Canaan Partners, Maveron and Rose Park Advisors.

Read VentureWire for the full CircleUp story including how it generates revenue.

Write to Lora Kolodny at Follow her on Twitter at @lorakolodny