Clearco Raises $215M USD in New Round of Funding Led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 to Accelerate International Expansion & Continue Build-Out of Suite of AI-Driven, Founder-Friendly Services
Clearco is democratizing access to growth for e-commerce businesses and has invested over $2.4B US in over 5,500 businesses with 30% of founders being BIPOC and funding being advanced to 8x more women-led businesses than traditional VC.
NEW YORK, LONDON, and TORONTO – Clearco, the world’s largest e-commerce investor and the company revolutionizing the opportunities for founders to grow their businesses, today announced a $215M US new round of funding led by new investor SoftBank Vision Fund 2* to continue to propel the company’s growth and suite of founder-first hub of products.
SoftBank Vision Fund 2’s participation in this new round of financing significantly contributes to the momentum and advancement of Clearco’s vision and commitment to a broad and diverse hub of growth products and services that effectively remove barriers founders traditionally face, including giving up equity in exchange for capital, inventory funding and data that drives growth and operational efficiency.
As Clearco continues to rapidly expand its international footprint and operations led by the recent hires of Ruma Bose, Chief Growth Officer and Sarah Clark, Head of UK, SoftBank Vision Fund 2’s investment also adds strategic capital to accelerate plans of market expansion. Also joining Clearco this month are newly appointed executives Satwik Seshasai, Chief Technology Officer joining from Compass and Katrina Shackelford, VP of Product, joining from Amazon.
“Softbank’s investment during a moment where we are accelerating at breakneck speed and leading a founder’s revolution is both humbling and exciting as we continue to work towards removing archaic barriers and offer an alternative and accessible solution for founders all around the world.” said Co-Founder and President Michele Romanow. “We continue to be wholly committed to our vision of changing the trajectory of what it means to attain capital to grow your business and the full-service tools to be successful, whether that be strategic guidance, access to a powerful network of partners or valuation tools that allow founders to accelerate the growth of their business.”
Founders, particularly women and BIPOC founders, traditionally have few and often unattainable options to grow their business and Clearco is unique in its ability to fuel entrepreneurship and opportunity outside of traditional networks and regions with AI and data-driven decision making. While global VC funding for female founders dropped by 27% in 2020, according to Crunchbase, Clearco funded eight times as many companies headed by female founders as traditional VC firms. In that same timeframe, 13% of Clearco’s funding went to companies headed by Black and LatinX founders, compared to 2.6% for traditional VC firms; in total a third of Clearco funding went to founders of color.
“We’re a company that was built by founders for founders, and we’ve all faced the same issues we are working to not only solve but replace with better products and opportunities through an entire new category,” said Co-Founder and CEO Andrew D’Souza. “We’ve invested over US$2.4 billion in nearly 5,500+ companies with a platform we know our founders need and this round allows us to continue building a world-class suite of services that founders deserve to grow their business.”
Softbank Investment Advisers’ Kristin Bannon led the new round of financing. Additionally, Intuit, Bow Capital and Park West participated.
“Clearco is a market leader who has created an entire industry that is fiercely dedicated to democratizing access to capital and a full suite of services that serve the founder journey,” said Kristin Bannon, Director at SoftBank Investment Advisers. “We’re excited to partner with Andrew, Michele, and the Clearco team as they aim to transform the e-commerce industry.”
Clearco offers an industry-leading suite of performance financing products and services tailor made to help founders retain ownership including:
ClearCapital: ClearCapital provides up to $10m in equity-free capital for eCommerce companies looking to scale their marketing, or stock up on inventory.
ClearAngel: ClearAngel gives early stage founders access to equity-free capital, data-driven advice, and Clearco’s extensive network of apps, agencies, and investors.
ClearRunway: ClearRunway offers SaaS and subscription companies a simpler way to grow, by converting monthly revenues into equity-free investments of up to $10m.
Insights and Valuation: Clearco’s Insights & Valuation tools help founders identify where they stand in their category across 20+ sales and marketing performance metrics, as well as the total value of their company.
Co-founded as Clearbanc in 2015, Clearco offers the most founder-friendly capital solutions for e-commerce, mobile apps, and SaaS founders as well as a full suite of products and access to a powerful global network, insights and data, and recommendations. Clearco has financed over 5500 companies to date, including Leesa Sleep, fashion-rental service Le Tote, home goods company Public Goods, shirtmaker UNTUCKit, online speech therapy practice Expressable, and digital real estate marketplace SetSchedule. For more information visit clear.co and @getClearco.
*As of the date of this press release, SoftBank Group Corp. has made capital contributions to allow investments by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 (“SVF 2”) in certain portfolio companies. The information included herein is made for informational purposes only and does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy limited partnership interests in any fund, including SVF 2. SVF 2 has yet to have an external close, and any potential third-party investors shall receive additional information related to any SVF 2 investments prior to closing.