CircleUp announced this week that they have raised $14 million in venture capital led by Canaan Partners. In the past, CircleUp has received funding from Google Ventures and Union Square Ventures. CircleUp is a crowdfunding site which allows investors to buy equity in companies. All the companies CircleUp works with have been extensively vetted to ensure they have a proven concept and business model to reduce risk.
The CEO and co-founder of CircleUp, Ryan Caldbeck, insists the company did not necessarily need the money. He pursued the deal for the opportunity to work with Dan Ciporin, who is a partner at Canaan Partners. Ciporin will join CircleUp’s board. Ciporin is also on the board of the Lending Club, an online company that works to connect borrowers with lenders.
Lending Club is growing quickly and planning to go public in 2014. Many feel CirclUp’s recent moves may be motivated by the same desire. According to Caldbeck, “There’s a lot that we can learn from Dan’s experience at Lending Club…We viewed that as a really good analogy of what we’re trying to build.”