CircleUp teams up with Amazon Launchpad to boost exposure for food entrepreneurs


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CircleUp teams up with Amazon Launchpad to boost exposure for food entrepreneurs

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A new agreement between Amazon Launchpad and select CircleUp portfolio companies promises to “promote consumer discoverability”, and give entrepreneurs significant support and advice from the online retailing giant.

The newly launched Amazon Launchpad currently features 36 companies from CircleUp’s portfolio, including Sweetie Pie, Quinn Popcorn, Oceans Halo, Wild Friends Food, NurturMe, and SmartyPants Vitamins, in a curated storefront.

“This allows companies to promote consumer discoverability, and provides an innovation window with consumers.”​ Katie Fitzgerald, CircleUp’s business development manager told FoodNavigator-USA. “Amazon Launchpad allows brands to create an enriched content suite with video, images, and Q&A. The companies will also benefit from marketing support and advice from an Amazon representative.”

The 37 unique companies were chosen because the brands and products are differentiated, they resonate with consumers, and the companies themselves have a strong performance, explained Fitzgerald.

“Amazon wants to work with companies that can fulfil orders, so those showing revenue growth, growth margins, and strong teams.”

96 successful investment raises

As reported previously by FoodNavigator-USA​, CircleUp is the only crowdfunding website in the US focused exclusively on consumer goods, which could make it better positioned than other more broadly focused fundraising websites to help food and beverage companies reach appropriate investors who can take them to the next level.

Food and beverage companies are said to make up about half of the firms listed on CircleUp’s platform, which means the website’s team of experts are experienced in the space and more efficient at identifying and addressing the needs of food and beverage start-ups.

CircleUp has had 99 successful investment raises, with over $105 million raised, said Fitzgerald. “Fundraising is very difficult, and there typically hasn’t been a network or ecosystem for innovative food and beverage companies. We’ve been able to create that ecosystem and to raise capital more efficiently for these types of products. We’ve had a lot of success.”

The platform is heavily curated, and does have a low acceptance rate, said Fitzgerald.

Crowdfunding © nevarpp
“We’re constantly working on ways to add value to entrepreneurs beyond just the fundraise,” said Ryan Caldbeck, CircleUp co-founder and CEO. “The opportunity to increase brand awareness and accelerate sales via Amazon Launchpad represents tremendous value to our portfolio companies – and Amazon’s customers will benefit too, with access to products that are better quality and better for you.”

Adding another path to directly increase sales

The relationship will provide CircleUp portfolio companies with another path to directly increase sales, said Fitzgerald, and provides investors and supporters with a well-known destination where they can find and purchase innovative consumer products.

So what about companies already present on Amazon? What’s the benefit for them? One of the select companies - SmartyPants Vitamins - has been available on the general Amazon site long before the launch of Amazon Launchpad, explained Fitzgerald, and the online retailer already represents a strong channel for them.

“Amazon Launchpad will make the channel even stronger for them by allowing them to use the content suite and they are really excited to participate regardless of being present elsewhere on Amazon.”

Amazon Launchpad was only just launched so it is too soon to quantify the impact on the select brands, she said.

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