Clearco UK launches investment scouts programme
Clearco, the world’s largest e-commerce investor revolutionising the way founders grow their businesses, today announced the launch of the Clearco Founders Fund for the UK, created to empower Clearco’s community of industry leaders to fund the next generation of online businesses across the British Isles.
Traditional VC scout programs remain exclusive to investors with the right network and connections. However, the Clearco Founders Fund aims to level the playing field of investing by empowering its partners to multiply their impact and fund under-represented founders, while simultaneously providing the resources for portfolio growth and networking.
Over the past five years, Clearco has funded 7,000+ online businesses without taking equity, all by democratising access to capital and backing founders based on merit, not connections. Clearco’s portfolio looks totally different from the typical VC. Clearco has had an undeniable impact on changing the face of the investment world – currently 50% of the company’s global portfolio is female-founded companies—that is 25X more than the VC industry average. Furthermore, in 2021, 35% of Clearco’s funding went to BIPOC founders, compared to 28% for traditional VCs. Through this new initiative Clearco will provide even more visibility and opportunities for these overlooked companies to grow.
“The Clearco Founders Fund is another major step in Clearco’s mission to fund great businesses without bias,” said Co-founder and President of Clearco, Michele Romanow. “We know that innovation exists in all corners of the world and with the Clearco Founders Fund, it not only provides a window for founders who are typically overlooked by traditional VC, but it gives opportunity for industry leaders of all backgrounds to support the entrepreneurs they believe can make a difference in their industries and beyond.”
Some of the platform benefits VC scouts receive by enrolling and participating in the Clearco Founders Fund include:
- Engaging in thoughtfully designed community experiences (in-person events/dinners);
- Coaching on analysing business trends and best practices from top industry leaders, entrepreneurs, and investors;
- Participating in Clearco’s revenue sharing program and earning up to 1% on any funding given the brands they’ve scouted;
- Receiving access to growth metrics and insights for the companies on their radar and funding them when they’re ready;
The fund’s launch partners include female founders like Melanie Travis from Andie Swim, Xiomara Rosa-Tedla from UnoEth and tastemakers like Jada Sezer, in addition to advisors from LAUNCH, Vendo, and Beyond Brands. Michelle Finizio, Co-founder of FounderMade, has partnered with Clearco to launch the fund and we hope to support Clearco’s goal of funding 1million founders. The fund’s venture scout program remains open for community leaders, investors, retailers, influencers and editors supporting online businesses to apply.
“My whole career, including Co-founding FounderMade, has been dedicated to partnering with the best in the industry to scale the missions they believe in and I couldn’t be more excited to scale this mission globally with Clearco” says Michelle Finizio, Co-founder, FounderMade & Managing Partner, Clearco Founders Fund, “With ecommerce sales in the UK swiftly approaching 900 billion GBP in 2022, the opportunities to invest in UK digital brands is ripe. The launch of the Clearco Founders Fund in the UK means that we can foster more opportunities for the incredible brands which are still underserved in the UK market from a funding perspective.”
“I’m delighted to be partnering with The Clearco founders fund as a scout. We’ve built a community of some 50,000 businesses via The Great British Entrepreneur Awards and in addition to celebrating their achievements, our mission is to support them in their endeavours all year round, with access to capital being a key part of that”, commented Francesca James, Co-Founder of the Great British Entrepreneurs Awards, “Partnering with Clearco helps us to open so many doors for entrepreneurs and I’m proud to be able to support growth focussed companies and founders I truly believe in to access investment. This partnership will truly help empower some incredible entrepreneurial talent” – Francesca James – Co-founder of The Great British Entrepreneur Awards
“Clearco’s Founders Fund brings together a diverse network of partners empowered to find and fund founders building great products. Community is non-fungible, and central to the initiative. Providing industry specialists and founders an opportunity to connect and share knowledge”, said Matthew Roberts, Former Founder, Startups at STRIPE, “There is often a one-dimensional relationship between customer and company. Clearco’s Founders Fund successfully shifts the relationship with founders and ecosystem specialists from an external audience to members of a community, able to interact, network and share knowledge with one another.” – Matthew Roberts – “Former founder, Startups at Stripe, Advisor”