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CircleUp Launches Helio, Brings to Market a Broader, Earlier, and Smarter Dataset to Unlock Insights into the Consumer Goods Ecosystem and Keep Companies from Flying Blind

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The once internal data platform used to help CircleUp discover and fund some of the nation’s top consumer brands is now commercially available to provide emerging brand insights from every retail and direct-to-consumer source with Universal Data.

CircleUp, a data company offering Universal Data for the emerging consumer goods space, today announced that its previously internal data platform, Helio, is now commercially available to help identify emerging trends, breakout brands and competitive insights across categories.

Helio uses machine learning algorithms to synthesize data on 2.5 million consumer brands from more than 200 data sources, providing a fully integrated, universal view of brand and trend performance to inform innovation, strategy and investment giving leading Consumer Goods companies and investors a competitive advantage.

Over the past several years, CircleUp has utilized Helio as an internal assessment tool to provide sourcing and diligence insights for its investment fund, CircleUp Growth Partners, leading to investments in some of the nation’s top consumer brands including Liquid I.V. and Function of Beauty. More recently, the company used insights from Helio to help grow its capital offerings by providing flexible financing options through CircleUp Credit Advisors, which has provided over $1 billion in credit funding since its inception.

Helio’s offering comes at a pivotal time for the emerging brand ecosystem.Over the last two years, consumer businesses have shown strength and resilience, with sales growing 4.3% above pre-pandemic levels in 2021 all while battling high inflation and historic unemployment rates. Meanwhile, independent consumer brands have disrupted complete industries entirely online. Today there is not one universal solution for the consumer ecosystem to identify emerging opportunities through brand comparison, trend analysis, and consumer insights. With Helio, investors, innovation divisions, service providers and investment teams have an integrated solution for sourcing, diligence and innovation all in one place.

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“The consumer goods industry has fundamentally changed. The way people consume is vastly different than how it was just a few years ago and the way new products are brought to market are fundamentally different as well,” said Danny Mitchell, CEO of CircleUp. “Key players, such as Amazon, Instacart, and Drizzly, have transformed how we consume by bringing retail to our doorsteps. No one in the world is capturing data from every retail and direct-to-consumer source, including rapidly-growing channels such as Instagram and TikTok. Everyone in the consumer goods industry using traditional data providers is flying blind. With Helio, the entire consumer ecosystem will experience better outcomes, ranging from inventing and creating more targeted products and services, to responding to competitive threats ahead of time, and identifying disruptive trends and brands before anyone else.”

“In just a few months, we’ve used Helio to source more than one hundred qualified leads that met our category investment thesis, and to execute a brand diligence analysis that helped us make an investment case in a fraction of the time it would have taken our team to do manually. We were very impressed and are looking forward to continuing our work with Helio,” said Nico MacDonagh, Investor at Btomorrow Ventures.

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While CircleUp has demonstrated Helio’s success with the performance of its fund over the last ten years, select private equity, aggregator, and large CPG vendors participated in a beta program to identify strengths and needs. As a result, multiple participants have engaged in acquisitions based on Helio outputs, have increased sourcing efficiencies, and renewed their contract to an annual subscription. CircleUp is committed to building the most complete private market dataset on the market, with plans to integrate more data, build new entity resolution models, enhance the platform’s UX and build out an API, allowing for integrations with complementary data providers across the consumer goods space by 2023.

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