Jul 8, 2021 - Economy

Clearco raises $215 million from SoftBank Vision Fund 2

Illustration of a pattern of rolled up twenty dollar bills.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Clearco, which provides non-dilutive, revenue-based financing to internet startups, has raised $215 million in a Series C extension from SoftBank Vision Fund 2.

Why it matters: This isn't the first time SoftBank is backing a business banking on the startup economy—WeWork's early popularity was also driven by a new boom in startups.

  • SoftBank also recently backed Jellysmack, a company that helps online content creators grow their audiences across various platforms.

Between the lines: Part of the appeal of taking money from SoftBank was to grow its network of capital sources, said Andrew D'Souza, who co-founded Clearco (which was formerly known as Clearbanc).

  • While the company initially set up funds from which it financed the startups it backs, it has since diversified its capital sources to include debt, and it hopes the Japanese giant can help it forge relationships with more banks and other funders.
  • Clearco also plans to expand into Europe and Asia this year, another area it hopes SoftBank can help with.
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