Oct 31, 2017

CircleUp raises $125 million fund to invest in consumer goods

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio / Axios

San Francisco-based CircleUp has raised $125 million for a new fund that will invest in early-stage consumer packaged goods startups with between $1 million and $10 million in revenue.

Anti-unicorn: Despite all the buzz around CPG companies like Honest Company, which have raised buckets of venture capital in the pursuit of unicorn status, CircleUp is taking a more modest approach. "We don't like the valuations of that model and we don't like the winner-take-all mentality of that model," says CircleUp co-founder and COO Rory Eakin. Instead, CircleUp is looking to invest a few million dollars into companies that could sell for $100 million to $500 million.

Fund:

CircleUp will invest in about 30 to 40 companies in total, with a target of 18 in the first year. The fund's backers include Singapore-based sovereign wealth fund Temasek, along with family offices, institutions, and individuals like Annie's founder John Foraker, and BlackRock's Kenneth Kroner. CircleUp expects to raise more such funds in the future.

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Biden rolls out new policies in effort to court Sanders supporters

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The Biden campaign announced two new policies on Thursday on health care and student debt that are squarely aimed at appealing to supporters of Bernie Sanders, who ended his campaign for the Democratic nomination on Wednesday.

Why it matters: The policies don't go as far as Sanders' platform, but they signal that Biden is serious about incorporating elements of his former rival's agenda in an effort to help unify the Democratic Party and defeat President Trump in the general election.

Reports: Saudi Arabia and Russia reach major deal to cut oil production

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OPEC+, led by mega-producers Saudi Arabia and Russia, reached a tentative agreement Thursday to impose large cuts in oil production as the coronavirus pandemic fuels an unprecedented collapse in demand, per Bloomberg and Reuters.

Why it matters: The revival of the OPEC+ collaboration patches up the early March rupture between the countries, which had pushed already depressed prices down much further by threatening to unleash even more new supplies into the saturated market.