Dealflow | July 12, 2021

Clearco secures $215 million from SoftBank to finance online businesses

Jessica Pothering
ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

ImpactAlpha, July 12 – Andrew D’Souza and Michele Romanow launched Clearco (then Clearbanc) in 2015 to back e-commerce, mobile and software startups. The Black and woman-led business has provided $2.5 billion in inventory, revenue-based and other non-dilutive financing to 5,500 companies using a “20-minute term sheet.”

Softbank led the Toronto-based company’s Series C extension via its second Vision Fund. Clearco “is fiercely dedicated to democratizing access to capital and a full suite of services that serve the founder journey,” said SoftBank’s Kristin Bannon.

The company says it backs eight-times as many women-founded companies as the venture capital sector; 13% of its portfolio companies have BIPOC founders.

Clearco raised $100 million in April. Early investors include Founders Fund and Social Capital.

Other trade, supply-chain and inventory financing platforms, including U.S.-based Crowdz, Brazil’s Weel (now BS2) and South Africa’s The People’s Fund and Lulalend, are addressing gaps in business lending worldwide.

Clearco is focusing on data and advisory services that support its businesses’ growth.