Raising venture capital isn’t easy; for some, it’s impossible.
Clearbanc offers startups a fundraising alternative, and in just a few short years, it’s become a household name in Silicon Valley circles. The company disrupts the startup funding process by providing companies cash to buy ads in exchange for a revenue share so those companies aren’t forced to give up equity to venture capitalists.
2019 has been Clearbanc’s year. It was only natural to invite Romanow to join us onstage at Disrupt SF. Romanow will discuss the funding landscape for startups, Clearbanc’s plans to deploy billions of dollars, as well as a breakdown of when to raise equity cash versus non-dilutive capital. Alongside Brex CEO Henrique Dubugras, Romanow will also talk through serving startups as customers.
This year alone, the company, under Romanow’s lead, launched a campaign to back 2,000 businesses with $1 billion in non-dilutive capital by the end of 2019, raised $120 million across three different equity rounds and, just this week, announced a $250 million fund to continue backing startups through its rev-share model.
Romanow’s career took off as an angel investor on the Canadian version of Shark Tank, Dragons’ Den. Together with co-founder Andrew D’Souza, she started Clearbanc in 2015 with a goal of helping more founders maintain control of their company through larger equity stakes. In conversation with TechCrunch earlier this year, she and D’Souza explained that some 40% of VC dollars end up going to Facebook and Google for digital ad campaigns. That capital, they said, should be put into hiring and other scaling efforts.
“We are essentially a non-dilutive co-investor,” Romanow said. “VC takes time; it’s a lot of nos and you’re really giving up equity that you can never get back.”
“A lot of founders in the early days don’t calculate what their equity could be worth,” she added. “Like the first $250,000 in Uber is worth $1 billion now.”
Clearbanc, founded less than four years ago, has already put hundreds of millions of dollars in its pockets and, like Brex, has ambitions to support each and every startup out there. Brex and Clearbanc’s leaders will undoubtedly provide a conversation on the state of startups and fintech that can’t be missed.
Disrupt SF runs October 2-4 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Tickets are available here.