SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Oct. 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- CircleUp, an investment platform powered by technology on a mission to help entrepreneurs thrive, today announced that Nick Talwar has been appointed Chief Executive Officer. Co-founder Ryan Caldbeck, CEO since the company was established in 2012, will become Executive Chairman.
Talwar joined the company as President in July with a 20-year career as an operator and investor at the intersection of technology and financial services. Prior to CircleUp, Talwar was most recently a partner at Apis Partners, a growth equity investor in technology-focused financial services companies. As an operator and executive, he has leveraged data to scale businesses. At Uber, Talwar served as the Global Head of Vehicle Supply, a division that was responsible for providing capital to millions of individuals in over 40 countries to enable driver access to vehicles. At Amazon, he was the company executive responsible for building and leading the global lending business unit, leveraging Amazon's data to serve businesses in ways the traditional financial services industry can't. Talwar also led Visa's credit card business in North America where he built the Visa Infinite platform for the U.S. and spent several years at Citi, with his last role as Country Manager for Citibank in Sweden, a digital bank in the market.
"I am honored to have the opportunity to lead this organization into its next phase of growth," said Talwar, President and CEO, CircleUp. "I'm grateful for the company Ryan, Rory and the team created, one based on remarkable technology, successful businesses built on top of that technology, and a work culture where innovation thrives. We have an exciting roadmap ahead and I'm inspired by our potential for growth and impact."
CircleUp has developed Helio, a knowledge graph of the consumer landscape, to power data-driven decision-making for its own investing strategies as well as for other industry players. Since its launch in 2017, the company's investment vehicles have achieved robust performance by harnessing Helio to identify, evaluate, and invest in emerging brands. CircleUp Growth Partners, its $125M venture fund, is marked as a top quartile fund, and the credit division continues to scale while delivering strong returns with losses consistently in the low single digits. Using Helio, CircleUp is leveling the playing field for entrepreneurs by building conviction in brands throughout North America based on objective data alone: Of our portfolio companies who participated in a self-reported survey, over 50% have a female founder and nearly 35% are founded by a person of color.
CircleUp has been named one of the Top 5 Most Disruptive companies in Finance by CNBC, one of the Fintech 50 by Forbes, and one of the World's Most Innovative Companies in Data Science by Fast Company. Most recently, CircleUp was selected as the Top Small Business Lending Platform for 2020 by the Lendit Fintech Industry Awards.
"I am incredibly proud of what CircleUp is today and confident in the road ahead," said Ryan Caldbeck, Founder and Executive Chairman, CircleUp. "The team has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs to thrive, by giving them the capital and resources they need. We've worked with some of the most iconic consumer brands of the past decade while building a technology that will transform private investing. Last year, I decided that now is the right time for me to transition the CEO role to a new leader. We've brought on world class investors who will support the company through our next phase of growth and, with the board, I am very excited to collaborate with Nick going forward."
CircleUp harnesses the power of data to provide capital and resources to emerging consumer brands. Through Helio, the company's technology platform that identifies, classifies, and evaluates consumer and retail companies, CircleUp has built the world's most robust repository of CPG and retail intelligence and takes a quantitative approach to investing in promising entrepreneurs. CircleUp has been named one of the Top 5 Most Disruptive companies in Finance by CNBC, one of the Fintech 50 by Forbes, and one of the World's Most Innovative Companies in Data Science by Fast Company. Founded in 2012, CircleUp is headquartered in San Francisco and backed by Union Square Ventures, GV, Canaan Partners, QED Advisors, and others.