Before COVID, Marissa and Adam Goldstein started a small business selling artisan handmade backpacks crafted by Vietnamese workers. When nobody was buying travel gear at the onset of the pandemic, they pivoted and posted a Facebook selfie with one of their improvised artisan handmade face masks. By the next morning, they had $25,000 in orders to their digital storefront.
In the heart of COVID shutdowns, Stephanie Summerson Hall was eager to find wholesale buyers for her unique colored glass cake stands and stemware. With outlets closed, she instead pushed her business online — and orders for Estelle Colored Glass items started to soar.
Even in the teeth of one of the roughest financial landscapes in history, businesses are still starting, and even thriving. But when you’re an entrepreneur who happens to catch lightning in a bottle, you face some huge questions — like how to grow quickly and keep up with demand.
For some companies seeing explosive growth, it might be inviting to consider selling equity, an actual portion of the business, to a venture capitalist or even a traditional bank for the short-term cash to fund that expansion. Of course, that can mean losing some, or in some cases, all control over the direction of that business going forward. Equity financing can be a lifeline — or a disastrous deal with the devil.
Clearco is the investing alternative
Clearco is a founder-friendly capital investment option that makes sure all the sweat equity that went into building a new company isn’t lost in the name of growth.
Clearco actually started in 2015 as an outgrowth of Dragons’ Den, the Canadian Broadcasting Company’s answer to the smash U.S. show Shark Tank. But in appropriately Canadian style, Clearco isn’t about entrepreneurs buying into a good business idea and owning a stake in its future. Instead, it’s about offering short-term financial backing to those upstart businesses, but without owners giving up even 1 percent of their ownership stake.
Rather than jumping through the massive number of hoops needed to secure a bank loan, business owners only have to go to the Clearco website and do a quick funding estimate. Users put their business details in the Clearco calculator, connect the required business accounts, and find out how much funding that business qualifies for in less than 60 seconds.
If the company has made at least $10,000 a month in revenue for at least six months, they’re a prime candidate, eligible for up to $10 million in marketing capital within 24 hours, all without giving up any ownership position. They’ll even buy up to $1 million in inventory right from a business’ supplier, helping the company avoid those costs and free up cash for other uses. Owners can choose from three different funding offers depending on how much they need, from $10,000 up to the full $10 million.
The way to grow a business without losing a business
Clearco doesn’t require any collateral or personal guarantees, and the investments are all interest-free. Firms settle on repayment through a simple revenue-sharing agreement, with a small flat fee going for Clearco. Companies choose exactly what percent of their sales they share to repay the money — and Clearco will only get paid when the company brings in revenue.
So far, over 5,500 founders in seven countries have enlisted Clearco, infusing over $2 billion into those growing operations. And while they aren’t looking to brag, Clearco funds women-led businesses at a rate eight times that of a traditional VC firm.
For companies assessing their options, a quick connection with Clearco’s easy-to-use calculator makes it easy to find out exactly how much capital can be accessed almost immediately.
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