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Jan 27, 2017

In the past two years, crowd investing firm CircleUp has morphed from solely a platform for investors to fund innovative, early-stage consumer brands into one that is also an investor itself. Last week the podcast team visited CircleUp’s San Francisco office to speak with Ben Lee, the managing director of CircleUp Funds, the company’s investment arm. We sat down with him to discuss the ways in which CircleUp aims to support early-stage fundraising for beverage entrepreneurs. Lee, who has overseen evaluation of thousands of early-stage consumer product companies, was previously the company’s director of business development. From that perspective, he talked about what trends in beverage are proving especially important to investors, and why CircleUp’s purview has increased so that it no longer describes itself as a “crowdfunding” platform.