Category: Helio

Helio Highlights, Valentine’s Day Edition: Functional Chocolate ❤

Functional foods have been part of the food industry’s vocabulary for decades, but in the last several years we’ve seen a rise in the popularity of a specific type of delivery mechanism for these supplemental nutrients: chocolate. According to the USDA, functional foods are those that are “designed to have physiological benefits and/or reduce the ...

Helio Highlights: Customization

The ability to customize products is a growing trend across CPG categories. Using Helio, we are able to see CPG brands leaning into this trend by creating personalized products and heavily marketing them as such. According to Helio, the growth in brands that have described their products as customizable is 185%+ over the last 2 ...

Helio Highlights: The Future of Clean Beauty

In early-stage consumer, clean beauty is one of the most commonly discussed topics today. There are a lot of investors, strategics, and consumers interested in clean beauty. The past year has seen some high-profile investments and acquisitions in clean beauty, including CircleUp Growth Partners’ portfolio company, Kosas, which announced a Series B raise led by ...

Helio Highlights: Growth in Adaptogens

Adaptogens, non-toxic plants that are believed to alleviate stressors, have seen a rise within food, beverage and beauty products as consumers become increasingly aware of the benefits of natural wellness.  Above, we can see the growth trend in brands we found in Helio that use adaptogens in their products. As a result of the growth ...

Helio Highlights: Convergence of Food & Beauty

We are excited to introduce “Helio Highlights” – our new series of CPG insights from our proprietary data platform, Helio. As we find interesting data in Helio, we want to share some quick insights to benefit the broader CPG community of founders, investors and retailers. We hope you enjoy the series, share the content and ...

Defining Clean Beauty: Beyond the Branding

On the back label of beautifully packaged faces, behind the concealer of marketing jargon, what does clean beauty mean? Combing through the marketing jargon using CircleUp’s machine learning technology, Helio, we’ve identified the most common terms used to describe clean beauty products. Initially, we focused on the skincare sector for the purposes of narrowing in on ...

How Does Emerging CPG Perform in a Recession?

Ten years into a bull market and with news of an inverted yield curve, it is only natural for investors to ask about the performance of specific asset classes during a downturn. Below is the answer for the asset class we focus on – emerging consumer packaged goods (CPG). For context, CircleUp takes a data ...

Backtests in the Private Markets – A New Approach

“Backtest” and “private markets” are not often used in the same sentence. CircleUp is changing that by building the first ever systematic VC fund in the private markets and utilizing backtests to validate the approach. In short, this means that we rigorously test the investment strategy using historical data in a way that has never ...

The Helio Platform + Gartner’s Data Sophistication Journey

CircleUp’s primary asset is Helio, a collection of data and algorithms, on top of which there are business applications. Today those applications are equity and credit funds that invest directly into early-stage CPG brands. Helio finds, classifies, and evaluates CPG companies on a set of dimensions calibrated for success outcomes. Through years of facilitating investments, ...

Industry Classification – The Technical Challenge

Why is category classification important? Take a look at the products below and see if you can categorize them into specific sub-industries. This task is relatively simple for a human. Now imagine it is a task you need to perform frequently and instantaneously across 1.4 M companies. The human eye becomes insufficient. Enter CircleUp’s Industry ...