Announcing The Launch of Helio

  1. Distribution — the revenue engine for consumer businesses. We measure it to assess breadth, meaning total points of distribution, as well as quality of distribution, because not all points of distribution are created equal. For example, Sephora is weighted more than Kohls.
  2. Product quality — the essence of brand starts with product. This model assesses differentiation and quality of a product based on its ingredients, nutritional profile, packaging & form factor and product attributes. As evidenced by recent exits and Helio data, uniqueness is necessary — but not sufficient — for an exit.
  3. Brand — great brands tend to carry both a strong value proposition and a perception of differentiation in the eyes of the consumer. We combine analyses of brand engagement, sentiment, the size of engagement and its rate of growth to assess brand equity.
  4. Management Team — a concept is only as good as the entrepreneur driving it. We assess team strength on a number of factors, including relevance of professional experience, length of work history and strength of an entrepreneur’s network.
  5. Financial Performance — our revenue estimator discerns the stage of a company by estimating revenue and revenue growth — all from afar, without a company ever disclosing finances. Today, this model gets within about 20% of the actual revenue, and improves each day as we collect more data. Effectively, it deciphers the stage of a company, as a $5 million brand isn’t significantly different from $4 million or $6 million.
  • Supergoop! is a sunscreen brand available nationally throughout Sephora, that Helio surfaced due to its quickly growing brand, great distribution and estimated revenue growth. We presented Supergoop! to institutional investors, and shortly after, they raised $3.25 million.
  • REBBL is a line of coconut-milk based beverages made with super herbs known to reduce stress. Aside from being one of the fastest growing products in its category, REBBL donates 2.5% of net sales to initiatives helping eradicate human trafficking. Helio spotted REBBL early and qualified it for investors, showing its compelling brand, team and distribution metrics. Today, REBBL’s lead investors include Powerplant Ventures, led by the ZICO coconut water founder, and Boulder Investment Group Reprise.
  • nutpods plays in the crowded plant-based, dairy alternative category. Helio spotted nutpods for its remarkable product reviews, strong early growth and overall brand, despite it having less than $50,000 in annual sales at the time. After, nutpods got investments from Stray Dog Capital and Melissa Hartwig, founder and CEO of Whole 30, and today is rated #1 on Amazon in its category.
  • Tio Gazpacho is a quickly growing brand in the relatively new category of bottled soups, or more broadly, drinkable meals. Tio Gazpacho was founded in Florida, a place without a robust VC community, but Helio still spotted it, and surfaced it to General Mills, which now is its lead investor.



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Ryan Caldbeck

Ryan Caldbeck

Founder and Executive Chairman @CircleUp. Follow me on Twitter @ryan_caldbeck