In Clearbanc president Michele Romanow's view, regular banks are pretty clueless.
"Banks don't understand digital business," she said on the Glossy Podcast. "They understand if you're a restaurant with a pizza oven, and that if your business goes out of business, they can sell the pizza oven, as it has residual value."
But they're less likely to accurately value inventory or to understand that a strong customer acquisition strategy -- if a DTC company has gotten there -- is a valuable asset in itself.
Founded in 2015, Clearbanc provides funding for widespread companies -- each of which are typically bringing in at least $10,000 in monthly revenue -- for a flat fee. To date, it's invested $1 billion in more than 3,000 brands, including Public Goods, Nectar and Haus.
By the numbers, these companies are more diverse than the ones venture capital typically underwrites.
A year and half into the company's existence, "we had funded eight-times more women than the venture capital industry average, which I'm super proud of," Romanow said. "We've funded founders in all 50 states in America. In comparison, 80% of VC dollars last year went into four states in America: California, New York, Texas and Massachusetts."
The company has invested heavily in DTC -- "right now is an incredible time for the DTC world," Romanow said -- but also on SaaS.