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Bread and Butter Ventures

Upsie CEO Clarence Bethea to Step Down

Upsie Founder Clarence Bethea is stepping down as CEO, paving the way for current CTO Will Anderson to take the position. The transition was announced in a Twin Cities Business article on March 4. Bethea will remain with the company in an executive chairman capacity.

Bethea explained his move from CEO as a matter of where he derives personal joy and energy, saying he’s, “the guy who gets the startup from zero to one.”

Upsie’s most recent funding news came in the form of an $18.2 million Series A that featured a long list of investors including local firms Matchstick Ventures and Bread & Butter Ventures.

Bethea founded Upsie in 2015 with a goal of shaking the product insurance world up. With a direct-to-consumer model, the company boasts up to 70 percent savings compared to in-store plans.

Bethea, who moved to Dallas last fall (Upsie HQ remains in St. Paul), has also been outspoken about the racial inequities Black individuals — entrepreneurs or not — face in Minnesota.

“We just can’t seem to get past this,” Bethea said on The Podcast. “[The Derek Chauvin sentencing] gets done, and literally while the trial is happening, another Black man gets killed. For me personally, nothing changes. I still leave the house in fear. My wife says every time before I leave the house, ‘You be careful. Don’t drive fast. Don’t make certain turns. Don’t be Black.’”

You can listen to the full interview below.

Alex Skjong
Alex oversees the content produced for BETA, Twin Cities Startup Week, and When he’s not writing or editing, there’s a good chance he’s enjoying a refreshing brew and explaining the merits of heavy metal (of which there are many).