Clarence Bethea



370 Wabasha St N
St. Paul, MN, 55102




In the Twin Cities startup community, Clarence Bethea stands out, and he’s quick to address the issue. “People invest in people who look like them. Venture capitalists are mostly white guys. I definitely don’t look like them.” But that hasn’t stopped Bethea from raising $8.5 million for Upsie, an independent online warranty service for electronic devices. While growing his own four-year-old St. Paul-based business, Bethea has become a tireless mentor and role model to other black founders. “If I was a white guy in Silicon Valley, I’d have a lot more money,” he says matter-of-factly. “The vision [for Upsie] is big.” U.S. consumers spend $47 billion on warranties each year, and Bethea believes that with Upsie’s independent, consumer focus, it can capture a sizeable share of that from retailers and manufacturers.