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Clear

At Spark, we typically make early stage investments. That means before the product has been built and/or pre-revenue. Most of the time we are the first VC investors in a company. And in these investments we will invest between seed investments of $250k up to $5M-ish. Initially.

But we also keep some dry powder in our funds for larger, later stage investments as well. In this area we like to see a company that is executing their plan and where we can help the company step on the gas and scale the growing business.

This latter scenario is behind our latest investment at Verified Identity Pass which operates Clear. My partner Dennis led our investment in the company.

Clear is targeted at business travelers or frequent flyers. As a Clear member you won’t have to wait in airport security lines. For those of us that travel a ton that is a huge deal. That’s because Clear has an agreement with 18 U.S. airports and with the TSA.

Here’s how it works:

There is a 2-step enrollment process. First step is online and the second step is at the airport. Applicants create an online account and fill in basic bio info. Then you goto a Clear enrollment center (typically an airport for now) and bring 2 forms of government issued ID (passport and drivers license). Give them your fingerprints and they will also take your iris image. The annual fee is $128.

Once you are a Clear member you can sail through the airport security line. In some airports, Clear has their own specific lanes and in other airports the Clear customer service agents will help you with the bins and help you get thru the checkpoint. And wait there is more :). They will also help you gather your things after the checkpoint.

It’s a beautiful thing.

Clear is also offering more features for their subscribers in new markets.

But for me it’s all about getting through the lines at the airport.