Although the latest numbers for global venture funding show the market is still in an overall slump, companies that found themselves at the right funding stage or in the right sector saw some bright spots. Late-stage funding was up, and seed and early-stage funding was down. Meanwhile, there were huge deals in semiconductors, AI, electric vehicles and sustainability that provided the highlights of the third quarter.
While those blockbuster deals will always get the attention of the tech community, there are proven strategies that PR agencies can employ to build buzz and excitement around a funding round, regardless of the industry or stage.
Early Stage: Seed and Series A
For early-stage startups, getting a fast start matters. The goal is to get on the radar of journalists, future investors and potential partners and customers. A well-crafted press release, combined with a savvy strategy of media placements (which may include granting an exclusive to a particular reporter), is a great place to begin.
But with so many funding announcements happening every day, news that focuses only on the amount raised isn’t typically enough. Because early-stage companies are still building awareness and credibility, they should consider that initial funding announcement as an opening to tell the world about what makes them different in their respective markets, as well as to lay out the vision for each brand as it scales. Focus on macro-level trends and how your business fits into a particular industry sector. Be candid about the real problems you’re solving, and be ready to explain why your company is the one to solve them.
Middle Stage: Series B and C
Once a startup has gained traction and is announcing a Series B or C round, the strategy shifts to conveying scale and momentum. That is best reflected with a steady stream of news around product updates or new offerings, new hires, strategic partnerships, customer wins or other corporate news campaigns.
At this stage, securing coverage in business and financial outlets brings new audiences while promoting customer growth metrics and new product capabilities reinforces progress. Valuable third-party validation can come from partnering with analyst firms for reports and surveys, and briefings with influential industry journalists on future expansion will build anticipation.
Late Stage: Series D and Beyond
At this point, an exit, whether that’s an acquisition or an IPO, becomes ever more likely. Companies that get acquired tend to be the ones that very clearly solve a niche problem. It’s time to utilize the power of the media to make yourself visible to decision-makers at larger organizations.
PR for companies at this stage might take the form of profiles and features in prominent national publications. As executives talk to the media, there are two stories at work: one is positioning a startup for acquisition, and the other is keeping the company in the midst of a broader conversation about important issues.
Every startup is looking for some type of exit, and with the right PR strategies, companies can maximize visibility for any funding round. By building awareness and buzz over time, savvy communications can help turn unknown upstarts into sought-after investment opportunities.