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  • RJ Bardsley

Venture Capital is Betting Big On Early Stage Startups Again – What Does this Mean for the Comms Ind

Updated: Mar 19, 2022

By RJ Bardsley

We’ve seen a lot written recently about how the turmoil of the last two years has shifted everything from management structures to product development to ad campaigns. But one thing that may be a little surprising, is the giant shift in #venturecapital funding – away from the C-round unicorns of a few years ago to early stage #startups. According to the @WallStreetJournal, investors pumped a record $93 billion into early-stage companies in 2021, up from $52 Billion in 2020. If you are a #comms exec in the #tech industry or you work at a #techPR agency, this has a huge impact on your business. The good news – In my experience, early-stage startups are focused on shaking up the industry. They will have exciting new ideas that challenge conventional tech conversations in the media, social channels and among analysts. Startups are often budget conscious, and this forces agencies to think creatively and get innovative in campaigns and programs. The net/net: if you’re working with a lot of early-stagers look forward to more exciting stories and cool innovative ways of #storytelling. The challenges – Even though the median valuation for a seed/early-stage company funded in 2021 is $26 million (according to the WSJ), they are still probably going to conserve cash for hiring, product development and sales. Marketing is definitely a priority for early-stagers but comms budgets are usually smaller and the focus on customer acquisition is usually the priority. The other challenge is that these companies are usually just building out their marketing teams; they don’t have the iron-clad processes and systems that larger companies do. This sometimes means an agency takes on a lot of responsibilities typically held internally – while this is challenging, it can also be incredibly interesting and rewarding. The bottom line is that a renewed focus on early-stage startups means a lot of new, dynamic ideas for our industry. 2022 should be a year where agencies look at how to do things differently, create value in new ways and explore new narratives in tech. Happy New Year! #Tech #PR #Comms #Resolutions Wireside Communications

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