How do you write the perfect seed or Series A funding announcement? It’s a big moment. Your seed or Series A announcement is a huge opportunity to send a clear message to the world about your company and where it’s headed. Getting it right matters.
Raising funding says a lot about your startup. It’s a signal of confidence in you, your team, your product, service, or new technology. It’s an incredibly hard task for seed and Series A stage companies to raise money. Unfortunately, it’s only getting harder in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. Which makes seed or Series A announcements all the more impressive, when done right.
Many startups may not realise that raising seed or Series A funding is a crucial moment in shaping perceptions around your company. The official announcement of seed or Series A funding is a big opportunity to frame and contextualise your startup, allowing you to shape people’s perception of what your brand stands for and what your company does. In other words, it’s your chance to begin your media narrative. Let people know you are now an active competitor in the market. Make a declaration about your company’s next steps to further ambition and growth.
What does the media narrative look like for a seed or Series A stage startup?
Airbnb – a case study:
We’re all familiar with the startup success stories of Airbnb or Uber, but few of us remember their seed or Series A round announcement. In Airbnb’s case, in 2010, their $7.2m Series A announcement attracted top tier coverage in the likes of Reuters, The Wall Street Journal, Venture Beat, Yahoo but, like most major announcements of this type, they only got a paragraph or two to ‘begin their narrative’ or in their case, a growth narrative. The Reuters piece on Airbnb cited the number of listings on the website, the number of cities where the listings existed, and the number of countries where they are active. It very successfully demonstrated the size, scale and growth potential of the company.
Seizing the opportunity to share your startup’s core messaging
Another notable aspect of their announcement was the clear core messaging. Airbnb took the opportunity to highlight new features such as ‘Find a place tonight’ and the launch of their iPhone app. They also included quirky, consumer-focused facts to generate curiosity: “Airbnb says it’s now used to rent out much more, including castles and sailboats”.
While the short announcement doesn’t give Airbnb the opportunity to go into these aspects in detail, it still packed enough information to build up their ‘growth narrative’.
Seed or Series A Announcements provide an opportunity to build credibility
Aside from the sizable investment of $7.2m in funding for Airbnb, the release also highlighted the startup’s new investors. Namely, Sequoia and Greylock Partners, both very respected and well known VCs, and its recent involvement with YCombinator. This added significant credibility to the announcement and made life easier for journalists who likely needed no extra research to validate who the investors were. Journalists operate in a time-sensitive environment, so making their life easier likely helped the announcement gain greater press coverage.
While the announcement was short, the company achieved three things:
- Amplified the buzz around the company,
- Solidified the credibility of the company and its concept
- Opened the door to speak about the company’s next steps – its ‘growth narrative’.
Every company should strive to do this with their own announcements. Airbnb’s Series A announcement was a big success, and media hype soon formed around their new concept. This interview with Kara Swisher, a Silicon Valley tech icon and journalist, is one such example. A strong and well-planned announcement, even if short, could land you with similar opportunities.
Your seed or Series A announcement is your chance to lay the foundation of your narrative. Carpe Diem when it comes, but be sure you get your PR messaging right. You will amplify your success!
Questions about writing your seed or Series A announcement?
If you have any questions around writing or how best to release your seed or Series A announcement, drop me an email over at firstname.lastname@example.org. We work with more than 50+ clients across the global tech sector including scaleups and startups in Fintech, Healthtech, Remote working, Edtech, Saas, Proptech, Greentech, Procurement, Wellbeing, and others.
Managing Director at ClearStory International
James McCann is CEO of ClearStory International, a Dublin based international tech PR agency working exclusively with early-stage startups from around the world. Before establishing ClearStory, James was a former PR Campaign Manager with Web Summit, responsible for attracting top tier media to the company’s events across Dublin, Lisbon, Bangalore and Hong Kong. He currently lectures on Digital PR to final year students at the Institute of Art, Design & Technology, Dun Laoghaire, Dublin.