November 16, 2023
Announcing a funding round is a big deal. It signals your company is positioned for the future and increases your brand visibility to potential customers.
When releasing how much your company has raised, you want to control the narrative as much as possible. You know your business best and want this content to stand out amongst competitors.
Today, we’ll walk through:
1. When to start timing your announcement
2. How to structure your funding announcement
3. Which documents to share with investors and press
4. How to amplify the news to receive proper impact
Lead time is important. The most successful funding PR efforts have one thing in common: They give reporters ample time to write the story.
You or your PR firm should start pitching the funding announcement preferably two weeks out from the date you want to launch. You should also give your investors a heads-up at least two weeks out as well. They’re your biggest fans and will help echo the message.
If you’re offering a publication an exclusive, be sure to highlight that message in either the subject line or your introductory note — it’s important the journalist knows. This article sheds light on proper outreach to reporters if you need it.
TIP: Don’t clutter your funding article with other announcements. Create a press release timeline so your company consistently has new stories. A proper press cadence after can help grow the brand and attract potential customers.
Your press release is what the reporter will use to write their story. Most reporters will never publish anything word for word, so you need to be clear about what should be in the article.
Answer the following questions within your press release to provide the reporter with ample information and a stand-out piece:
1. What is the company? Why is it unique? Can you break down your mission, tagline, and pitch?
2. How much did your company raise? What stage of funding is this?
3. Who has invested in this company previously? How much has your company raised to date?
4. Who participated in the round? Who led? Is anyone joining the board?
5. Can you get a quote from the investors? This quote could include the executive team’s capabilities, why the company is exciting, or momentum in the market. In rounds with multiple investors, the lead investor is given priority.
6. What will you use the funds for?
7. What is the founder’s story, and why are you the one meant to build this? The founder should have a quote in the article as well to explain why their business is unique compared to others.
8. Can you highlight any impressive growth metrics? (Never feel a need to share them if you don’t feel comfortable)
9. Any notable execs or team members working on the company with you?
10. Will you be hiring?
11. Why is this important? What does it mean for the industry at large?
Tip: Lead with the hard news first (funding, launch, major partnership, benchmark reached, early traction, etc.). It’s also smart to highlight this information so it’s noticed throughout the article.
It’s now time to produce a media kit. This is important because: 1) it allows others to spread the word about your announcement, 2) it provides them the information they need to form long-form content, 3) it makes you look good and VCs will love you for it!
What the media kit should include:
1) The press release you are providing to the exclusive publisher/reporter. This allows us to pull information for the announcements we craft.
2) High-resolution multimedia assets such as logos, product photos, founder headshots, and any hero images.
3) Any videos or extras (for example: graphs, videos of the factory where your product is produced, processes, etc.).
It’s one thing to announce your funding round, it’s another to ensure it’s getting the recognition it deserves. Done the right way, a funding announcement can lead to customer conversions, partnerships, and future investors. So here are some pointers to ensure you, your investors, and the press are amplifying the news to the best of their abilities:
1. Ensure all investors and founding team members have social posts ready to launch on Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms. Even pushing your general team to share is a good idea — they should be proud employees!
2. Write your own blog post as well and post it on your company site, LinkedIn, and Medium. This allows you to frame the news and control the narrative.
3. Ask the publication and/or reporter to include the news in their newsletter or roundup. All of them have newsletters that seriously help amplify the message.
4. Remind your PR agency to keep spreading the news after the embargo lifts. There are many VC and startup newsletters they can reach out to, such as StrictlyVC, VentureBeat, and Crunchbase just to name a few.
5. Try putting a small amount ($500) of paid media behind your announcement to “boost” it on Facebook. You can do this in a certain geo area if your startup is only known in that state.
6. The news may come out one day, but that doesn’t mean it ends on that day. This is a great time to organize speaking opportunities on panels and use the press release as social proof and leverage.
7. If you haven’t already, start an affiliate program on Pepperjam or Impact Radius. Huge media publishers (Conde Nast, Buzzfeed, Skim links, Business Insider, Vogue, etc.) are always searching for new companies to highlight in their content. All they get is a small commission if someone purchases your product through their article (low acquisition cost and high press impact).
Having PR professionals at your service is helpful, but for many early-stage companies, it’s not viable monetarily. Let your lead VC fund know you need help, as many times they can provide a resource to get the word out.
One of the most effective ways to magnify your brand is through a funding announcement. After helping many of our portfolio companies understand this process, we hope this article guides you toward success.
To keep up with the latest from Alpaca, connect with us on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn @alpacavc, subscribe to our bi-weekly newsletter The Rundown here, or by reaching out directly to [email protected].
Alpaca VC Investment Management LLC is a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission-registered investment adviser. Alpaca VC Investment Management LLC is committed to diversity and inclusion in the workplace. We prohibit discrimination and harassment of any kind based on race, color, sex, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, genetic information, pregnancy, or any other protected characteristic as outlined by federal, state, or local laws.