Celebrities

A startup has raised $7 million from investors in Uber, Robinhood, and The Trade Desk to improve the way public relations is measured

  • Memo, a startup that helps measure public relations work, has raised $7 million in seed funding.
  • Susa Ventures and MHS Capital led the funding round.
  • Memo plans to use the proceeds to more than double its headcount to about 50.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Memo, a public relations software company, has raised $7 million in seed funding to help take on the likes of Cision, the world’s largest PR tech vendor.

Founded in 2018 by Eddie Kim, Memo says it can show exactly how many people have read an article and how they read it, through exclusive agreements with publishers like Condé Nast, Forbes, and The Washington Post. It claims its approach is more accurate than other PR software companies that rely on third-party data. Its clients include Google, Samsung, and Walmart.

Kim, also Memo’s CEO, said he would use the funding to more than double the headcount to about 50 people, and hire a head of marketing. He declined to disclose Memo’s annual revenue, valuation, or the stake the company sold.

The funding was led by MHS Capital and includes Susa Ventures, an original Robinhood investor.

Other investors included LightShed Ventures and Founder Collective, which invested in The Trade Desk, Uber, and Coupang. The round also included individual investors like Jonah Goodhart, founder and former CEO of Moat; Matt Minoff, the former chief digital officer at Meredith; and Evan Giamanco, SVP of sales operations and strategy at Warner Media.

Rich Greenfield, general partner of LightShed, said Memo piqued his interest with its metric called “earned media value,” which claims to calculate the dollar value of an article based on how many people read it by comparing how much it would cost a brand to get the same amount of attention with paid media, like an ad or sponsored content.

“Earned media is a massive market, but the challenge for brands has been quantifying it,” Greenfield said. “Memo has established a completely new measurement standard for earned media that is rapidly gaining industry momentum.”

Kim said this metric differentiates his company from advertising value equivalency, an outdated metric that tries to quantify an article’s value by comparing the average cost of a display ad with a publication’s circulation. This metric says how many people potentially read a story, not how many actually read it; in 2017, a UK PR trade organization banned its use.

Memo’s seed round coincides with rising investor interest in the PR industry from private equity firms and other financiers. The influx of capital has intensified competition and consolidation. For example, Cision sold itself to Platinum Equity for $2.7 billion and acquired social listening company Brandwatch for $450 million.

Exclusive FREE Report: Brand Investment in eSports by Insider Intelligence

Source: Read Full Article