Is the funding market for early-stage startups turning? It sure seems that way to us

Sep 13, 2023

Over the past 12 months, six of The Key’s earliest stage clients have announced Pre-Seed, Seed or Series A fundraising news - at a time when most reporters won’t write funding for funding’s sake. Making a real splash requires thoughtful narrative design, deep engagement with target media, and an understanding of industry and macro trends that make news relevant to key audiences.

We’ve had the privilege to work with a wide range of incredible founders (and their investors) on sharp strategy, story development, thoughtful media outreach and real consultation. Stories have ranged from enormous business pivots, to establishing a new model of homeownership, to transforming carbon emissions into fashion, and rebuilding B2B payments for modern SaaS companies.

If you’re a VC or startup with news, hit us up! We’re lean, mean and quick as hell. If you’re a lean team with more demand than you can manage, The Key is a perfect partner to round out GTM or Growth Marketing communications. We’ll help navigate inbound and proactive opportunities, partnerships and funding, product developments, and milestones to the best advantage.

Our network is strong; most work has been referred to us by current and former clients or colleagues, by VCs, or by reporters who’ve seen our impact firsthand. Investors see us as a smart spend, especially when a story is complex and the audiences vary.

We take our reputation and our referrals seriously. See what The Key can unlock for you.

Here are some examples of client coverage:

TechCrunch - Wicked Saints is making Pokémon GO for young activists
~ $3.5M in an oversubscribed seed round co-led by Riot Games and Oregon Venture Fund. They're the first company to emerge from Niantic, Inc.’s Black Developers Initiative

Axios - Patagonia, H&M back upstart manufacturer Rubi
~ $8.7M in seed funding, led by Talis Capital, alongside Patagonia’s Tin Shed Ventures, H&M Group, Collaborative Fund, and Necessary Ventures

TechCrunch - Nestment raises $3.5M to help friends and family buy homes together
~ $3.5M pre-Seed round led by Protofund and IDEA Fund Partners, with Concrete Rose Capital, VamosVentures, angels from Airbnb, The MBA Fund

Inc. - Scoop: feature business story and funding announcement
~ $8M in Series 1 funding led by Semil Shah at Haystack, with participation from Audacious Ventures, Activate Capital and G2 Venture Partners

- Orb, which helps B2B companies price their products, raises $19.1M
~ $19.1M Series A funding led by Menlo Ventures, following seed round led by Greylock

Axios - Vision benefits startup XP Health nabs $17M
~ $17M Series A led by HC9 Ventures, Valor Capital Group, and ManchesterStory, with investment from Canvas Ventures, Cameron Ventures, Core Innovation Capital, GSR Ventures, and Plug and Play Tech Center, as well as investors from Anthem, Inc., UnitedHealth Group, Oracle, Bessemer Venture Partners and General Atlantic

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