Firebrand is five. It has been our best year. We grew fast, driven by the increase in startup funding. We’ve been in the right place at an extraordinary time.
The unprecedented level of funding has defined this year. We’ve announced 18 deals, many of our clients have had two rounds, one has had three in nine months. It’s great to be part of that. Comms around funding are high stakes with high expectations, multiple parties involved, and far too much competition. These are the frontlines of startup PR at the moment.
After the funding, the real fun starts since there are revenue milestones to hit. To get there, you need brand awareness (increasingly for recruitment as much as customer preference), and you need demand gen. So we’ve seen our programs quickly escalate as that funding gets put to work. That’s been a good model for us whether launching companies from stealth or taking them through Series C and D. We had our first unicorn this year too (congrats Human Interest), and another acquisition as Nexient joined NTT Data.
We brought on some great talent this year, both in PR and digital marketing. I’m also proud of the fact that we had no staff churn – in fact, none for 18 months. So that says something about the camaraderie and work we do. It also says a lot about them, just an amazing group of people.
Thanks to the village
We spent the first half of this year hitting growing pains. The most obvious of those was the website which had a complete overhaul thanks to our friends at Brand Navigation. It’s a joy to work with people who think visually with a modern aesthetic. We also hit step-changes in functions like IT and recruitment where we now have stellar partners. Quick shout out to Stride, our accounting partners from day one, who continue to support us. Of course, thanks to our clients for their support, keeping us sane and adding some crazy at times too.
Amid all this year has wrought, we’re grateful to celebrate our fifth birthday. That’s partly down to judgment and hard work like everyone else, but also a decent slice of luck. So thank you.
Morgan McLintic is the founder of Firebrand. With over 25 years’ experience in the tech sector, he advises clients about their marketing and PR strategy. Prior to Firebrand, he was the founder of digital communications agency, LEWIS in the US, growing it to 250 staff and $35m revenue.