Meltwater lists on a Swedish stock exchange; startup Propel hits 50 customers; Vetted launches – it’s like HARO or ProfNet with no pitching
Welcome to 2021!
For the last couple years, I’ve been curating news from the PR technology community into a monthly summary I call the PR Tech Sum.
If you took some time off and shut off the screens for a while, this is the first PR Tech Sum for the year and will get you caught up on some interesting developments.
1. Meltwater quietly goes public
Meltwater went public on a Swedish stock exchange last month (Euronext Growth Oslo: MWTR). The If my exchange conversion math is right, the company raised about $400 million and had a market capitalization of roughly $1.4 billion on its second day of trading.
The stock price at debut was approximately $5.30. As I write this piece, it’s currently trading at about $6.50 per share.
Going public gives us access to its historical financials, which I’ve long wondered about. The company took in just shy of $40 million in revenue for the year ending 2019 – with a loss of $6 million according to PitchBook, which does the conversion math automatically.
Oddly, the company did not issue a press release, or at least not one I could find, which is a reminder that PR tech companies are tech companies and not PR companies.
- Jørn Lyseggen founded Meltwater “in shack number 15 on Tjuvholmen, Oslo in 2001.”
- It’s “algorithms analyze 500 million documents” and “12 trillion searches every day.”
- The company serves “28,000 customers” around the world.
The event for the company’s public debut was held virtually, which was par for the course in 2020.
Separately, Meltwater appointed John Box as the new CEO in November 2020. Box has been with the company for the last 14 years and “most recently served as Executive Director, Asia Pacific, and Global Head of Meltwater Social working out of the Company’s office in New York,” according to an announcement.
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2. Propel hits 50 customers in 2020
The Israeli PR tech startup Propel emailed a press release at the year’s end claiming a banner year. It says it reach 50 customers in 2020 and named a few including The Daily Mail, marketing-holdings company W2O, Google and Textron.
The company launched new products and features over the last twelve months. These include a media database, online and broadcast monitoring, and “PitchPrefer” a feature that analyzes pitching preferences with AI.
Propel also recruited Dave McGrath, who previously worked for Cision and was based in London, to lead sales – and says it achieved 403% growth in ARR. However, the company declined to provide specific dollar figures, so it’s hard to tell if it’s truly impressive or not.
In an email, co-founder and CEO Zach Cutler said he ran a specialized PR firm for nine years before selling it to focus on building Propel. “Our specialty was working with tech startups and helping them grow in the US market, particularly Israeli tech startups,” he wrote.
The press release says Propel has raised $1.2 million in venture capital.
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3. “Vetted” is like HARO or ProfNet with no pitching
Jon Amar is positioning his new company, Vetted, as a “passive PR platform.” It works something like a blend of HARO or ProNet, but it doesn’t “allow pitching and never share[s] journalist or expert contact info” he said in an email.
Instead, experts can sign up, go through a validation process fielded by Vetted, and then wait for media to contact them for interviews. The idea for the company, according to a video supporting its roll-out, stems in part from averting fake news: Vetted verifies the contacts in its listing are truly experts, so reporters can contact them with confidence.
While it’s free to join as an expert, the company makes money by charging the expert a fee – ranging between $300 and $600. You are charged when and if you are mentioned in an article that was facilitated through their platform.
4. PR tech mentions
- Cision gets new sales chief. Cision appointed Tim Moylan as Chief Revenue Officer. He joins from C3.ai where he was the GM for AsiaPac – and previously served as President of Americas for Micro Focus, which is famous for its development in COBOL and mainframes.
- Customer networking. Muck Rack launched a customer community after running a pilot program to provide “opportunities to learn, network and collaborate.”
5) Articles, blog posts and content picks
- Social Chorus offers ideas for managing a hybrid workforce – for internal communicators – highlighting accessibility to a “digital workspace” from anywhere.
- Universal Information Services compares year-over-year coverage for the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting, two NCAA tournaments, the USA Swim Trials and big name concerts (which saw coverage declined precipitously in the pandemic).
- Signal AI assesses the biggest stories of 2020 with its product. There’s an interesting graphic looking at sentiment for three of the big vaccine makers: Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Moderna.
- Burrelles says podcasts grew during the pandemic, rather than decline as some had predicted because people consume more media when they’re isolated at home.
- Muck Rack curated a predictions post that included top challenges PR people faced last year. Check it out and see if you agree.
- Michelle Garrett rounds up digital marketing advice for 2021.
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Do you work for a company that develops PR technology or PR software for the public relations profession? Here’s how to get a mention.
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