With the IPO market continuing to be unpredictable, we’re seeing a pretty good number of venture-backed start-up companies crossing the $100M revenue mark — and staying private. For years, this was the generally accepted figure for private technology and healthcare companies to reach before heading for the public markets. By then, these companies were known both for the products they made or services they delivered, as well as for who they were from a corporate perspective. Their executives were known by many of the general business reporters.
If the public markets, mergers, acquisitions or strategic investment from customers are on your horizon, you need to start thinking about how your tell your corporate story.
These start-up executives understood that before they began the process to go public, they needed to have some visibility with the financial institutions that invested in technology or healthcare start-ups. The last thing they (or the bankers) wanted was to go on their roadshow and meet with people who had no clue what they did, the size of their market, or how they compared with competitors. Telling the corporate story was essential before filing an S-1 or moving through the process, because once that S-1 was on file, initiating new marketing efforts could cause problems with the SEC.
This year, we’ve done projects for a handful of companies that are at that $100M revenue mark, have visibility with print and online trade publications, but aren’t yet known from a corporate perspective. We love these projects for a variety of reasons, but primarily we love them because these are companies have a great story to tell. They’re growing at a good clip, their leadership teams are executing well, they are thoughtful about what they’re doing and what they’ve learned along the way. And, they have an enviable list of customers.
More importantly, the media and influencers are interested in hearing about successful start-up companies that have reached the $100M milestone and meeting the people who are managing that growth.