Independent marketing and public relations platform just raised $ 1.9 million

  • Publicist, an independent public relations platform, has raised $ 1.9 million in seed funding.
  • Brands and agencies use Publicist to hire freelancers for projects.
  • Its investors include venture capitalists like AltaIR Capital and marketing directors like LinkedIn vet Shannon Brayton.

Independent platform Publicist has raised $ 1.9 million in seed funding to capitalize on the big resignation hitting the public relations and marketing industries.

Publicist was launched in 2020 as a platform where PR agencies and clients of brands like Amazon could hire independent experts in 350 different skills, including crisis communication, investor relations and marketing. by email. Publicist currently has 5,000 freelancers on its platform, said Lara Vandenberg, CEO and founder of Publicist.

While the ten-person publicist previously raised $ 600,000 in pre-seed funding, he needed additional capital to double in size over the next six months by hiring more engineering, sales and engineering staff. marketing, said Vandenberg. By next year, Publicist intends to launch into the UK and other European countries, and create workflow tools capable of handling administrative tasks such as drafting contracts and invoicing. client.

The company will also use the funds to evolve its other products, including its corporate activities. This service is aimed at agencies and brands that hire more than 10 freelancers per year and offers solutions specifically for heavy users such as customizable payment options or the possibility of adding several seats on the same account.

The company has raised funds from venture capitalists – including AltaIR Capital, Artesia, Great Oaks and UpLyft – and marketing heavyweights like Shannon Brayton, former CMO of LinkedIn, and Margit Wennmacher, who heads marketing and public relations at Andreessen Horowitz.

Publicist activity was boosted by the pandemic: When COVID shut down the U.S. economy, agencies laid off staff due to budget cuts. Then, employees quit en masse in frustration with burnout and a desire for more flexibility, flooding the labor market with talent.

Now that the economy is reopening, companies are looking for talent and scrambling to hire freelancers.

Vandenberg said Publicist is unique because it connects brands with marketers and PRs instead of generalists. Yet his company faces larger and better funded competitors like the independent platform Upwork, which checked in $ 373.6 million in annual revenue in 2020 and the hiring of software company Workable, which has raised $ 84.2 million, according to Crunchbase.

The key for Publicist to gain more clients is to show that its platform has better workflow features and hosts better PR and marketing specific talent.

“Companies wanted verticalized procurement platforms in nursing, accounting and engineering, and now marketing and communications, which is ripe for a platform like this. “said Vandenberg.

Publicist also faces a chicken-and-egg problem in that it needs to onboard more clients so that freelancers have the opportunity to find work, but it also needs more freelancers on its platform. that clients can hire.

Vandenberg has refused to publicly disclose the company’s revenue and valuation since Publicist is a little over a year old, although the company makes money by taking a commission on projects and charging a fee. license to client companies.

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