A startup that raises a seed round, nine years after its inception? Sounds fishy, but in the case of pr.co, I assure you – it’s not. The Amsterdam-based PR software ‘startup’ that helps companies craft and distribute press releases, raised a seed round of €400.000 from an entrepreneurial group of angels and Woodwing Ventures.
The Next Web
It all began in 2008 at The Next Web Labs, the incubator at The Next Web, known for the Amsterdam-based tech conference and blog. Stefan Borsje (later involved in Karma) and Marc Köhlbrugge (now founder of Betalist) launched Pressdoc, an easy online tool for publishing social media releases. As both founders ventured off in different directions, TNW took the helm in 2013 and rebranded the startup to pr.co to make it a more integrated PR tool.
After TNW ran the startup internally for a while, it has grown into a stand-alone company with Stefan Fountain acting as CEO. Patrick de Laive, co-founder of TNW, still resides as (one of) pr.co’s board member. In the past,pr.co has been the default PR tool for many startups (VANMOOF, WeTransfer, Treatwell) and now with this investment, it’ll be launching a completely new suite of products aimed at to automate workflow for larger companies. Furthermore, pr.co, with the help of IBM Watson, has been working on artificial intelligence to craft better releases.
Brian Reaves, lead angel investor, states: “We invested in pr.co for the unique capabilities in solving the problem of managing communication workflows with a scalable platform, an experienced management team, and happy customers with growing revenues in an enormous global market. Literally, any company needing to market itself can use pr.co to finely tune their message to the correct audience, automate workflows and improve overall communication efficiency.”
Add talent, grow team
The investment will be used to add talent to both the product and growth teams in Amsterdam, expand the sales team into Europe, and drive innovation of the product supported by the acquisition of IP from a Techstars machine learning startup. Recently pr.co rebranded their homepage and will continue to further develop their product line and are planning to announce new products shortly. With the investment also comes new management in addition to the existing team – consisting of Stefan Fountain (CEO) and Jeroen Bos (CPO) – as the company has added Gilberto Arredondo as Chief Commercial Officer (CCO).
Although the company may be a nine year old startup, I have always been impressed by the sheer easy of use of the tool. I was one of their beta testers back in ’08, and although I am not a current user, I’d still recommend it. Glad to see the company is now really a full-grown startup, ready for scale.
Of course: it was announced through a pr.co release, have a look.