By Riley Kaminer and Nancy Dahlberg
If you’ve ever tried to find or learn more about a journalist, chances are that you stumbled upon Muck Rack: a 21st century, communal Rolodex for the media industry.
The New York-turned-Miami startup, which is fully distributed, has just announced that it has secured a $180 million Series A from Susquehanna Growth Equity.
The investor’s managing directors Josh Elser and Scott Feldman will join the startup’s board as part of the arrangement. Also through the minority investment, co-founders Greg Galant and Lee Semel and some other early employees will be able to liquidate a portion of their holdings.
The startup has developed a digital platform that helps facilitate connections between journalists and public relations professionals. It is now much more than just a journalist database, featuring tools such as media monitoring, reporting and analytics. Since being founded in 2009, Muck Rack has been bootstrapped.
“Every PR professional should be using Muck Rack,” commented Elser. “We believe there is tremendous opportunity for Muck Rack to be the dominant global PR platform, and we look forward to working closely with Greg, Lee and their team to support this next phase of company expansion.”
The company now has a staff of 200 employees, with tens of thousands of journalists as active users. Muck Rack reports that its revenue grew by 75% in 2021, while its sales ballooned by 300% from 2018 to 2021. Its customers include Google, Pfizer, Zapier, and Duolingo.
This funding will enable the company to further develop its product offering, continuing to focus on tools that integrate with its corporate clients’ datasets. Also in the works is the release of its own API to make these integrations more straightforward.
“We’re investing heavily in expanding the Muck Rack platform,” said Galant, Muck Rack’s CEO who moved to Miami from New York in January 2021. “We have this whole system for PR teams, so they can find the right journalists to pitch, monitor the news and build reports, and it’s been obviously very popular with PR teams and it’s how we grew and bootstrapped to over 200 employees.”
And yet, he said, PR teams for the most part are not really tracking their relationships in CRM, or any kind of specialized software, and they’re not able to get insights from other relationships to know how all their efforts affected how much press they received and their brand perception. “And that’s where we see a huge opportunity to really expand our software suite and give a lot more insights to our customers and solve a lot more problems for them,” added Galant, in an interview with Refresh Miami
Indeed, this is an interesting time for Muck Rack, as the media industry continues to evolve. Fading legacy publications have given way to budding digital-first outlets. Social media also presents an interesting opportunity and challenge to the industry. Equally, business intelligence platforms are experiencing major growth, in a context where data-driven decision-making is becoming the default. Muck Rack’s deep entrenchment in its niche puts it in a strong position, even against big players like Cision and Meltwater.
“I think we’re right at the center of it and we can help organizations navigate a lot of this change by giving them the right tools to stay on top of the new media landscape,” said Galant. “We’re also adding in a lot more tools for engaging with podcast and newsletter writers, blogs, all these kinds of new forms of media that companies have to think about. And then we’re also committed to continuing to giving journalists more resources to be able to better present themselves and aggregate their work from wherever they’re writing.”
Moving to Miami reminded Galant of the early days of the New York City Tech scene. “It’s been a blast. It had this real feeling of ‘hey, we’re building something new.’ It felt like Miami was at that inflection point, with everything taken off.”
Muck Rack has about a dozen employees in the state, including a handful in the Miami area, Galant said. “We’re hiring so if there are people who are living in Miami and want to work for a remote company where they can bring their laptop to the beach and get their work done, we want to hear from them.”
READ MORE IN REFRESH MIAMI:
- Founded by Juha Mikkola, Usko Privacy raises $1.8M to help consumers stay on budget and control their personal data
- Little River getting more creative, thanks to $2M investment from Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs
- EarlyDay secures $3.25M to expand education staffing marketplace
- Boopos on the move: Lending platform scores $58M Series A
Follow Nancy Dahlberg on Twitter @ndahlberg and email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
- CedrusMed expands platform to more than 4,300 mental health specialists - October 3, 2022
- Carevocacy’s tech tutoring is improving health outcomes for older adults - September 30, 2022
- What does the future of the #MiamiTech movement look like? The Knight Foundation’s Raul Moas weighs in - September 29, 2022