AirPR raises $8 million in Series C, launches new product

The PR tech company launched Author Intelligence, a database of journalists.

AirPR CEO Dan Beltramo
AirPR CEO Dan Beltramo

SAN FRANCISCO: AirPR has raised $8 million in Series C funding.

The data science company wants to use that money to invest in R&D and product development, grow its engineering and data science team, and open sales and account management offices in New York, Chicago, and London.

This latest round brings its total amount of funding to $18 million. Its valuation remains undisclosed.

AirPR’s largest investors – Wildcat Ventures, Storm Ventures, and Correlation Ventures – participated in the round, along with a new investor, Pereg Ventures.

Angel investors joined the funding round as well: Esther Dyson, who used to sit on WPP’s board, and Rick Kash, the founder of The Cambridge Group and former vice chairman of Nielsen.

Collectively, AirPR’s investors hold a majority stake.

AirPR CEO Dan Beltramo said his company will funnel R&D spend toward improving its base products. Beyond that, he said the company will invest in improving workflow solutions, applying new forms of analytics and data, and pursuing "automated insights"

"One of the things we hear from our customers is, ‘This data is great, the analytics are first class, but there’s so much. Can you have the AI make specific recommendations about activities we might pursue, which could be topic areas, distribution areas, competitive activity, and so forth?’" Beltramo said.

Former Apple communications leader and founder of Cunningham Collective, Andy Cunningham, joined AirPR’s board, which also includes Beltramo, CEO and cofounder Sharam Fouladgar-Mercer, Bryan Stolle, founding partner of Wildcat Venture Partners, and Tae Hae Nahm, MD and cofounder of Storm Ventures.

In addition, AirPR launched Author Intelligence, a database of journalists.

AirPR’s Author Intelligence product has an "Amazon"-like function, suggesting new contacts based on those users have engaged with in the past, said Beltramo of what differentiates the product from others in the PR tech marketplace. Instead of focusing on contact information, Author Intelligence builds profiles of each of its contacts based on their past articles and social media activity, he added.

"Clients are saying that knowing who to talk to is the real problem, not just how to reach them," Beltramo said.

Like other PR tech companies, AirPR is trying to provide a platform that can service clients at every stage of a campaign, he said.

For AirPR’s own business, Author Intelligence presents another opportunity to capture revenue from its customers. The database integrates with the other products AirPR is best known for, namely its data science and measurement tools. With Author Intelligence, AirPR users can conduct an entire campaign from ideation to execution within AirPR’s suite without resorting to another product from a different company.

Much like its larger competitors, such as Cision, AirPR wants to create an all-in-one platform, allowing PR pros to access all of their tech needs in a single system and ensuring the data they use is consistent.

"That is one of the big pain points we were trying to solve for, which is having an integrated workflow system," Beltramo said. "What we’d like to have is a full capability [for AirPR users]: database strategy, full workflow, and best-in-class data analytics. That’s a complete solution and we’re filling in the pieces as fast as we can."

Editor's note: This story was amended on December 18 to clarify the members of AirPR's board.

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