Highwire PR secures strategic investment from Shamrock Capital

The injection will fuel Highwire’s expansion of its integrated comms and digital marketing services.

Group shot, left to right: Highwire Principals, Kathleen Gratehouse, Carol Carrubba and Emily Borders
L-R: Highwire Principals Kathleen Gratehouse, Carol Carrubba and Emily Borders. (Photo credit: Andi Hatch Photography).

SAN FRANCISCO: Highwire PR has secured strategic investment from Shamrock Capital, a Los Angeles-based investment firm specializing in media, entertainment and communications.

Financial terms of the deal, which closed on September 1, were not disclosed. It is Highwire’s first outside capital partnership, said Kathleen Gratehouse, the agency’s principal and cofounder.

“We are very excited about how that will enable us to scale and grow our business in various areas both across strategic comms and marketing services,” said Gratehouse. “They have great expertise in our market, are very experienced in media and marketing and they have a shared vision for our business and appreciate our culture and values.”

Highwire provides integrated communications and digital marketing services to technology and healthcare companies. The partnership with Shamrock will enable Highwire to evaluate strategic additions to its healthcare practice as well as further develop its digital marketing services, data analytics, public affairs and corporate communications capabilities.

“Our management team is staying in place, but this is offering us new opportunities across the board,” said Gratehouse. “We are 145 people now but we could double or triple in size with the right partner [and are looking at] potential acquisitions.” 

With offices in San Francisco, New York City, Boston and Chicago, a presence in more than a dozen states and a global network of partners, Highwire’s technology clients include companies in enterprise and B2B technology, AI, cybersecurity, clean energy and frontier technologies. Highwire’s healthcare clients are leaders in medtech, diagnostics, primary care, behavioral health and remote care platforms.

Shamrock Capital has approximately $4.1 billion of assets under management.

Another agency that recently secured investment was BerlinRosen, in January, from private equity firm O2 Investment Partners. Since then, BerlinRosen made majority investments in Glen Echo Group and Derris and acquired Onward. In recent months, Purple Strategies secured a growth investment from Boston-based private equity firm WestView Capital Partners; and Firehouse Strategies secured a major investment from Semper Fi Partners, Aldine Capital and Wintrust Bank.

Highwire posted a 21% gain in revenue last year to $29.2 million, according to PRWeek’s Agency Business Report 2022.

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