Check out the pitch deck that a PR tech company used to raise $50 million to extend its business beyond public relations

David Benigson, co-founder and CEO, Signal AI; Dr Miguel Martinez, co-founder and chief data scientist, Signal AI
  • Signal AI has raised $50 million in Series D funding from Highland Europe and Abrdn.
  • It plans to use the money to build capabilities in predictive analytics.
  • In total, Signal AI has raised about $100 million.

Signal AI, a rising PR tech company, raised $50 million in Series D funding to build out new capabilities like predictive analytics, said CEO David Benigson.

The round was led by venture capital firm Highland Europe, which previously backed social analytics company Brandwatch. Brandwatch was acquired by Cision for $450 million in February.

Asset manager Abrdn also participated in Signal AI’s latest round.

In total, Signal AI has raised about $100 million. Its existing investors include Redline Capital, MMC, Hearst, and GMG Ventures.

Founded in 2013, Signal AI started as a media monitoring company, but it’s moved into new areas like compliance since 2019. Today, the company collects and analyzes data from regulatory filings, social media, broadcast, and net promoter scores. And its 600 clients, including Bank of America Securities, Google, and Exxon Mobil, use that information to measure their reputation and manage supply chain risks.

Supply chain insights might seem beyond the purview of PR tech, but it reflects Signal AI’s ambitions to extend the uses of its software. For example, a CPG can use Signal AI to check what journalists and people on social media are saying about an ingredient in its product and if using that product poses a potential crisis.

With this latest funding round, Signal AI wants to hire 100 employees in areas like product development. Benigson said it wants to integrate more datasets like financial filings to show how things like social media activity correlate with business performance. Signal AI also wants to add capabilities like predictive analytics so companies can anticipate crises before they happen.

And Signal AI wants to develop its APIs so it can integrate with its clients’ technologies and build custom solutions. For example, Signal AI helps Deloitte keep track of changes in tax codes and send automatic updates to the professional services firm’s clients, and monitor how COVID affects clients’ supply chains.

Even if it meets its growth aspirations, the 160-person Signal AI will still be only a fraction of the size of its major competitors Cision and Meltwater. Those two companies are the world’s two biggest PR tech vendors and employ thousands of employees. Not only do they offer similar capabilities as Signal AI in the social media, broadcast, and print monitoring spaces, they also have vast war chests to acquire startups to update their technologies.

Benigson said Signal AI can compete against these larger companies since they can’t quickly bolt on new tech through acquisition.

Check out some key slides from Signal AI’s pitch deck below.

Signal AI names major clients like L’Oréal and Google in citing its successful track record.

Signal AI

Signal AI compares itself to Waze’s driving directions in terms of its ability to predict upcoming challenges and problems.

Signal AI

The company touts how its AI digests convoluted and unstructured data across hundreds of languages, and makes it all accessible on a single platform.

Signal AI

Signal AI shows how its platform can be integrated with clients’ own tech by showcasing an Ernst & Young case study.

Signal AI

Signal AI lays out a variety of use cases that go well beyond public relations.

Signal AI

Signal AI can compete in risk and compliance …

Signal AI

… as well as ESG, trust, and supply chain.

Signal AI

Signal AI underscored that it’s trying to grab hold of a $4.5 billion market opportunity.

Signal AI