G2 Crowd Sees $45 Million in Funding and 2,000 Percent Growth
Making an enterprise software decision is an expensive and time-consuming deal. In 2013, a startup called G2 Crowd, formerly G2 Labs, was born in response to that challenge. Built on the reviews of past buyers, G2 Crowd – now a household name in B2B tech – lets enterprise software decision-makers find the right product for them based on the experiences of similar users. Walker Sands has been there along the way to help G2 Crowd tells its story and become the tech powerhouse it is today.
Scroll to see how we did it
Starting small — G2 Crowd and Walker Sands’ relationship begins
G2 Crowd selects Walker Sands as their agency
The Walker Sands team meets with Adam and G2 Crowd at their original space – a small office in Highland Park, Illinois.
Adam, a self-professed PR agency skeptic, is taken with Walker Sands’ media savvy and enthusiastic initiative.
"I admit that I’ve beaten up a few PR agency teams in the past. I’ve had some rough relationships with agencies not producing or not showing initiative. But what stood out to me about Walker Sands is that they clearly got it. I wasn’t speaking a foreign language to them and they weren’t throwing lip service."
Kickoff - Getting G2 Crowd on the map
G2 Crowd kicks off its PR program with Walker Sands. Starting out, the startup’s goals are simply to start building brand awareness.
Walker Sands hits the ground running, starting off with solid first placements including a Crain’s Chicago feature story and mentions in tech trades like CMSWire and Diginomica.
Walker Sands drums up coverage for G2 Grids
Walker Sands introduces G2 Grids to the world via media outreach. The grids visually plot software solutions to show market presence and satisfaction.
G2 Crowd and Walker Sands launch thought leadership platform for Adrienne Weissman
Walker Sands launches G2 Crowd’s first thought leadership campaign with the media. The campaign coins the term “Naked Marketing” – the idea that companies should be totally transparent with how their customers are talking about them.
The idea garners placements in HuffPost, Marketing Profs, Marketing Dive and more. Weissman’s thought leader profile and industry name recognition are quickly elevated.
"I can talk about writing reviews on software and services until I’m blue in the face. It’s not going to help us connect with many people.
But you give me that same audience and we start talking about advancement of female leaders, what creates a strong tech leader, serial entrepreneurship, integrated philanthropy – these topics helped us bridge the gap into new audiences while still allowing us to tell G2 Crowd’s story."
Building out the human element
Walker Sands launches Tim Handorf thought leadership campaign
Walker Sands helps to build G2 Crowd CEO Tim Handorf’s thought leadership profile by sharing his unique story.
Handorf started out as a small-town farm boy in rural Iowa and ended up as a tech leader in an urban center. Tim’s insights on what any tech leaders can take away from his farm-boy background earned G2 Crowd numerous placements, including a contributed article in Quartz.
G2 Crowd signs on to media train Weissman, Handorf and Chief Research Officer Michael Fauscette
Making the strategic decision to media train its thought leaders, G2 Crowd trusts Walker Sands’ services to train its top executives. Walker Sands trains Weissman, Handorf and Fauscette how to best speak with the media in order to better tell the G2 Crowd story.
Raising the stakes
G2 Crowd signs on for event support from Walker Sands
Through Walker Sands’ work, G2 Crowd and its executives gain speaking and panel roles at high-profile industry events such as SaaStr and Channel Company XChange
G2 Crowd receives $30 million in Series B funding
G2 Crowd adds another agency
Spurred by an outside recommendation to partner with a Silicon Valley firm, G2 Crowd adds service from a West Coast agency. It splits its media relations work between Walker Sands and its second agency.
"We decided to run with two firms and figure it out later. When I told Walker Sands the news, rather than getting upset, the team took it as a challenge and dug deep."
Putting a challenge on the table
G2 Crowd doubles its original media relations retainer with Walker Sands
After cutting ties with its West Coast agency, G2 Crowd goes all in on Walker Sands by trusting them with even more media relations work.
A new stride
G2 Crowd turns to Walker Sands Digital
In deciding to build out the newsroom section of its website to showcase their impressive placements, G2 Crowd enlists the service of Walker Sands Digital to create a polished and interactive experience.
Walker Sands helps G2 Crowd take Dreamforce by storm
Walker Sands’ outreach results in 13 on-site press meetings, including Fortune and VentureBeat, at the renowned tech conference. Its work garners 25+ placements.
"I get that there’s a bill that comes along with this, but Walker Sands invests in G2 Crowd. We’ve built an amazing and emotional relationship. There’s a level of understanding that we care about each other’s success."
G2 Crowd Closes $55 Million in Funding
In October 2018, G2 Crowd raised $55 million in growth funding to continue expanding its business. The round was led by IVP, with participation from enterprise VC Emergence Capital and returning investors, Accel and Pritzker Group Venture Capital. It brought G2 Crowd close to half a billion-dollar valuation, and will help the company see a 500 percent headcount increase at offices in Chicago and San Francisco, as well as overseas.
Results to Date
Want to hear more? Get in touch with Will on the G2 Crowd team.