Case Study: Equity Net

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THE CLIENT

EquityNet is used by thousands of entrepreneurs, investors, government entities and business incubators to plan, analyze, and capitalize privately-held businesses. Founded in 2005, EquityNet features profiles of more than 600 investors and investment groups providing access to more than 20,000 individual investors and has helped entrepreneurs across North America raise more than $217 million in capital. The platform is designed to make the funding process more efficient for entrepreneurs and the investment decision process more effective for investors by combining novel analytics, business benchmarking and standardization to achieve a superior experience for investors and a higher funding success rate for entrepreneurs.

 

CHALLENGES

EquityNet, one of the first equity crowdfunding platforms, is a true leader by transaction volume and overall industry knowledge, however they experienced the following challenges:

  • They were one of the top three platforms by volume and transactions, but were not being recognized/named within the media as a top platform amongst their competitors.
  • As a new asset class, crowdfunding was not understood by financial media, companies or investors which led to widespread adoption challenges, negative press among their competitors and other industry-wide challenges.
  • They needed not only to stand out, but maintain their standing as an industry leader at a time when 5-10 new competitors were launching each month.

 

SOLUTION

To help EquityNet establish a strong presence in the crowdfunding space, Leverage PR was brought on to better position them among their target audiences of the small business community, real estate professionals and investors. Here’s how we did it:

  • Worked with EquityNet to refine media messaging in a way that highlighted their many accomplishments and vast expertise.
  • Structured a campaign to educate reporters about crowdfunding, helping them to understand that it was a way to use technology to increase investor protection instead of relaxing it.
  • Helped establish EquityNet as a leader in front of potential investors and customers by placing stories in investor and industry-facing publications with story lines that would resonate with both key audiences.
  • Developed and maintained meaningful relationships between pinpointed members of the media and EquityNet’s leadership team to make them a go-to source on the topic.
  • Stayed informed on policy matters affecting the industry, giving reporters breaking news items with limited input from the client (very little need to hand-hold), often sharing policy updates before they were known.

 

RESULTS

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Throughout the engagement, which included two contract renewals, Leverage PR helped increase the overall profile of EquityNet in the market in significant ways that led to major business impacts. Leverage PR positioned EquityNet as THE leader in the crowdfunding industry in front of their ideal customers and investors. Along with this accomplishment, other metrics and results include:

  • Saw a 500% increase in customer and investor base from just over 20,000 when we began the engagement, to 120,000 shortly after the engagement was concluded.
  • Saw a 188.5% increase of capital raised for entrepreneurs across North America from $104 million raised when we began the engagement, to over $300 million raised shortly after the engagement ended.
  • Achieved an ad equivalency of more than $959,000, which allowed them to decrease pay-per-click and still see increases in traffic.
  • Secured more than ­­­­­­240 earned and organic placements across all mediums, far exceeding monthly goals, including landing coverage in top-tier outlets such as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and Mashable, an on-air spot with ABC News and an interview on NPR’s Morning Edition.
  • Established EquityNet’s CEO as one of the most sought-after spokespersons in the crowdfunding industry, leading to organic mentions of the company and inbound PR leads from reporters wanting to use them as a source.

 

“Leverage is unparalleled in their ability to deliver great results. Their expertise in the crowdfunding and investment industries can be found nowhere else and has elevated EquityNet’s recognition not only with the media but – most importantly – with high-profile investors and business leaders.” – Judd Hollas, CEO, EquityNet

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