July 07, 2020
Symend is changing the way companies engage with at-risk customers, for the better.
A leading customer engagement platform, Symend is scientifically transforming the debt recovery industry by treating individuals with empathy and dignity at the time they need it most. Combining behavioral science with advanced AI, machine learning and analytics capabilities, Symend’s engagement platform enables companies to develop positive, individualized treatment programs that result in higher cure rates and reduced costs while building relationships with customers and lifelong value for their brands.
The company wanted to capitalize on a Series B funding round of $52 million to secure coverage in business, technology, trade, and local media. Symend wanted this announcement to create exposure to new prospects, get existing pipeline to convert, assist with recruitment, and inform their customers and shareholders that Symend was open for business and poised to change the world.
Bospar first had to get the backstory from the founders themselves. During an intake session with CEO Hanif Joshaghani, Bospar discovered that Joshaghani knew first-hand the demoralizing impact on collections growing up as a young refugee in Canada. He explained, “We created Symend to help individuals who have fallen behind on payments and treat them with understanding at a time when they need it most. Our solution transforms how companies think about and interact with at-risk customers.”
His co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer Tiffany Kaminsky summed it up perfectly: “Symend is not collections; we are in the business of helping consumers. Not only are we developing a world-class platform, but I’m proud to say that we are applying the sciences to support our mission of creating positive social change.”
Bospar bulletproofed that message by briefing industry analyst Rob Enderle and getting his analysis of the uniqueness of Symend’s offering. Enderle stated, “Doing debt collections effectively without destroying customer relationships is very difficult individually and nearly impossible at scale. By combining behavioral, data and computer science to modernize and personalize the collection process, Symend has overcome the impossible by creating a debt collection solution that is more effective – and it also preserves the customer relationship and will scale.”
To tell the story about how the company was helping the local economy, Bospar recruited Mary Moran, President and Chief Executive Officer for Calgary Economic Development, as a spokesperson. “Symend is exactly the kind of tech startup success story that Calgary is proud to champion. Not only are they delivering an innovative solution to the marketplace, but they are also actively leveraging our community’s rich and diverse talent pool as they expand their operations here. This is a win all around for Calgary and an inspiration for other local innovators and entrepreneurs,” she concluded.
Bospar also interviewed Inovia Capital Partner Dennis Kavelman to find out what led him to invest in the company: “We’re impressed with Symend’s commitment to providing at-risk consumers with greater flexibility when it comes to meeting their financial obligations and protecting their credit. We invested in this great founding team because we value their openness, tenacity and ability to deliver solutions for this critical problem.”
Bospar distilled everything they learned into a press release that highlighted all key company messaging. The goal was to tell the funding story in a way that would intrigue both US and Canadian media, as this was the largest funding round to come out of Alberta, Canada, in recent history and among the top 10 rounds in all of Canada.
The team also highlighted the significant growth that the company had experienced, along with the projected growth for the coming months. At the time, Symend had treated over 10 million at-risk customers through their digital engagement platform and is on track to treat 100 million by the end of 2020.
Bospar worked to produce a comprehensive, tailored funding media list, inclusive of media covering:
- Funding News
- Financial Technology
- Artificial Intelligence
- Machine Learning
- Behavioral Science
- Women in Tech
- Local Calgary/Toronto/Canada/Denver
The PR team:
- Conducted media training for the Symend executive team in order to best prepare for media briefings
- Worked with investors and their PR agencies to align on the announcement plan and thus avoid leaks
- Successfully worked with two reporters trying to break the story before it was ready for public consumption
- Counseled the founders on how to handle media and investor leaks
- Coordinated introductory briefings with relevant industry investors and analysts, resulting in quotes for the press release
- Pre-pitched the funding news to media contacts, under strict embargo
- Staffed eight interviews with interested media
- Continued media outreach after the press release went live, resulting in continued coverage
Media Coverage Highlights
Business Insider: Symend raises $52 million for its delinquency-avoidance solution
CTV News Calgary: News at Five Broadcast Coverage
Crunchbase News: Symend Raises $52M To Improve The Debt Resolution Experience
Colorado Inno: Canadian startup lands $52M to grow Denver-based team
Calgary’s Business: Calgary-based tech company Symend gets $52 million USD investment to grow
Bospar secured over 70 stories across all relevant media categories, including technology, business, financial, product, and local, for a total of 1.5 billion media impressions. Top placements included TechCrunch, Business Insider and VentureBeat and an in-person TV interview with CTV News Calgary. Just to put that in perspective, that was five times the amount of coverage other competing rounds of the same size secured during that time.
The marketing team reported that during the month of the funding announcement, the campaign far exceeded its goals, resulting in:
- Significant new visitors to Symend.com
- Significant increase in website leads from May 1-May 20, 2020
- Significant increase in social media followers since May 4, 2020
- Significant increase in career applications
“Bospar shared our vision for how the story could be told and worked with us to ensure that the messaging and strategy were aligned with our objectives,” said Joshaghani. “When there was a potential leak, they went into action. When there was a sneaky reporter request, they sussed it out. Bospar secured five times the amount of coverage of other similar rounds during the same time. From a business point of view, their pitching meant a gold rush of visitors to our website and concomitant increases in social media followers and career applications. Bospar helped put Symend on the map.”