Best IR Firms for Startups

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Contributor, Benzinga
August 24, 2022

Startups need funding to grow. Many founders start off with their own capital or ask friends and family for help, but that can only go so far. To get to the next level, startups need investors who are committed to the business and ready to offer support.

You need to keep your investors up to date even while you’re running your business. With the expertise an investor relations (IR) firm offers, you can keep your investors informed and involved in the company's progress.

Best IR Firms for Startups

Hiring an IR firm can help a startup appeal to more investors. However, finding one can be a challenge. Here are some of the best IR firms for startups to consider  


ADDO IR is a communication advisory firm specializing in investor relations, transaction communications and initial public offering (IPO) services. Founded in 2009 by CEO Andrew Greenebaum, the company has helped countless companies grow through turnkey IR programs, including plan development, quarterly earnings support, marketing campaigns and capital markets insights and analysis. 

ADDO IR serves companies in different sectors like technology, media, real estate and finance.

Primary services include:

  • Investor relations services 
  • IPO expertise services 
  • Transaction communication
  • Project-based IR services  

Alpha IR Group 

Alpha IR Group is an investor relations and transactions advisory firm with a primary focus on investment growth. Since its inception in 2012, it has offered IR consulting experience to small and large companies across several industries.

Its process is driven by a determination to increase brand return on investment (ROI), manage brand reputation and increase credibility and valuation the "Alpha Way." 

Core services include: 

  • Investor relations 
  • Transaction services
  • Crisis services 
  • Strategic projects 
  • Research services 

Capital Market Access (CMA)

CMA is a premier global capital market, investor relations and media advisory firm. Founded in 2015, CMA has contributed to the growth of startups through media exposure, funding, investor relations and access to capital markets.

Through tactical strategies and communications, CMA grants access to a rich network of high-net-worth investors, institutional investors and investment bankers. 

Core services include: 

  • Investor communications 
  • Corporate communications
  • Media monitoring 
  • IPO expertise services 
  • Corporate restructuring 


CORE IR is a strategic investor and public relations firm that focuses on improving brand visibility, investor communications and shareholder value. Founded in 2009, CORE IR has collaborated with small and mid-sized companies in energy, technology, finance, life sciences and healthcare, to mention a few. 

CORE IR uses communications and digital media plans to secure current and prospective investors. They also provide introductions to long-term relationships with investors.

Primary services include: 

  • Investor engagement and communications
  • Strategic advisory services 
  • Program management 
  • Corporate communications 
  • Public relations 

Darrow Associates 

Darrow Associates is an award-winning investor relations and financial communications consultancy. Founded in 2010, the company has catered to the IR needs of several micros, small-cap and mid-size companies.

Darrow Associates serves startups by developing strategic IR programs to foster investor relationships.

Services include:

  • Investor relations 
  • Corporate communications
  • IPO advisory
  • Corporate governance and regulatory advice 
  • Investment community outreach

Advantages of Working with IR Firms

Investors are a vital part of every successful startup. While you may be eager to maintain and improve relationships with your investors, you still have a business to focus on. Hiring the best startup IR firm means focused attention on the relationships critical to your business.

Here are some of the advantages of outsourcing your investor relations responsibilities: 

Improved communications: Keeping your investors in the loop is one way to secure long-term investments. Investors want to know your goals, how you intend to achieve them and how close you are to achieving them. A good startup IR firm will help you develop a communication strategy that keeps your investors informed without overwhelming them with information.

Brand strategies: IR firms can manage a startup’s investor relations, brand presence and campaign to attract new investors. Incorporating personalized brand strategies and methods, an IR firm can help your startup grow faster.

Enhanced investor relations: Part of the job of a startup IR firm is to enhance and build relationships with your current and potential investors. A good firm will have a deep understanding of the investment community and know how to position your company.

Growth rate:  As a startup owner, one of your main goals is to grow quickly and efficiently. Investment funding helps to accelerate business growth. A startup IR firm supports your business by focusing on securing enough investors to keep the lights on.

Partnering with an IR firm is one of the best ways to maintain your relationship with your investors and build their loyalty. They also free you up to stay focused on your goals without losing your investors. 

Startup experience: Typically, the best IR firms for startups have a great deal of experience working with young companies. They understand the unique challenges that these companies face when it comes to raising capital and building shareholder value. IR firms can provide you with access to a wide range of potential investors. One of their mandates is to maintain strong relationships with venture capitalists and other high-net-worth individuals who may be interested in investing in your company. This is important because it gives you the ability to tap into a much larger pool of capital than you would otherwise have access to., 

Drawbacks of Working with Startup IR Firms

Investor relations is a sensitive section of every startup. Outsourcing its duties to an external IR firm might yield unwanted results some of which may include: 

Mismanagement of Investor relations: A good startup IR firm should understand how to leverage Investor relations to help a startup achieve its goals and objectives. An IR firm that doesn't understand your startup's basis might cause you to lose a significant number of investors because miscommunication. 

Expensive charges: Outsourcing your internal relation duties to a startup IR Firm requires payments that might be expensive depending on which one you hire. When a startup IR firm is too costly, its charges tend to outweigh its benefits to the startup.

Flexibility issues: An external startup IR firm may find it difficult to integrate its services with your company. When this happens, the sync that should exist is lost, resulting in confusion between the Investor relations sector and other startup sectors. 

Lack of control: Controlling an internal department is much easier than controlling an external one. When you outsource your Investor relations duties to an external startup IR firm, you risk losing partial control over the communication between you and your investors.

What to Look for in Startup IR Firms

Getting the best startup IR firm for your company requires a bit of research on your part. To help you get through this stage quickly, here are a few tips on what to look for in a startup IR firm: 

Track record and expertise: The track record of a startup IR firm is a direct reflection of its expertise. Check how it has helped startups like yours and peruse its portfolio to gain insight into its past performance. The last thing you want is an inexperienced firm handling your investor relations. Take your time and ensure the company can back its expertise claims with track records.

Compatibility: A suitable startup IR firm should be compatible with your startup to ensure efficiency. Make a mental note to find out about the firm's goals and objectives and check to ensure they align with what you need in the investor relations department. After all, they will be representing your company, so it is essential that they can understand and support your company culture. 

Past reviews: Checking reviews can help you avoid startup IR firms that are wrong for your company. However, you should know that a few bad reviews are normal and expected. How the startup IR firm responds to these reviews is what matters most.

Relationships: The firm should have existing relationships with potential investors that it can leverage to get you the best deals. The more significant these relationships are, the better your chances of getting an investment quickly.

Fees: It is standard for startup IR firms to charge a monthly retainer fee. However, some might also charge additional fees for other services. Overall fees will have to suit your budget. Make sure you are aware of all the fees before signing on with any firm. You don't want any surprises down the line.