Once upon a time Looker, now valued at over $1.6 Billion with offices in New York, London, and San Francisco (just like us – minus the $1.6 Billion), was a tiny stealth startup out of Santa Cruz with the incredibly geeky dream of teaching the world to speak a new query language: LookML.

Armed with a great product, $2m in seed funding and about 20 small(ish) customers, Looker wanted to make a big impact out of the gate. Unfortunately, telling reporters in 2013 that you’ve created a new product that will simplify and democratize business intelligence was akin to a 10 year old Elon Musk saying he will land on Mars someday – “sure you will, kid.”

Looker needed a strategy that fought for credibility and took nothing for granted. No one was going to instantly recognize their value, and $2m in funding just wasn’t going to be enough to win the day. The Clarity team developed a strategy that focused heavily on the credibility of the company’s founder, Lloyd Tabb, and the problems that existed in business intelligence, rather than a dry laundry list of Looker’s benefits.

We didn’t take the easy route, but we knew we needed to elevate the message in order to get Looker the attention it deserved. We invested heavily in media training to craft the right message and sat Lloyd down with reporters from the most technical B2B publications in the world to make sure our message was battle-tested.

As a result, the launch of Looker generated significant demand for the previously-unknown upstart that would later take over the BI world. Clarity continued our work with Looker for a number of subsequent announcements and played a critical early role in establishing the solid base for future growth.


Looker launched with coverage across publications ranging from TechCrunch, to Reuters, to eWeek.
New business leads flooded into the young startup at a pace they couldn’t even keep up with, and they had to create a queue for new customers. 

selected press

Looker Takes $2M From First Round And PivotNorth To Build ‘A Sequel To SQL’ For Business Intelligence

Looker Data Sciences, a business intelligence startup founded by an early lead engineer from Netscape and LiveOps, is today emerging from stealth mode and announcing $2 million in funding from First Round Capital and PivotNorth to build out its business based on a new, easier-to-use approach to SQL…

Hadoop Drives Down Costs, Drives Up Usability With SQL Convergence

Looker Data Sciences announced a $16 million round of financing to advance its business intelligence platform.

Looker launches out of stealth with $2M to make manual SQL queries a thing of the past

Businesses today are creating data at an ever increasing rate, whether they know how to make sense of it or not. For most attempting to use this data to inform business decisions, the departments that need this information can’t access it directly. Instead, financial, marketing, and operations executives typically rely on their engineering department to manually query databases to obtain desired insights. The cost of this strategy is both time and money.

Looker launches with promise of easier business intelligence

Looker Data Sciences came out of stealth on Wednesday with $2 million in funding and technology it says will make big data analysis for business intelligence easier. The Santa Cruz startup is led by Lloyd Tabb, who was an engineer with Netscape and LiveOpps in the past. He was also a venture partner with CMEA Ventures for a few years. Before this he founded Luminate and ReadyForce.

Looker scores $16M from Redpoint to take on Tableau & SAP in business intelligence

Big data and analytics startup Looker has raised $16 million in its first round of funding to promote data-driven discovery in “big data” software and to help it take on major players in the space. Looker’s web-based product is taking on a crowded business intelligence field that includes such players as SAP, Tableau, KissMetrics, GoodData, and Mixpanel. But it claims to differentiate itself by making the software easier to use than most. So much so that it “gives anyone the ability to query live data.” It accomplished this by created a proprietary language it calls LookML, which “radically simplifies the process of scripting and recycling SQL queries.

How (And When) To Take A Risk: Graduation Wisdom From Netflix Co-Founder Marc Randolph

Netflix NFLX -3.99%’s co-founder and former CEO Marc Randolph enjoys mentoring new waves of entrepreneurs. In the process, he’s come to the conclusion that colleges don’t produce nearly as many good entrepreneurs as they could.

more of our work

Fix the Mask

Company Goal: Spread awareness of what makes PPE effective (especially during COVID).

Clarity’s Challenge: Fix the narrative on mask filtration in the COVID conversation.

Founded in early 2020 in response to the acute global PPE shortage, Fix the Mask is an organization that offers designs for a brace to make surgical masks more effective as health care providers and frontline workers grapple with N95 mask shortages amid COVID-19. Fix the Mask had not done any press or external communications around its solution, and the company turned to Clarity to help launch the concept and raise awareness.

Clarity kicked off by working with the co-founders to develop Fix the Mask’s messaging and identifying key stakeholders to help inform media outreach. Since Fix the Mask began working with Clarity soon after launch, the firm was able to play an integral role in shaping its communications strategy from the ground up while ensuring that we secured stories to deliver maximum impact.

Following a deep dive messaging session, Clarity began full court press with a focus on tier one business publications. Fix the Mask’s goal was to get its solution into the hands of as many people as possible and, as such, upleveling visibility was key.



Company Goal: Democratize cloud computing via blockchain

Clarity’s Challenge: Centralize trust in decentralized networks

Clarity specialises in working with disruptive tech companies, yet few are quite as ambitious as DADI. The company wanted to democratise cloud computing taking on the likes of Amazon, Microsoft, IBM and Google in the process. Its magic bullet was its blockchain powered DADI app which allows any device owner to rent their computing power to the DADI network and receive payment from enterprise users.

Clarity faced two interesting challenges. Firstly, the company had launched a successful Initial Coin Offering (ICO) which had raised $28 million. Yet there were misconceptions about the ICO and the company in general, especially in the enterprise tech world. In tandem,we had a short runway to help reposition DADI but also start attracting contributors to the DADI network.
To overcome these challenges we employed a quartet of approaches.

  • We harnessed traditional media relations tactics of newsjacking and thought leadership to establish credibility.
  • We also created a ‘launch moment’ around DADI’s mainnet go-live, with a news sell-in generating trade, national and international media attention.
  • To excite the crypto community we employed a combination of in-depth media briefings, a high- impact paid media partnership and ‘founding node’ giveaway – announced exclusively with Forbes
  • Finally, we brought the story full circle by launching the non-profit DADI foundation and its first charitable grant.
    The results spoke for themselves. The main objective was to create positive sentiment and we achieved this with 98% positive coverage over the three months.

The company is perfectly placed now for the next stage of its journey.



Company Goal: End workplace debt

Clarity’s Challenge: Trumpet the death of payday loans

For many Britons, falling back on payday loans in a bid to keep their family financially afloat until payday, has become a grim reality. Yet many companies that issue these loans apply crippling interest rates, which in some instances can plunge individuals deeper into debt.

Innovative startup Wagestream is tackling the payday poverty cycle by allowing people to access a set percentage of their wages ahead of payday so they don’t need to resort to high interest loans or credit.

Wagestream tasked Clarity with highlighting the negative impact of payday loans and presenting Wagestream as tech-driven, socially impactful solution. The company wanted to move quickly as a host of rivals from both the UK and the US were planning to offer similar services.

Clarity kicked off the campaign with a high impact visual stunt. We created a funeral for payday loans. The images from the stunt were used widely across the media – including BBC, The Independent and The Guardian – to illustrate not just Wagestream’s proposition but also stories about the fall of payday loans companies in TechWorld and the BBC.

Following the stunt Clarity secured an exclusive with The Sunday Times which profiled the company and looked at the wider issues that Wagestream was seeking to address. This helped to establish Peter Briffett the co founder and CEO as a key voice not just on the fight against payday loans but more broadly on the impact of debt, as well as ‘financial education’ and ‘financial wellness.’

The momentum continued at the end of 2018 with a survey about the cost of Christmas which was featured in popular UK tabloid The Sun. Other findings from the survey were used as a ‘January Financial Hangover’ story featured in the Daily Express, The Independent, The Guardian and Forbes.

Wagestream has now established itself as the market leader in the UK and has become the first port of call for comments about payday poverty, flexible pay and workplace debt.


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