All Signs Point to Silicon Valley

The Road Signs
Advertising billboards promoting a variety of innovative tech products and services have long been staple fixtures along the freeways and arterial roads of Silicon Valley. Over the decades, on many popular commuting routes, they have easily outnumbered the more traditional roadside marketing fare found elsewhere.

Instead of the typical promotions for fast food, radio stations, cars, trucks, and the like, Bay Area drivers are regularly confronted with geeky job ads, obscure brand name sales pitches, and tech industry insider jokes. One recent quirky promotion, sponsored by the Santa Clara Dept. of Public Health, featured seven lines of Javascript encouraging Covid-19 safety precautions.

The commercial viability of such marketing campaigns is testament to the percentage of nerdy cognoscenti who are driving by, and for whom the messages are actually interpretable and make sense. In addition to promoting the latest components and tools to tech designers and engineers, the signs also serve to develop broad brand name recognition, but not just among the traditional early-adopter community. They also reach out to the venture capital industry heavyweights who play key roles in the investment decision-making process, as companies raise funds to expand their operational base and lay the groundwork for eventual acquisition or public offering.

Marqeta: Case Study
A case in point is fintech firm Marqeta, which is based in Oakland, CA and operates in the card issuance and payment processing sector. In January 2020, the company embarked upon a billboard campaign across the Bay Area, which promoted the rapidly-expanding number of payment cards it had issued. At that time, the private equity market had valued Marqeta at around $2B. Several months later, the next fund-raising round valued it at almost $4.5B.

Now, barely a year after that, Marqeta’s recent filing for an IPO has encouraged analysts to value it as one of the hottest on the private market, and private market trading has valued the company in the $16B — $17B range.

After the IPO announcement on May 14, CNBC observed that the company “has become one of the hottest businesses in digital commerce, even though few consumers have ever heard of it.”

That could hardly be said of the daily commuters on the Bay Area’s freeways.

Linqto enables accredited investors to invest in pre-IPO companies like Marqeta and Automation Anywhere in a matter of minutes using our mobile-app or website. We invite you to sign-up on the Linqto website or on our free app on your Apple or Android device.

To continue learning about digital assets and trends in private investing, we also invite you to register for our Global Investor Conference, taking place on June 22nd, 2021.

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