When it comes to European tech, if you’ve been around the scene long enough, you’ve definitely read the works of Steve O’Hear.
After a decade of working under the TC banner, O’Hear announced In mid-April of 2021 that he was hanging up the journo belt and joining the other side as SVP of Strategy at London-based grocery-delivery startup Zapp.
But it appears as though much like the Hotel California, you can check out at any time you like, but you can never leave, as O’Hear is back in the saddle with a new strategy and communications company aimed at supporting tech scale-ups and “beyond”.
While the journo life can sometimes be a lonely road (on purpose), you’ll note the & Co. in the title of this new venture, as Steve is joined by co-founder and former John Lewis, Google, and Zapp comms executive Rachael Brown. But this isn’t just a two-person show, as O’Hear & Co. are in fact a four person show at present, and Brown says the remote-first company is on a hiring spree, recruiting junior, mid-level, and senior comms roles.
Speaking to both his past and present, O’Hear shares the raison d'être behind O’Hear & Co., “As SVP of Strategy at Zapp, a company that scaled faster than any I reported on in my 15 years as a journalist, I’ve been fortunate enough to have the know-how and backing to build an incredibly effective in-house comms team. However, for most fast-growing companies it can be challenging to do so.
Instead, scale-ups are left solely relying on traditional PR agencies that lack startup experience and are too far removed from the industries they serve. At OHC, we aim to bridge that gap with our 'outside-in' approach to strategic communications and a team that has seen and done it many times before.”
Quietly launched in January, OHC clients include Zapp (O’Hear still lists his position at Zapp as current, while co-founder Rachel Brown lists her time at Zapp finishing as of January of this year), fintech Cleo, and Hoxton Ventures.
On working with OHC, Hoxton Ventures Founding Partner Hussein Kanji commented, “I've wanted to work with Steve for a long time, but he's always been busy with other commitments. Now that he's launched his own strategic communications firm, I'm delighted to be one of his early clients. OHC is already delivering for Hoxton and its portfolio companies."