Stage Acquires Denver-Based Marketing Agency, CleverFunnel Digital

December 15, 2023

By CleverFunnel

Denver, CO: Stage has announced the acquisition of CleverFunnel Digital, a Denver-based agency with a focus on market discovery and strategic growth. The move represents a significant step forward for Stage, furthering its mission of supporting early-stage, venture-backed companies unable to raise continuing capital in today’s environment.

“CleverFunnel’s truly unique approach takes the guesswork out of marketing so companies know exactly how to spend their marketing budget for optimal results,” said Krista Morgan, CEO of Stage. “Their perspective fits perfectly with how we do things here at Stage—which is to roll up our sleeves, dig deeper into the numbers, and deliver bottom-line results.” 

As part of a proprietary 100-day turnaround process co-developed with Stage, CleverFunnel will provide a blend of services to Stage portfolio companies. Prior to an acquisition, CleverFunnel will perform critical due diligence services on prospective portfolio companies. Following an acquisition, they will implement Stage’s marketing playbook to drive cost savings and profitable growth.

This will include deploying a series of advanced discovery tests to inform how these brands engage with their customers and maximize the impact of their marketing investments. Combined with a complete suite of strategic and creative support through tactics such as email, design, social media, copyrighting, and ad buying, this will enable Stage’s portfolio companies to optimize acquisition and deliver results at competitive costs.

“I started CleverFunnel with the hope that we could do things differently, with a focus on challenging our assumptions through a rigorous and scientific approach,” says Chris Franks, who founded CleverFunnel in 2017. “I firmly believe in the competence and ingenuity of this team, and I have no doubts that they will continue to thrive as part of Stage.” 

Stage is a private equity firm based in Denver with a focus on early-stage, B2B technology companies seeking alternative sources of funding. Many of these companies have been overlooked by traditional venture capital but still show exceptional promise. Often in such cases, company leaders must revisit and revise their go-to-market and growth efforts to align with new business objectives. CleverFunnel will assist with strategy and execution at this phase.

“This is a huge opportunity for us,” said Greg Sheldon, Managing Director at CleverFunnel. “It gives us the resources to expand our services and deliver meaningful impact to a broader array of clients. It also brings us in contact with new, amazing companies that share our core value of using data to challenge the way things have always been done.” 

Beyond the Stage portfolio companies, CleverFunnel will continue to deliver transformative go-to-market strategies and turnaround marketing services for both new and existing clients in sectors that includes technology, wellness, non-profit, venture capital, and private equity.


About CleverFunnel Digital: 

CleverFunnel Digital is a Denver-based marketing agency founded in 2017.  Its vision is to help companies grow by merging the latest digital marketing strategies with groundbreaking methodologies like “Agile” and “Lean” happening in tech. CleverFunnel is one of the only agencies to date to successfully launch complex market discovery testing on a global scale.  To learn more about CleverFunnel and its services, please visit their About page.


About Stage:

Stage is a majority female-led private equity firm founded in 2009 and based in Denver, Colorado. It provides funding and management support to early-stage B2B and technology services companies undergoing a change in capital structure, strategy, operations, or growth. Stage also provides interim restructuring and turnaround execution to independent companies through the Stage Restructuring arm of its business. Visit to learn more about its founders and portfolio companies.