Why this analysis matters to you
As you consider an innovation partner, it is important to know whether you would be one of the first clients to trust them with a project. It is also important to due preliminary vetting of vendors to ensure no discoverable negative items (i.e. bad press or litigation) come up later as surprises.
Many startups do not have an established brand, but assessment of interest in their solutions is possible. When other MCOs are showing interest in their solution, you can add another layer of confidence in your consideration of a relationship. When interest in the vendor appears limited to the investment community, or is not occurring outside of technology sectors, some concern is merited. There may be a general buzz about the vendor driven purely by finance and investment scrutiny or press.