Posts

Investor Reporting (Part 1) – Top 5 Frustrations of Every Investor

2_Integrations

As investors, we realize the only real power we have in a relationship is before we write the check.  In those blissful months of pitching, due diligence and term sheet negotiations, that entrepreneur is your best friend. They are willing to pick up the phone whenever you call and supply whatever you need – right away.  

Of course, that dance comes to end after the check has been cashed and the entrepreneur has focused their attention on getting customers what they need or securing the next round.  Your check was the carrot and that carrot is long gone.

Here are the top 5 frustrations of every investor:

1) Just Do it!

Problem: It doesn’t really matter what fancy tools and graphs exist for collecting information from your portfolio companies because the real challenge is just getting them to DO IT!

Solution: The best time to lay out your expectations for post-funding reporting is BEFORE you write the check. Detail these expectations in the terms and make sure everyone is on the same page with what metrics are to be reported back and what tools to use, when and how.  This will lay the foundation of a good working relationship.

Check back with us because our big Automatic Portfolio Reporting enhancement is coming soon!

 

2) Can I get a price check on Aisle 2?

Problem: Okay, let’s say you’re lucky enough to get that quarterly report with “updated” financials and a blurb about “rah-rah everything is fine”, “rah-rah don’t look too hard because you might find something”, “rah-rah we still believe Google will buy us.”

Then there is the topic of what is being reported. How do you even know this information is correct? You don’t.

Solution: You didn’t become a private equity investor to play babysitter.  The only way to really scale a portfolio and analyze the information you’re getting is to compare it to publicly available data.  

For example, if your portfolio company is reporting massive user growth but their website’s publicly available analytics say website traffic is down and users are abandoning after a shorter and shorter amount of use time – Houston, there could be a problem.

Utilizing publicly available data to compare to company-reported metrics is the wave of the future. Work smarter, not harder.

Again, check back with us because our big Automatic Portfolio Reporting enhancement is coming very soon!

 

3) Buehler…Buehler…

Problem: Okay, it’s been months or maybe a year plus and you haven’t heard anything from your portfolio company, so you follow-up to find out there has been a change in management, or worse, a “pivot.”

Solution: The fact is that there is no solution to things going badly with an investment, but what would have been nice is to maybe have access to more timely information so that you can make better informed decisions.  Utilizing social tools like Google Alerts to keep up to date on press regarding the companies you invest in is a great way to keep up with things outside of what may or may not come back to you as the investor.

We are addressing this head-on.  Check back with us because our big Automatic Portfolio Reporting enhancement is coming really soon!

 

4) TMI

Problem: Yikes, you are getting weekly email updates that are pages long detailing out the CEO’s breakfast choice as it’s related to his peak mid-morning performance and meditation schedule.

Solution: Fish or cut bait, man.

Bring in only the data you need.  Automatic Portfolio Reporting is almost here!

 

5) Clean-up on aisle 2!

Problem: You rocked your term sheet and clearly outlined reporting expectations, and your portfolio company probably needs another round of funding before too long, so they are supplying you with timely and accurate financial reports.

You’re basically the Master of the Universe.  The Master, who now has to figure out what to do with all this information – whoops.

Solution: Seamless and easy portfolio tracking is a must. Ideally the goal is a place where the company can supply the relevant information and the investor can get access to it.  Then that information can be used to create different data sets that can be compared to other data and build into reports.

 

Such a place already exists with tools that enable this and we continue to make it better every day.

Happy Funding, Everyone. See you on the other side of profitability.

We will tackle this topic from the entrepreneur’s side in our next post.  Stay tuned.

Application to Exit – Why it Matters

Twitter_Ads_800x320_1


Venture360.co – A lot of tools are utilized in the startup world of business.  There are plenty of hosted applications that small businesses and investor groups leverage to expand the productivity and reach of what is most often a very limited number of staff resources.  From MailChimp to Slack and SurveyMonkey to HelpScout, many facets of how businesses interact with their clients, team members and data are handled by different toolsets.  Even the most progressive company executives manage all of these important areas of a business from several different dashboards that don’t give the full picture in any one place.  The same can be said for how the deal finding, deal making and deal tracking are handled in the private investment marketplace.  Raising capital can be a key component in building a business, and the last thing a CEO wants to add to their plate are multiple systems to track and manage this process.

While the issue of disparate toolsets continues to expand within small business, we are making the opposite happen for private investment.  We have built and continue to build out an ecosystem that provides full Application to Exit (AE) coverage.  All aspects of the transaction are systematized and documented within a single platform.  All parties are involved in this ecosystem as well.  From the entrepreneur to the angel investment group or fund, as well as the individual investor, we have built dashboards and workflows that support all profiles within the process.  We’ve done this because everyone needs and wants to bridge the gap between the investment proposition and the ongoing relationship management and performance data tracking that builds with each investment.

This full-service ecosystem is important because data is manipulated and reported in different ways across many toolsets.  By bringing all relevant toolsets to a single platform, the rules for how that data is presented become baseline for the user in all scenarios.  They know how and where to look for what is important to them and move past the data that isn’t providing them with the insight that they need.  Disparate tools create different governing rules that are difficult to remember across logins and this isn’t the experience that will resonate long term as the private investment market expands.  But imagine being able to manage all of the following in one place: creating an investor package, finding the right investors for your company, inviting those investors to review documents, take commitments, click one button to begin and manage a fully electronic closing, sign docs and accept funds, once closed all round information goes into the cap table, and all performance metrics are tracked where all investors can login and review them anytime.  We saw this need from the start of Venture360 and bringing this experience to our clients is built into the DNA of our platform.  The full service use case is the baseline in this market and that’s why it’s resonating.