How ongoing due diligence made Vectr Fintech Partners better investors
The excesses of the covid era and the highest interest rates in 20 years have exposed the venture capital industry. With an uncertain market ahead and high-profile frauds like FTX and Theranos making front-page news, LPs have reason to be cautious with their capital.
We've seen a massive amount of companies coming to market where their financials aren't sound, where the governance isn't sound, where there is fraud, and we have to protect ourselves from that. It's our job and our responsibility to protect our LP's capital. And when we do put that money at risk, we want the full confidence that we've done all of our homework - Mark Muñoz
Vectr Fintech Partners was looking for software that could help them make better investment decisions, give their LPs confidence, and provide more value and service to their portfolio companies, improving the chances of their success.
Due diligence is a costly and time-consuming process. Before Verified Metrics, due diligence was one of the most considerable costs Vectr incurred on a new deal. Transaction expenses spent on due diligence can easily cost 5-10% of a transaction. Still, if you consider all the time and effort your team puts into the deal, the actual true cost of a transaction can be significantly higher. Moreover, the price of a bad investment or financial fraud can be catastrophic to a fund's portfolio or reputation.
Ongoing due diligence, usually facilitated by regular reporting, was also a pain point. Requesting financial information and data from portfolio companies was a complex and manual process involving emails and spreadsheets. With the correct information available at the right time, Vectr would be better positioned to provide helpful advice, introductions, capital, or other assistance to their portfolio companies.
Why Vectr chose Verified Metrics to be their Due Diligence Partner
I think the expectation for our LPs is that, if we're not using these kinds of tools, then we're not doing our job - Mark Muñoz
Venture Capital investors have little selection when it comes to software supporting financial due diligence. Most of the tools on the market were founder-focused apps that relied on portfolio companies to manually input data into a website and initiate a report to investors.
This posed 2 issues for Vectr:
1. Data provided by other solutions are high-level financial snapshots of the company. They need more granularity and adequate context for investors to analyze appropriately, making it difficult to compare across different companies.
2. Ongoing due diligence from portfolio companies would still be at the discretion and availability of startup management teams which would share data when requested and available. This makes other solutions on the market comparable to sending a spreadsheet over email.
Verified Metrics was brought in as a solution to address these concerns.
With Verified Metrics, Vectr can:
Make better investments by:
- By saving 90% of the time and effort while performing financial due diligence
- Gaining unique insights about a company through a granular analysis of their finances
- Automatically generating objective reports on runway, valuation, revenue and expenses.
- Identifying red flags through in-depth analysis
- Identifying opportunities that other investors overlooked
- Getting expert advice and reports from the Verified Metrics team and partners
Improve LP relationships
- Give LPs more assurance that their funds are being administered responsibly.
- Greater compliance with regulatory requirements.
- Planning fund capital calls with the aid of cash flow/ runway forecasts generated by actual financial data.
Streamline their financial operations by:
- Reducing the need to communicate with portfolio companies to get updated financial reporting.
- Getting a real-time view of the overall portfolio in a single place.
- Decrease the time it takes to prepare to report for LPs.
Help their portfolio companies raise their next round by:
- Improve the collaboration between VC and portfolio companies using a shared set of financial tools.
- Relieve the burden of reporting that rests on the shoulders of founders and management teams.
- Identify potential areas for improvement in accounting and reporting quality, which gets more important at later investment rounds.
How Vectr uses Verified Metrics in their portfolio
Going forward, we've mandated that every one of our portfolio companies gets connected to Verified Metrics, and every one of the deals that we're looking for, as part of our due diligence process, must connect to Verified Metrics. It's not a question of if; it's a question of when and how and how fast. If they want us to invest in their company, they must use this tool - Mark Muñoz
Vectr mandates all potential portfolio companies to connect to Verified Metrics as part of the deal underwriting process. With Verified Metrics' data-driven approach, Vectr can instantly create financial models and reports that help them understand the business and decide whether to invest. Analysts use the reports to assist in drafting investment memos and use the pre-built models to assess the company's runway and capital needs.
Verified Metrics also generates formal due diligence reports that can be used in an investment committee or shared with LPs. These due diligence reports can be up to 30 pages long and provide an in-depth analysis of the business's revenue, expenses, valuation, and runway. In situations requiring in-depth investigation, Verified Metrics' team of financial professionals can assist VCs in reviewing the company's accounts and identifying areas for a deep dive.
Ultimately, that makes the entire company much stronger - when you can discuss with the founder and have them go through the same information we are seeing to get a better result - Mark Muñoz
Vectr's subscription also gave portfolio companies access to Verified Metrics and facilitated greater collaboration through a set shared of financial tools; Vectr was also able to play a significant role in preparing portfolio companies for their next funding rounds. In one instance, a portfolio company had what appeared to be unexplained anomalies in its revenue. With the help of Verified Metrics, Vectr worked with the founders to clean up their books and increase the chances that they passed financial due diligence at their next funding stage. Verified Metrics' cash flow forecasting tool also helps companies calculate a new runway based on cuts to specific cost line items. It was easy for the portfolio company to understand where they stood financially, but it also helped them realize what changes they could make and the impact on their runway. Muñoz added, "It's a win-win situation. We make better investment decisions, and our portfolio companies benefit from Verified Metrics' powerful tools."