How to Better Utilize Technology for Private Equity Deals

How to Better Utilize Technology for Private Equity Deals

2019’s technological climate manifested by the daily pursuit of increasing, streamlining, and maximizing effort is apparent in every industry from small business food trucks utilizing handheld, portable Point of Sales devices, to Fortune 500 companies employing top of the line software developed for specific use within the company. It is without a doubt completely unavoidable, Private Equity sector is no exception.

Forget the seemingly endless back and forth correspondence, unsustainable spreadsheets, and multiple data platforms of old that have been prevalent in the dealings of Private Equity, technology notwithstanding, as the time has come for a comprehensive solution that delivers regardless of demand.

Long overdue for a singular, fully integrated software has been the status of Private Equity software across the board. This has prompted the attention of any CFO to be on the lookout for a platform that meets the demand for simplistic deal-making processes, data security that could not be understated, integrated cloud data sharing, and affordability.

Enter SmartRoom, the Private Equity technology that PE firms have been begging for. SmartRoom offers a full bundle of software solutions for Private Equity Funds including its next-generation virtual data room, and automated investor reporting and customized investor portal solution. Both of which, are both fully integrated with DealCloud, the only customer relationship management (CRM) platform built exclusively for deal professionals.

This integrated technology allows PE firms to consolidate and streamline deal management and provides greater insight into data, allowing them to negotiate better deals. The surface is only being scratched on what SmartRoom has to offer to the ever-increasing customer and user demands that are prevalent in the fast-paced world of Private Equity.

A CRM Designed Exclusively for Deal Makers

CRM tools (customer relationship management) are gaining increasing popularity across all industries. However, each industry defines its customers differently. This has led to the development of niche solutions that cater specifically to the needs of different types of companies, including PE firms.

These solutions focus on optimizing different stages of the private equity deal process and help firms stay more organized and on-task, particularly through deal sourcing and origination, fundraising and overall management. Firms that use a CRM platform are able to build stronger relationships and networks to use to their advantage, especially as they attempt to secure deal flow opportunities.

SmartRoom has partnered with DealCloud to provide an all-encompassing CRM that was built for deal professionals. DealCloud was designed with deal professionals in mind and equipped for the complexities of Fund Manager relationships. Therefore, this CRM offers an untraditional approach to powering a firm’s deal-making process.

It has never been simpler to access and manage everything in your scope including:

  • Proprietary lead sourcing which allows the firm to sort prospective companies by their region, industry, and sector to achieve a better understanding prior to initial contact.
  • Pipeline management including interactive dashboards, custom reports, and tools that allow the user to analyze prospering or failing deals with automated reports.
  • The ability to fundraise through an integrated and transparent view of investors activity and commitment from limited partners, essential for information that can lead to valuable deals.
  • Deal execution management allowing the tracking of every aspect of a deal from associated parties, task assignment to assure teams meet goals and stay on task with planned strategy, and relationship management.
  • Provided outreach to investors that offers ease of communication through multiple avenues to assist in properly managing client and investor intel

A Flat-Fee Virtual Data Room for Multiple Use Cases

From fundraising to portfolio company exits, private equity firms are constantly involved in a number of strategic transactions involving due diligence that requires file sharing with many stakeholders. Often times, firms use one-off solutions or multiple silo platforms that add additional steps and inefficient processes to daily workflows.

These jumbled solutions usually involve either generic file sharing applications that lack the critical security features necessary to handle sensitive information involved in these strategic events or multiple data rooms priced per-page that can add up to exorbitant amounts over time.

That is why SmartRoom has developed a next-generation virtual data room solution designed to meet the various needs of private equity firms.  The company offers  PE firms a flat-fee pricing model that gives them access to unlimited data and rooms, eliminating the price-per-page model.  This allows firms to use the platform for multiple use cases and deal activities including:

  • Portfolio company exits
  • Secure file sharing for each portfolio company
  • Fundraising
  • Add-on acquisitions
  • Lender communication
  • Portfolio company collaboration.

SmartRoom’s next-generation technology boasts inherit security functionality like custom security profiles, document-level security, and the remote detonation of documents, even after they have been downloaded.  It also was built with time-saving features like SmartDrive, a desktop application that allows you to manage data room content directly from your desktop, and advanced reporting and instant notifications; giving firms complete control and insight into all data activity.

Now, SmartRoom’s virtual data room can be integrated into DealCloud’s CRM, giving private equity firms even more insight into strategic events. By integrating DealCloud and SmartRoom, firms can now manage virtual data room invites and security settings directly from the DealCloud CRM.  In addition, they can maintain a running record of buyers’ data room activity within DealCloud, allowing them to have insight into buyers’ due diligence behaviors for their next deal.

Automated Investor Reporting Technology

Investor reporting can be a tedious process for private equity firm’s that haven’t invested in a technology solution.   Many firms still generate and distribute reports manually, relying on excel spreadsheets and mailing lists that are difficult and time-consuming to manage.

SmartRoom’s Investor reporting and portal solution, SmartLP, is a cloud-based platform that allows funds to automate the customization and distribution of investor documents and then allows investors to access those documents in a secure, centralized portal.

The reporting wizard automates the creation of investor specific reports and then automatically distributes those reports to their secure, designated folders within the investor portal.  The tool works by mapping investor information fields in Microsoft Excel with investor documents to create a custom report document for each investor.  It can also split a consolidated PDF report into separate investor-specific reports, depending on the firm’s reporting methods.

The investor portal is a fully-customizable cloud-based platform lets investors easily and securely access these documents from anywhere.  Firms can automatically invite new users and establish security profiles that control access rights.  They can also create automated alerts that instantly notify investors via email that their newest documents are available.  The portal is can be pre-configured with the fund’s colors and logo, making it a seamless and intuitive experience for investors.

SmartRoom’s SmartLP is fully integrating DealCloud CRM, so Investor Relations teams can now seamlessly automate the creation and distribution of investor reports by managing user lists, security settings, investor documentation, and more directly from DealCloud. In addition, they can maintain living records of investor communication right within the DealCloud instance. This integration saves valuable time and lets the team focus on more important investor tasks.  It accelerates the information sharing process while protecting the interests of all involved parties and is the key to staying organized and connected. With top-level security and an easy automated process, this intuitive online experience will transform LP reporting for the private equity industry.

An Integrated Private Equity Technology Solution

The ability for private equity firms to integrate all their technology, not only streamlines and accelerates information sharing processes, it enables greater visibility into data insights that will give them the competitive advantage in deals and negotiations.  A secure, single source of data gives teams more information at their fingertips, and helps firms reduce technology costs associated with multiple solutions.

SmartRooms all-inclusive private equity technology bundle brings exactly what is needed to the forefront of the private equity world solidified by their partnership with Deal Cloud.

When it comes down to the need of a firm that is preparing to invest in a technology that will withstand their highest demands in sharing and collaborating on highly sensitive information, the choice is clear to visit SmartRoom to request a demo and see for yourself the power and reliability of the industries leading private equity management software.

Virtual Data Rooms vs. File Sharing Platforms

Virtual Data Rooms vs. File Sharing Platforms

Data breaches are the bank heists of the Digital Age. Yet, they inflict much more widespread damage, dread, and chaos. Their impact is felt both immediately and in the long term. Companies targeted by data breaches can lose as much as 3% of their market value as a result. In some cases, data breaches are only identified weeks, sometimes months or years, later, which gives cybercriminals unfettered access over a long stretch of time.

Each year, the Identity Theft Resource Center compiles a year-to-date tally of “confirmed” data breaches affecting US companies and consumers. This report largely solidifies what we already know: data breaches are rampant. The YTD total for breaches in 2018 (up to September, 30) was 932, for a total of 47.2 million known records reportedly compromised.

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The Rise of Private Equity M&A Deals

The Rise of Private Equity M&A Deals

We’ve written a lot about mergers and acquisitions over the last year. The market is certainly robust, with megadeals leading the way. In fact, the M&A market is on pace for a record year according to Bloomberg, exceeding the $4.1 trillion total of 2007. But not all deals involve a combination of two companies. In fact, private equity M&As, where a fund developed by a PE firm purchases an asset, are in the midst of a strong run of growth.

According to Thomson Reuters, the rate of PE M&A deals is on the rise. During the first half of 2018, they accounted for 27 percent of all M&As, up from 24 percent in 2017. Not only are the total number of these deals on the uptick, but their value is increasing as well. The same research shows the total value of the deals from 1H 2018 were up 36 percent year over year.

The jump in deals was most prominent in a few sectors — technology (specifically cybersecurity and software as a service) and retail. On the technology side, the software as a service (SaaS) market has blossomed to $43 billion worldwide just in 1H 2017. Its growth rate is far outpacing that of the regular software market by approximately a 2-to-1 margin. Interest in cybersecurity is practically self-evident given our need to protect data in an increasingly wired world.

Adam Holt, an analyst at MoffettNathanson, told Investors Business Daily that because access to capital was relatively easy, these firms were in no rush to sell. But when Trump’s tax reform passed in late 2017, this kickstarted new opportunities for companies looking to sell and deep-pocketed PE firms looking to buy.

Another area where PE firms are jumping in is with conglomerates selling off business units. In June General Electric sold their power division to the private equity firm Advent International for $3.25 billion. In July, Brynwood Partners purchased a business unit from J.M. Smucker Co. that included the Pillsbury brand for $375 million. In late 2017, the giant Unilever sold off its margarine and spreads division to KKR for $8 billion.

In each of these cases, the PE firm will acquire these businesses and make operational and workforce improvements with the goal of selling them for a profit. But before the first dollar is spent on a PE M&A, it’s important to have the right technology and infrastructure in place to conduct successful transactions.

Companies like SmartRoom offer a private equity technology package to simplify and accelerate information and content management across your entire fund. The package combines 3 of the industry-best PE technology solutions including:

  • Data Room for Private Equity:  a next-generation virtual data room for all your PE use cases for one flat-rate annual fee. You can use SmartRoom for portfolio divestitures, fundraises, add-on acquisitions, lender communication and more; all for one low-cost.
  • SmartLP : a cloud-based platform that allows your fund to automate the customization and distribution of investor documents and then allows investors to access those documents in a secure, centralized hub.  SmartLP combines the automation of report creation with a simple intuitive online experience for today’s investors.
  • CRM for Deal Professionals: SmartRoom has partnered with DealCloud to bring you the only customer relationship management platform build exclusively for deal professionals. Seamlessly execute fundraising, sourcing and deal management strategies on one platform.

For more information on private equity technology solutions visit: https://smartroom.com/private-equity/

 

Top 5 Industries at Risk for Restructuring

Top 5 Industries at Risk for Restructuring

While the stock market hovers around all-time highs and unemployment is at less than 4 percent, it’s easy to assume that these are the best of times when it comes to the U.S. economy. But for some industries, these are most certainly the worst of times as corporate bankruptcies are surging to levels we haven’t seen since the waning days of the Great Recession.

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