Introduction to Deal Origination Services
Making a deal is imperative for a Venture Capital or a Private Equity firm. That is the business they are in. However, behind every successful deal that attracts investment, there is a pipeline of multiple other deals that are curated over time. Deal origination services deal in populating and updating that deal pipeline.
Every fund has an investment philosophy or mandate to make deals that are relevant for its purpose of delivering outsized returns. Some specialize in early-stage investments like Seed or Series A while others prime for late-stage investments like M&A or Series D and beyond. Whatever is the fund mandate, it’s imperative for every private equity or venture capital fund to populate the deal pipeline, so that the deals that fit every criterion could be fructified as and when required. For Hedge funds and Fund of Funds, deal origination concerns about stocks and funds respectively. Deal Origination for Investment Banking also works on similar lines.
Scope of Deal Origination Services
Private Equity Deal origination or Venture Capital Deal Origination services understand in detail the fund philosophy or the mandate. It is then broken down into actionable categories for the selection of targets. For a typical early-stage VC fund, for example, would be interested in SaaS product companies, where the product development has been done and the company is looking for commercialization in the space where the fund may have connections to bring in the early clients. This breaks down into requirements in terms of the industry of the target, industry where target’s clients are, revenues, geographical presence, employees, team, and their background, and suitability to deal terms like management ready to give majority stake, etc.
Once the profile of an ideal deal is finalized, the search begins for the potential targets, where the deal could be fetched.
Population and Update of Deal Pipeline
The deal pipeline is continually updated for the right deals. Every new deal that is originated finds a place in the deal pipeline. This also works for M&A deal Origination. As not all the details about the private companies are available in the public domain, primary research along with secondary research is employed. Details of the deal origination process are explained below
Here are the most common ways of populating the deals pipeline:
Secondary Research is the backbone of finding suitable deals. The analyst looks for the private and sometimes public companies satisfying a given set of criteria like revenue, stage, team, geographical presence, etc. Information on all relevant parameters is collected to shortlist the right target
Once the target is shortlisted the analyst gets in touch with the company to collect other information and understand the intent of the company to raise funds. All the information collected is duly captured in the pipeline sheet or Deal Origination platform
Accelerators, Incubators, and other similar Associations provide a current set of targets that are looking to raise funds and have been primed to do so. Getting in touch with such organizations provides important inputs to the deals pipeline. Sometimes these organizations distribute information through regular newsletters which need to be studied to populate the pipeline for the appropriate targets
Platforms and Events
Some multiple platforms and events help startups in raising funds. These platforms are continually looking for investors to fund their member startups. The analyst usually takes the membership of these platforms to receive periodic information
There are multiple deal databases along with private company financials. Each geography has a specialized database. Sometimes databases also specialize in a given industry. Deal terms on databases help in arriving at the company valuation which is useful in the deal execution stage
Introduction to Deal Execution Services
Once the pipeline is populated and the opportunity is shortlisted for deal-making, deal execution services come into play. Deal execution services help in preparing documents that go into deal-making and negotiations involved therein.
Activities in deal execution are Financial Modeling, Valuation, Due Diligence, Strategy, Business Development Support, and Deal Documentation
Financial modeling serves as a host of purposes. It analyzes if the proposed acquisition, buy-out, M&A, or investments makes sense financially. It also helps in fine-tuning the financial future of the proposed asset. Revenue, profitability, and costs are forecasted to finally arrive at a proposed valuation. The financial model also takes into account the cost of capital and analyzes various exit opportunities for investors. The financial model also suggests if the investment is viable and is going to provide the expected returns to the fund. The financial model analyzes various investment scenarios too, and how key investment parameters change in all those scenarios. Financial Models have been traditionally prepared on the excel sheets but increasingly there have been multiple software products to aid the modeling and reduce the analyst errors
Valuation is one of the key metrics for the investment decision. It is calculated differently for different types of companies and their maturity. For public companies, the DCF Model along with comps from similar companies gives a comprehensive view. For private companies, it’s usually based on multiples prevailing in the industry. Valuations change in various business scenarios of optimistic, pessimistic, and realistic business outcomes
Due Diligence makes sure that investment is right and will meet its objective in terms of expected returns from the asset. Due Diligence checks thoroughly the financials of the company. All the assumptions made to forecast the financial future are double-checked. Due diligence also checks for the track record of the team as professionals. All aspects of Corporate Governance are verified in detail. Legal battles, statutory or government actions on the company are looked at. Due diligence gets into details of finances, strategy, assumptions, marketing, people, team, and everything else that is important. For smaller assets, it could be done in a few weeks, whereas for strategic investment it can go on for months. A data room is set to comb through the huge amount of data and information.
Strategy Formulation for Portfolio Companies
In terms of Deal Execution either the strategy is prepared or already prepared strategy document is vetted. A strategy document is put to attract co-investors and set the expectations from the management. Strategy or plan for the next 5 to 10 years is prepared. The input from the strategy document goes into financial modeling and revenue forecasts. If Strategy is already in place, assumptions are rechecked to make sure the document is robust and achievable. Annual budgets are also derived from the strategy documents.
Business Development Support for Portfolio Companies
Immediately after the deal goes through, major thrust from investors is towards the business development of the invested company. Almost always there is an imminent need of finding out and reaching out to the customers. It is usually achieved through lead generation and meetings’ set up in B2B set-up and effective digital marketing in B2C set up. Business Development support services ensure the revenue and growth forecasts are met
There are a host of documents that are prepared for fund-raising. Requirements are even more in the case of public companies. Following are the documents that are usually prepared for fund-raising
–PPM/CIM: Private Placement Memorandum or Confidential Information Memorandum is a detailed document covering all aspects of the proposed investment
-1 Pager: It’s a teaser document that is sent out for information of other investors
-Financial Model: As discussed earlier in the document, it analyzes the investment in all scenarios and the respective outcomes.
-Pitch Deck: A short version of CIM which is more of a marketing document
Several other forms are filled and prepared depending on the geography of the investor and investee.
Magistral Consulting has helped multiple investors like Private Equity, Venture Capital, and Family Offices in making the right investments through all the services mentioned above. To drop an inquiry please visit www.magistralconsulting.com/contact
Magistral Consulting has helped multiple funds and companies in outsourcing CIO related activities. It has service offerings for Private Equity, Venture Capital, Family Offices, Investment Banks, Asset Managers, Hedge Funds, Financial Consultants, Real Estate, REITs, RE funds, Corporates and Portfolio companies. Its functional expertise is around Deal origination, Deal Execution, Due Diligence, Financial Modeling, Portfolio Management and Equity Research
For setting up an appointment with a Magistral representative visit www.magistralconsulting.com/contact
About the Author
The Author, Prabhash Choudhary is the CEO of Magistral Consulting and can be reached at Prabhash.firstname.lastname@example.org for any queries or business inquiries.