Following many years of supporting UK SMEs in accessing equity funding and growing shareholder value, we decided to tackle the inefficiencies that exist in the way in which companies and investors connect.
A process that, at present, relies heavily on personal networks that are neither representative nor accessible; that encourages companies to reach out to tens if not hundreds of firms, that attributes doubt to companies that have sought advice, and that leaves investors will little time and ineffective tools for proactive outbound sourcing.
Connect is a discovery platform that professional investment firms and funds use to identify and shadow potential companies of interest and reach out when they would like to start building a relationship. For companies and their advisers, it is a way to raise visibility and have fewer, more meaningful, conversations.
Through applying our experience as investors, we extract the information that funds need to assess mandate fit and the potential for an investment thesis. It is a little-known fact that one of the most common reasons for decline is the failure to communicate what the business actually does.
By profiling companies for the long term, we move away from the notion of pitching and towards relationship building. As a trusted first port-of-call for SMEs seeking equity funding, we are uniquely positioned to surface companies early, allowing more time to assess fit.
Using technology, we can ensure that high potential companies from all corners of the economy and society have the ability to be found, and we can give investors a representative view and access to greater diversity.
We have always believed that structural market inefficiencies play a more significant role in the mismatch between portfolios and the spectrum of opportunity than inherent bias, and our conversations with investors over the past few months have reassuringly confirmed this. It is not just companies that want change - investors do too.
In an industry where casting judgement on innovation and disruption is part of the day job, we find ourselves reliant on a decades-old system for capital distribution. This is starting to change, and we think that those in front of this curve will discover how much we have missed.
If you are part of a professional investment firm or fund and would like access to Connect, you can set up an account and request access here.