Venture capital firms have always invested in leading technology, but they are surprisingly slow to adopt new tools themselves. Venture capital trends highlight the importance of technology in dealmaking for the most successful VCs. Firms that are able to make more informed decisions faster are pulling ahead, winning portfolio companies are growing globally. To keep pace, the most tech-savvy investors are also adding mobile apps to their VC tech stack. Here are some of the mobile apps at the fingertips of successful VCs.
1. Sourcing and opportunity evaluation mobile apps
The most successful venture capitalists use technology to mine large datasets and uncover the most lucrative potential investments. Many early-stage VCs mine angel group platforms and crowdfunding sites like Angelist, Producthunt, and SeedInvest to identify promising opportunities. Once you’ve sourced a potential lead for a new investment, it’s time to evaluate them.
2. Networking and social media mobile apps
When it comes to researching investors, potential portfolio companies, or other key contacts, LinkedIn is the de-facto platform for VCs to network online. LinkedIn is, not surprisingly, the most common channel used by early-stage VCs, followed by Twitter. When networking is a core part of your career, making sure you have your network with you anywhere you go is a requirement.
3. Data vendor mobile apps
Data vendors and sourcing platforms are powerful tools. Making decisions on companies sourced from up-and-coming lists often involves data from CBInsights, MatterMark, and Pitchbook. When it comes to identify promising potential portfolio companies, your firm needs instant access to as much information as it can get.
Even then, VC firms typically only invest in 1% of the opportunities that come through the door. VC firms can easily fall victim to some biases—including survivorship bias (investing in companies based on a compelling storyline, rather than the available hard data) and the halo effect (investing in companies based on how similar they seem to previous investments)—and information overload. Keeping your data easily at hand with a mobile for your preferred data vendors can make sure you’re always keenly aware of any data available.
4. Operations management mobile apps
The operations side of VC might not get the same fanfare as a multimillion-dollar funding round, but no investment can be completed without contracts and portfolio management.
You need secure and reliable document management and execution solutions. Tools like DocuSign and HelloSign are common frontrunners for VCs closing deals on the go.
In addition to document management and execution tools, VCs rely heavily on cap table management tools to support their operations. Cap tables are essential for analyzing ownership dilution and issuing employee stock options.
Cap table and fund management
Carta is used by thousands of investors and currently manages more than $800 billion in equity, making it the hands-down leader in the cap table management mobile app game. Carta includes portfolio performance dashboards that give venture capitalists insight into company performance data. Venture capitalists appreciate that Carta allows them to communicate securely with their LPs, issue capital calls, and distribute tax documents to investors directly.
After a VC firm invests in a company, keeping track of those investments is key. Tools like Carta enable investors to manage their portfolio. When your portfolio companies use Carta to manage their cap tables and issue electronic securities, you automatically get a free dashboard where you can track your holdings. Carta also offers full-service fund administration, ASC 820 valuations, and LP management.
5. CRM mobile apps
Your CRM is at the heart of your VC firm. All of the data in each of the other apps above come together in your CRM to form your collective business network. Accessing relevant information is even easier (and more impactful) when your data—including the relationships in your network, your deal flow pipeline, third-party vendor datasets, and documents—is captured and managed in one place.
There’s a wealth of information stored in your team’s collective professional network. You depend on that info to make informed business decisions—which is why the ability to grab a mobile app for your CRM is so valuable. This key VC mobile app lets you tap into your information about a client anywhere at any time.
Your CRM supports your contact management and deal flow processes. Some VC firms continue to use traditional, sales-focused CRMs including Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, and Pipedrive. Unfortunately, traditional CRM platforms typically require expensive and time-intensive customization and experience low adoption rates.
These same platforms also track people and contacts as transactions rather than relationships. But your team’s complex relationship network is more than numbers. This is why teams in venture capital, private equity, and investment banking are turning toward CRMs with mobile apps that support relationships and not just deals.
Because venture capital deals are rooted in relationships, teams benefit from choosing capital markets CRM platforms. With a relationship intelligence CRM designed for capital markets teams, dealmakers can focus on nurturing relationships, rather than moving widgets through an assembly line.
Want to read more about the future of relationship intelligence? Find out how these new insights are helping VCs find and close more deals faster.
Improving CRMs with relationship intelligence, artificial intelligence, and machine learning
Intelligent CRM platforms are also supported by rapidly growing technologies including relationship intelligence, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. These new technologies help firms make faster, more informed investment decisions using larger and larger datasets.
Tech-savvy venture capital firms have started to invest in AI tools to identify the most lucrative investment prospects. Firms such as SignalFire and Inreach Ventures have jumped on the AI train and developed algorithms to sift through the noise and identify promising prospects.
Hone Capital, the VC arm of Chinese PE firm CSC Group, created a machine-learning model using a database of more than 30,000 deals. Information pulled from Crunchbase, Mattermark, and Pitchbook is parsed to identify 20 characteristics that are most predictive of successful seed-stage companies. Ultimately, the model gives the team a recommendation for each deal they review.
What’s next for VC mobile apps?
Despite the enormous potential of AI, its use in VC is still new. As the technology matures, it’s inevitable that AI tools will transform the VC landscape, and we’ll other uses across the VC tech stack. New tools become available regularly, and VCs have to keep pace. Technologies like relationship intelligence, artificial intelligence, and machine learning are helping teams make better investment decisions faster, and firms that adopt these mobile versions of these tools are prepared to take them anywhere.