How 2150 standardizes deal flow data intake with Affinity
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2150 is a venture capital firm focused on climate technology investments and building the Urban Stack of the future. With 20 employees and increasing deal flow volumes, the firm needed to standardize their deal flow management and streamline processes to make more informed investment decisions and cut down on time spent reviewing less relevant deals.
Affinity’s Typeform integration enables the firm to capture the same information for each opportunity during the qualification and origination stage of the deal process. From there, the information is quickly relayed to the right person on the team based on their area of interest and expertise. The team also uses Affinity’s dashboards to better understand average deal sizes, geographic coverage, and time spent evaluating deals.
With Affinity, 2150 can:
- Automatically turn intake forms into data and evaluate all deals using the same fields and metrics
- Reduce the time spent on the initial evaluation of deals so they can respond to prospective founders or companies promptly, and focus more time on the best deals
- Monitor their deal flow focus and quality, and adjust deal origination strategies accordingly
Increasing number of deals to evaluate
Climate tech is a booming sector that continues to attract investment. Though many VCs have slowed down the frequency of investments over the last year, many continue to see climate as an exciting opportunity. “Of course, we have seen valuations and round sizes coming down from the heady heights of 2021. Climate tech has been relatively sheltered from the recent market challenges, in part because investors understand how important the topic is, but also that there will clearly be demand and need for these products and services well beyond the current economic cycle. Furthermore, the support provided by the Inflation Reduction Act in the U.S. is a meaningful stimulus,” shares Max Blanshard, Investment Associate at 2150.
As the market has recently shifted, valuations are becoming more realistic while the climate tech landscape remains innovative. Says Blanshard, “that's created great opportunities to invest in this exciting and critically-important sector”
Great opportunities call for efficient processes to quickly evaluate deals and make data-driven decisions, and 2150 was looking for a solution to do this most efficiently. They were already Affinity customers, but adoption had been mixed.
A standardized approach to capturing data
2150 realized that streamlining their approach meant standardizing the information they received from founders, ultimately eliminating a lot of time spent reviewing decks to answer simple “scope” questions.
2150 integrated Typeform with Affinity and produced a standardized form that used multiple choice, yes/no and short answer questions to collect information from prospective startups. “Typeform very seamlessly integrates with Affinity,” says Blanshard. “In the old days, there was a fair bit of hunting for decks in emails, whereas now we can have the deck and answers to key screening questions in one shared place. That's super helpful."
Building out the form and setting up the integration took less than half a day and has resulted in hours saved on manual evaluation. The team implemented a change management strategy at the beginning of the calendar year to ensure all team members would use the new Affinity process moving forward, and deprecated the old system. This was a forcing function to ensure all team members would send out the same form when talking to new startups and all information would end up in Affinity.
The form’s questions have allowed the 2150 team to quickly evaluate whether an opportunity aligns with their firm’s investment criteria. They collect the stage the company is at, how much they’re raising, broadly what they do, the potential sustainability impact, and the sector of the Urban Stack they’re focused on, allowing the team to quickly relay the opportunity to the right team member specialized in that field.
This change has enabled 2150 to continue responding quickly to enquiries from new startups , despite the increasing volume of deal flow. When a deal takes longer than anticipated to evaluate, Affinity helps the team stay proactive in communicating with founders. “Affinity reminds us when a deal has been lingering for a while and that sort of nudge helps to keep things moving through the pipeline.”
Making the team and weekly meetings efficient
Affinity has also changed how the team interacts during their weekly meetings. A dashboard that shows 2150’s pipeline is pulled up each week so that the team can compare how their current deal flow compares to what they want to see for their portfolio model. “We can now see data about our origination and make decisions based on that." says Blanshard.
Affinity has surfaced a lot of metrics that have now been integrated into how 2150 looks at investing. “The carrot to make this change was the data analytics that we can now do. Everyone realized that we had at our fingertips a lot of data that we were not using, because it wasn't being standardized. It also really streamlined everyone's process, so it was a win/win.”
Affinity’s integrations like Typeform have ensured that firms like 2150 can evaluate prospective companies quickly and with confidence that opportunities align with their firm’s strategy.