case study

How Uncork Capital increased portco founder engagement by 45% with Affinity

Affinity’s list and automation capabilities help the firm prioritize actions and deliver a seamless portfolio onboarding experience
"We landed on Affinity to manage our extensive network and operations due to its robust relationship mapping and task management."
Ashley Cravens
Head of Operations and Platform

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Increase in founder interactions with Affinity
Increase in executive interactions with Affinity
Increase in important stakeholder interactions with Affinity
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Uncork is a seed-stage venture capital firm with over $900 million in assets under management. The firm has invested in over 260 companies, including Poshmark, Postmates, Eventbrite, Fitbit, and SendGrid.
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Venture Capital
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After trying multiple CRMs, Uncork Capital faced difficulty managing their extensive network of investments, LPs, and co-investors. The firm needed a solution that could provide a single source of truth with data, provide insight around their overall network, and eliminate manual tasks.
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Affinity CRM immediately synced all of Uncork’s data and contacts in one place, and provided detailed segmentation and relationship mapping capabilities that enabled more hyper-targeted outreach. Affinity created a foundation for the firm’s tech stack to automate many tedious processes around onboarding new portcos and founders and streamline operations for more informed decision-making.
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By automating workflows, establishing processes, and ensuring data consistency with Affinity, Uncork Capital has increased their overall engagement metrics with founders and executives, and ensures their team allocates resources towards the most important tasks at hand.


Uncork Capital, a seed stage venture firm managing over $900 million, faced challenges in managing their extensive network efficiently, and needed a solution that could streamline their operations and enhance their data-driven approach.

Affinity provided a centralized system of record for the firm, allowing Uncork a way to sync their contacts and organize them by role and relationship. Affinity serves as the foundation for their tech stack, providing relevant data and contact information that’s integrated into other applications and used to manage the firm’s portfolio companies and founders, eliminating tedious manual processes.

With Affinity, Uncork Capital can now:

  • Automate the portco onboarding process by sending relevant founder information through Zapier to other parts of the firm’s tech stack, including Asana, Mailchimp, Slack and Airtable
  • Thoroughly organize their network through list and tagging capabilities, allowing for segmentation by relationships, roles, Uncork team owners, and events
  • Use dashboards to determine prioritization around portfolio support, ensuring interactions are proactive and resulting in 45% increase in founder engagement


Lots of manual tasks and little consistency

As an investment firm grows, teams can no longer rely on manual processes and multiple spreadsheets to get things done. You need to move to a standardized approach across teams and tasks to ensure consistency and accuracy.

With a network of over 265 investments, hundreds of LPs, and thousands of co-investors, Uncork Capital had built an incredible network and roster, but needed a solution that could scale with the team and help them manage their contacts, tasks, and tech stack. Manual data entry, incomplete data, and inefficient relationship management processes meant they couldn’t fully engage with their network or establish any sort of processes around onboarding portfolio companies and reporting out progress to their LPs and co-investors. The team knew they needed to move past using multiple CRMs and spreadsheets.


A people-first CRM 

“We landed on Affinity to manage our extensive network and operations due to its robust relationship mapping and task management,” Ashley Cravens, Head of Operations and Platform at Uncork shares, adding: "We approached Affinity as a people-first CRM. We needed to segment our audience to manage our network effectively." 

This meant taking the time to define the relationships, roles, and audiences the firm wanted to track, and then subsequently tagging individuals and companies using these parameters. 

The relationship aspect is especially important to Uncork because they are capturing the type of relationship each contact has with the firm, such as advisor, board member, co-investor, executive, founder, current LP, prospect LP, network service provider, sponsor and so on. . 

From there, the team created several lists used daily based on these tags. Among those are three that help manage their overall network: 

  • Portfolio Founders & CEOs, which captures the founders and CEOs of their portfolio companies
  • Portfolio Executives, which includes portco execs across functional roles
  • Master Event List, which the firm maintains for 40+ events annually, tagging contacts based on relationship, role, and geo to ensure invites are hyper-targeted. 
“By using this segmentation, we can easily identify the key individuals who we can connect our network to potential deals, partnerships, deal flow. follow-ons, etc.."

The data segmentation capability is also used when reporting to their LPAC and partnership team. With Affinity, the team can quickly capture the type and cadence of support they’re offering to their portfolio and even segment that out by stage. Recently, the team was able to determine that even as a seed-stage firm, they’re still providing high-level support for later-stage companies as well.

 “From this data, I can drill down on our primary platform focuses, which are onboarding, network cultivation, events, portfolio support, and founder development,” Ashley says. “All of this data takes minutes to pull, so if you track it in Affinity, you can report on it seamlessly.”

A seamless portfolio company onboarding process

By having Affinity’s data feed into Uncork’s tech stack, "there was no more duplicating work across multiple spreadsheets, CRMs, etc.,” Ashley shares. “Synced data across all the tools prevented the drudgery of updating multiple places.”

A prime example of where this has been most useful for Uncork is in the portfolio onboarding process. Tilly McLain, Operations and Community Manager at Uncork, shares how that process kicks off:

“​​When we sign a new investment, Ashley adds that company to the Affinity portfolio list, which is the initial step that triggers the entire onboarding workflow.” 

From there, Zapier pulls data from Affinity to create records across Uncork’s tech stack. When contacts are added to the Portfolio Founders & CEOs and Executive Affinity lists, they automatically receive the  proper tags to categorize them based on their roles so they can provide them with relevant resources and event invitations. All the data collected in Affinity is integrated into Airtable, which the team uses to distribute data and allows contacts to update their records in Affinity. There are also triggers that invite the founders and executives to Uncork’s Slack for their founder network, subscribe contacts to their monthly newsletter, and create a set of onboarding tasks in Asana, which the firm uses to manage the manual processes. 

This allows for a standardized, automated process that ensures each portfolio company is equipped with the same resources from the moment they become a part of Uncork’s network, ensures accuracy across the firm’s tech stack, and is the foundation to build on when introducing new programs.

How Affinity’s contact data feeds into Uncork’s tech stack during the portfolio company onboarding process


A single source of truth for a well-oiled tech stack

By having Affinity integrate across its tech stack, Uncork Capital can manage its network and portfolio with the knowledge that the data and information will be consistent across platforms. “This increased efficiency by having everything in a central source of truth, has established clear, consistent processes for all of the common situations and saved us exponential time by not having to reinvent the process, case by case,” says Ashley.

Centralizing data in a primary source of truth saves time and effort, allowing the team to focus on more strategic tasks. Ashley shares, “With Affinity, we had more bandwidth for actual work within the portfolio, which resulted in improved engagement metrics." The results? A 45% increase in engagement with portfolio founders, a 122% increase in engagement with portfolio executives, and a 71% increase in engagement with important people in Uncork’s network, such as LPs, co-investors, and sponsors.

By focusing on relationships, implementing consistent processes, and leveraging technology, Uncork Capital continues to drive clear ROI, streamline operations, and deepen relationships within its network.

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