In light of new investing strategies and an increase in investing activity, the venture capital (VC) investing landscape has shifted dramatically. Leading firms must act faster and with more agility if they want to maintain their edge.
A range of technologies and tools comprise your tech stack, and although your CRM is the most important piece, it needs to work in concert with all of your other tools. Customer relationship management platforms enable you to leverage relationships in your network—but the satellite technologies that interact with them need to also support your everyday tasks.
For example, an easy-to-use calendar can impact your client’s experience and build trust, or if it is clunky and hard to navigate, it could diminish that trust. Across the board, an optimized VC tech stack can help teams streamline their internal processes, accelerate deal flow, and get—and stay— ahead of the competition.
This guide will offer an overview of some of the most commonly used tech solutions so that your VC firm can better understand which options might best help you streamline processes, accelerate deal flow, and save time—time you can use to nurture relationships.
What is a venture capital tech stack?
A venture capital tech stack is a combination of technology tools, VC software solutions, and various apps that work together to allow venture capital firms to automate, standardize, and optimize all stages of the dealmaking process.
In this guide, you’ll learn about some of the most popular and best-in-class technology solutions used by venture capital firms.
We’ll discuss the following aspects of an effective tech stack for VC:
- CRMs with relationship intelligence
- Traditional CRM platforms
- Managing your portfolio
- Research and private company data
- Emailing your allies
- Cold outreach
- Company contact data
- Diligence notes
- Comps and benchmarks
- Investor updates for portfolio companies
- Hiring for portfolio companies
- Building an in-house solution
Components of the modern venture capital tech stack
A strong VC technology stack allows venture capital firms to operate smoothly, efficiently, and nimbly.
The market offers a range of software options for each stage of the venture capital investment process, and some tools may be more helpful than others depending on your firm’s needs. This section will explore some of the best solutions for the core functions of a VC firm, so you can learn more about which tools might contribute to the best VC tech stack for your organization.
CRMs with relationship intelligence
As a venture capital firm, your most integral—and highest value—tasks will always be linked to relationship building. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, deal and relationship management in VC shifted to rely even more heavily on technology.
With these changes, it became even more important to capture the high volume of data exhaust—details that are automatically captured from email communications, meetings, and contact information such as names, roles, industry, and source of introduction—that accompanied the spike in digital engagement.
Despite this shift, your team still relies on building deep relationships with founders and co-founders in order to identify and close your most important deals. The right CRM can facilitate, enhance, and help leverage these relationships.
Affinity’s CRM offers automated relationship intelligence and is ideal for VC firms’ sophisticated dealmaking workflows and complex deal cycles. From automating data entry to helping quickly identify if someone in your network can make a warm introduction, a CRM with relationship intelligence technology is critical for today’s VC tech stacks.
Traditional CRMs like Salesforce are transactional and built for short, funnel-driven sales teams. In contrast, Affinity was made for VC firms’ sophisticated dealmaking workflows and longer deal cycles. Affinity’s proprietary algorithm assesses and analyzes every relationship in real-time to help you find the right connection point, unify your team’s collective network, and find the best path to the introduction that will create the deal.
- AI-driven relationship insights
- Automated data entry and enriched datasets
- Intuitive and sophisticated pipeline management
Integrations: Salesforce, Slack, Microsoft Teams, Dropbox, Google Drive, Mailchimp, Eventbrite, Typeform, Sharepoint, Box
Traditional CRM platforms
Salesforce is one of the most-recognized CRM software programs on the market. This all-in-one solution allows salespeople to access accounts and customer information whether they’re at their desks or on the go. Salesforce is the industry standard customer relationship management platform for traditional sales teams in industries like SaaS, retail, and hospitality. With the right resources dedicated to deploying Salesforce, their sales cloud can be a powerful asset for managing your deal flow, but smaller organizations and teams that want to move quickly may struggle to use it to its full potential.
- Contact and account management
- Opportunity and pipeline management
- Lead management
Integrations: Affinity, Google Cloud, Mailchimp, WordPress, Quickbooks, DocuSign, Airtable, Zendesk, HubSpot, Outlook, Pardot, Dropbox
Pipedrive CRM is an easy-to-use web-based CRM and pipeline management tool. It also offers simple, customizable reporting dashboards for reporting on funnel process.While Pipedrive allows some degree of flexibility, it’s not a complete relationship or customer life cycle management ecosystem. Sales teams focused on transactional deal management will appreciate features such as email marketing, lead management, and activity scheduling, but CRM platforms built for investment teams can support your team as they manage long-term investment deals and even longer-term investor relations in addition to Pipedrive’s pipeline management features.
- Marketing automation
- Salesforce automation
Integrations: Zapier, Google Apps, Mailchimp, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Slack, PandaDoc, Xero, Leadfeeder, Outfunnel, Quickbooks, Pipechat, Trello, JustCall
Navatar was built with financial services in mind and is known for its streamlined deal and pipeline management. This traditional CRM requires manual data entry as well as manual relationship mapping to manage your deals and relationships. Businesses such as corporate development, venture capital, and private equity have used this legacy software for many years, but its lack of automated features makes it challenging for new teams to adopt.
- Relationship management
- Deal and pipeline management
Integrations: Outlook, Excel, Constant Contact, PitchBook, Mailchimp, Box, Zoom, Google Drive, LinkedIn, Marketo, Slack
Are you still exploring your venture capital CRM options? Learn more about what your team should expect from a CRM with the definitive guide to CRM for venture capital.
Managing your portfolio
Carta, previously known as eShares, is an ownership and equity management platform used by venture capital firms to manage their portfolios, cap tables, and equity plans by streamlining their back office. The integration of live cap table data and current company valuations enables VCs to readily share real-time data with their LPs and simultaneously reduce manual data entry.
- Real-time deal IRR
- Quarterly or annual reporting
- Portfolio insights
Airtable is a relational database platform that easily surpasses Excel’s limited functionality, making it an ideal database platform for venture capital firms who want to track fund performance, portfolio company information, and a range of other uses, all from one central location. It can even be used in concert with Zapier and other VC tech stack tools to collect and manage tasks in one centralized hub.
- Workflow automation
- Native integrations
- Collaboration tools
- Open API
Integrations: Zapier, Automate.io, Stripe, Evernote, Box, Basecamp, Gmail, Google Drive Slack, Mailchimp, Jotform, Typeform, Trello
Research and private company data sources
Industry-standard Crunchbase offers venture capitalists the ability to search for, analyze, and track valuable data points including investment trends, startups, growth industries, and other investors. Though originally built to track startups, today Crunchbase offers data on public and private companies from early-stage startups through global Fortune 1000 companies, and boasts over 60 million users.
- Unique funding data
- CRM integrations
- Account discovery
- Enriched data
Integrations: Salesforce, Airtable, Google Drive, Zoom, Slack, Pipedream
PitchBook, another industry-standard research tool, offers insights into pre-money venture valuations and a unique source of data for venture capital firms who desire greater insight into potential deals. PitchBook is known for its consistently accurate and reliable data on the most recent private capital markets transactions. Venture capital funds can leverage this granular financial data when fundraising in order to more quickly target the best investors.
- Industry overview
- Data visualization
- Real-time reporting
Integrations: Salesforce, HubSpot CRM, DealCloud, Affinity, Navatar
Calendly offers VC firms the ability to easily coordinate meetings, rather than spending precious time emailing back and forth to schedule an appointment. VCs can use the saved time to focus on what really matters: building relationships with founders and others in their networks.
- Easily shareable link to your availability
- Analytics integrations to track funnels
- Automatic reminders and more with Workflows
Integrations: Salesforce, HubSpot, Mailchimp, Zapier, Stripe, PayPal
Like the popular tool Calendly, the newer SavvyCal scheduling software lets users coordinate their meetings online. One big difference, however, is the interface. With SavvyCal, your teammates and customers can overlay their calendar on top of the SavvyCal scheduler so they don’t have to toggle back and forth between the scheduling software and their personal calendar.
- Calendar overlay to prioritize UX
- Ranked availability
- Single-use personalized links
- Easily adjusted availability across multiple meeting types
Integrations: Zapier, Zoom, Google Meet, Whereby, Fastmail
Emailing your allies
Superhuman is a relatively new email client, but Silicon Valley startup owners reportedly love it. The software plugs into Gmail and although the interface looks similar, the underlying purpose is different. Teams can save time by combining keyboard shortcuts and snippets of templated phrases. Although these may seem like deceptively simple timesavers, VC teams can redirect that time to nurturing and developing relationships.
- Keyboard shortcuts
- Natural language processing (NLP)
- Instant unsubscribes
- Scheduled messages
- Read statuses
Integrations: Zapier, Nimble, Zoho Mail, GoToMeeting
Mixmax is an email automation tool that integrates with its users’ Gmail accounts through a browser extension (Chrome). The tool allows users to streamline technology tools: VC teams can schedule meetings, sequence rule-triggered emails, and view statistics, all from within their Gmail accounts.
- Email tracking
- Scheduled email sequences
- GDPR compliant, TrustArc certified, and SOC 2 Type II
Integrations: Salesforce, Pipedrive, Greenhouse, Typeform, Dropbox, Google Calendar, Box, SMS
The Outreach engagement and intelligence platform offers venture capital teams visibility into deals, buyers, and teams. The software recommends actions based on AI-powered intelligence, so VC firms don’t have to rely on guesswork.
- Deal acceleration tool
- Real-time AI assistance
- Buyer sentiment analysis
Integrations: Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics 265, Outlook, Drift, Crunchbase, DocSend
Company contact data
Clearbit is a business intelligence tool that allows venture capital firms to gather and leverage real-time intelligence about companies and people to improve sourcing, increase conversions, and win deals.
- Lead Enrichment
- Data accuracy—all data is sourced from the past 30 days
- Customizability through API
Integrations: Zapier, Marketo, HubSpot, Segment, LeanData
One critical component of any VC tech stack is the ability to easily create, categorize, and search notes for companies where your team is doing due diligence. Notion offers a relational database, templates, customized and flexible pages, and more in one main hub. Notes can be shared publicly or kept private, allowing teams to efficiently collaborate and share information.
- Collaboration tools
- Content management
- Task management
Integrations: Chilipepper, Zapier, Automate.io, Zapier, ActiveCampaign, Airtable, Freshsales, Google Drive, and many more
Comps and benchmarks
Public Comps was founded by a VC associate who realized that automated access to SaaS metrics such as ARR, retention, and payback period, were essential to gathering due diligence on companies. The software offers a free version as well as upgraded options—many of the most useful features require a paid plan.
- Non-GAAP data
- Downloadable to CSV
- Historical financials
- Valuation metrics
- Analyst estimates
Integrations: Google Sheets
Cap IQ is a market intelligence platform designed by S&P. It provides venture capital analysts with data, research, and analysis on public and private companies. VC teams can access qualitative data, valuation, financial information, security pricing and valuation, and much more, so they can better evaluate deals that are in the pipeline.
- Company screening
- Real-time workstations
- Portfolio management
- Reports and analyses
Integrations: Excel, CFI
AngelList is a matchmaking site designed with startups and private capital investors in mind. The website began as a place where tech startups (particularly early-stage) could seek angel investors. Today, however, AngelList is home to an extensive number of startups and tech companies, and subsequently is a hub for those looking for deals.
- Worldwide and global reach
- Advanced search features
- Robust data, including transparency and comprehensive information on startups
Integrations: LinkedIn, Lever, Workable, Stat, Drupal, Slack
Republic was founded by AngelList alumni and offers a platform for venture capital teams to access high growth-potential deals across a variety of private markets. Users can access highly vetted startups and real estate ventures—less than 3% of applicants pass the due diligence and investment committee.
- Deal-specific special purpose vehicles (SPVs)
- Individual and institutional investor company
- Reporting and analytics
Investor updates for portfolio companies
Foundersuite is venture capital and investor relationship management software designed to connect startups and entrepreneurs with angel investors and venture capital firms.
- Multiple parallel pipelines
- Full suite of deal tools
- Investor communications
Consistent and informative communication with investors builds trust in your venture capital firm. Goodbits offers companies a simple yet powerful tool, so they can create more valuable investor updates.
- Custom templates
- Content blocks
- Customizable landing pages
Integrations: Mailchimp, Sendy, ActiveCampaign, ConvertKit, Drop, Marketo, HubSpot
Mailchimp is one of the original newsletter platforms. Small venture capital firms that are just getting started may want to take advantage of the free plan, which allows you to send basic newsletters to up to 2,000 contacts.
- Marketing CRM
- Email templates
- Analytics and audience insights
- Enriched customer data
Integrations: Canva, WordPress, LinkedIn, Stripe, SurveyMonkey, Typeform, Unsplash, and many more.
Hiring for portfolio companies
Keeping track of all of the talent in your VC network is impossible in today’s data-saturated world without the right tools. Getro’s automated job board and talent network eliminates manual connection by automatically updating your network’s opportunities on a single job board.
- Analytics and metrics to measure ROI
- Talent lists and alerts
- Easy data importation
- Customizable privacy preferences
Jobbio is a marketplace where talent and companies, including venture capital firms, can connect directly with each other. The job search platform offers services for both employees and employers.
- Applicant management
- Live talent pool for future hiring
- Dynamic, always-live profiles for talent
Integrations: Indeed, LinkedIn for Business, Greenhouse, Workable,
Recruitee’s talent acquisition platform allows venture capital firms to reduce their time-to-hire, tailor their onboarding, and use API access to unify their HR tech stack. Attracting and retaining the best talent begins with the recruitment process.
- User-friendly pipelines
- Customizable templates
- Automated actions
- Mobile App
Integrations: Zapier, Single Sign-on, HeyJobs, DocuSign, HelloSign, Slack, Zoom, Microsoft Teams
Building an in-house technology solution: Pros and cons
When it comes to designing your venture capital technology stack, one question is whether to build the ideal solution in-house. As VC firms cobble together various software and apps, they can be left with tools that lack security, have challenges with integration, and don’t quite meet their exact needs.
Investment teams are facing increasing competition, and your tech stack can help make or break your deals. Building an in-house solution can ensure that your venture capital firm’s individual needs are addressed.
On the other hand, customizing an in-house solution can be costly to develop and maintain, making it cost-prohibitive to smaller, boutique venture capital firms. Additionally, this investment is also a much larger commitment to your in-house solution, whereas using SaaS solutions allows you to test alternatives with short-term trial options or demos.
Trends: How may VC tech stacks look different in the future?
The shift from spreadsheets like Excel to more robust software is continuing across industries, and venture capital is no different. Shifts to more effective tech stacks for VC are even more critical with venture capital’s focus on long-term relationship building and complex, non-linear sales cycles. To track these ongoing relationships and sales cycles, workflows will continue to see more efficient and effective automation.
Another indicator of these changes is the ongoing shift from general software to specialized, purpose-built software for capital markets—such as software that better automates data capture and minimizes time wasted on data entry, improving sourcing through data enrichment, and a slew further changes built for efficiency so that VCs are free to do what’s most important: build relationships and close deals.
We hope this guide has been helpful as you consider which solutions may improve your technology stack. The right venture capital tech stack can help your team streamline processes, accelerate deal flow, and stand out among your competition. By saving time with your tech stack, your firm can focus on closing your next deal.
Talk to an Affinity expert today to learn how an automated relationship intelligence CRM can form the backbone of your entire VC tech stack and boost the impact of the other tools you use today.