Batch 8 (Where I Would Invest)

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BankerBay is the world’s first deal origination platform to use a complex algorithmic approach to match middle-market corporates seeking capital with the most relevant providers of capital anywhere in the world. In just a few easy steps, that take 3-5 minutes, BankerBay helps members raise capital, buy and sell companies, locate potential investments and new clients. We use powerful, custom built algorithms and a global network of professionals, to match requirements entered by our members.

BankerBay connects specific opportunities with precision, efficiency and intelligence, enabling buyers and sellers to reach far beyond the traditional boundaries of sectors, geographies and personal networks. It is designed to streamline the location, promotion and analysis efforts of professionals involved in middle-market deal making, while maintaining complete confidentiality about its members. BankerBay isn’t designed or meant to replace in-person meetings. It is a platform to better source information and opportunities, prior to committing valuable resources further.

Last Funds Raised: $2M Convertible Note, July 2016

Headquarters: New York, New York

 

What I Like:

  • The company has strong traction having introduced $150 billion of transaction value across 11,506 deals with 16,166 users.
  • Given the impressive accomplishments of the company it is surprising that it hasn’t raised that much money yet and the most recent wasn’t equity it was debt.
  • There are few other companies in this specific space, especially few with traction.
  • The company is targeting an old, expensive industry of fintech (investment banking) that has not been disrupted yet in the industry.
  • The team is experienced both on the investment banking and technology front because of their founding members expertise.

 

 

What I Don’t Like:

  • This solution will work for M&A of small companies, but may be difficult to capture large transactions because companies would prefer private deals.
  • The company is highly susceptible to market cycles because of how cyclical M&A correlates to the market.

 

Conclusions:

  • I think this is a unique opportunity at investing in a potentially industry changing company before it has an excessive valuation. I think it is worth digging deeper and speaking with the team.

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Companies today are spending millions on supply chain visibility, but have no way to harness the data generated to improve supply chain management and drive profitability. This shift is creating volumes of data never before seen by the logistics industry. It is enough data to construct the contextual intelligence that’s needed to make better business decisions. Now, the challenge is no longer simple visibility but determining how to leverage that data for true digitization and higher profitability.

The big question facing supply chain executives is how will this wealth of both historic and live data be used to improve efficiency, build tomorrow’s supply chain, and outpace the competition. To seize the full potential of today’s big data environment, companies must develop new strategies, equip themselves with cutting-edge technologies, and leverage a platform that offers intelligent solutions.

 

Last Funds Raised: $3M Seed, February 2016

Headquarters: San Francisco, California

 

What I Like:

  • The company has strong traction in the market and is still early in its valuation.
  • ClearMetal is operating in the Logistics, Operations and Supply Chain space which is hot right now and they could become a strong player given their global reach.
  • The company has a broad range of products geared toward different industries including ocean carriers, ports, clothing, technology and more. This gives them a broad market opportunity and potential for traction across the spectrum.
  • The company has an artificial intelligence component that has a track record of success given their client testimonies.
  • The founder has an impressive background working in commerce at Google, so his experience will be directly applicable, although he has no technical or entrepreneurship experience.

 

What I Don’t Like:

  • This is a highly competitive space and since the company is working in so many different verticals it may be difficult for them to get traction with one product.
  • Acquiring new contracts is always the difficulty for these types of products, so I would be interested to hear their plans for lead generation.

 

 

Conclusions:

  • I think the company represents a great opportunity in the Supply Chain space with a company this early in funding and the amount of traction it has. I believe the company has potential to be a strong global player given their suite of product offerings and team.

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Qurious is instant visibility into the cognitive flow of each conversation your sales reps conduct with your customers. Qurious gives your reps real-time answers to real-time questions and objections from customers. Leveraging the power of artificial intelligence, Qurious learns your A player’s answers to develop content for your playbooks that are interactive while customers are talking on the phone.

 

Last Funds Raised: Seed Undisclosed, May 2016

Headquarters: San Francisco, California

 

What I Like:

  • Sales is obviously the biggest hurdle for companies to overcome and because of the attrition in sales roles training is obviously an important issue. I like this companies mission of turning new employees into successful salespeople early because the results are measurable.
  • The market this product addresses is also extremely broad because every company always has to do sales of their service/product.
  • The company is very early in its funding having only closed seed, so this makes for an attractive entry point.
  • Qurious has data points from their current customers that show real benefits after using the software. They boast the product caused a 20% boost in demos and a 30% decrease in ramp time, which is a big deal in the sales cycle.
  • The product won’t go away anytime soon because people will always be calling for sales and this product will continue to adapt and make salespeople better.

 

What I Don’t Like:

  • The company will need to use its own product to sell itself because this isn’t a necessary product for companies to have, but is a luxury or an interesting opportunity if they are in a sales slump. Qurious could possibly offer the product for free and only end up paying if results are generated.
  • I’m not sure how big this company could actually become since it is likely not very expensive and may be more of an M&A candidate as opposed to a public offering.

 

Conclusions:

  • Given how early this company is in funding I think it represents a great opportunity for investment in a unique space with not too many competitors. The company seems like it would be purchased by Oracle or Salesforce as a way to boost their sales/CRM products.

 

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