Jun 15, 2023
Mikel Jorgensen, CMO, VenturePort: Hey, guys, I'm sitting here. This is Mikel Jorgensen, Chief Marketing Officer of VenturePort, and I'm sitting here with Daniel White, Chief Product Officer of VenturePort. And I just wanted to tell you guys hello and share with you what you can do on the platform and some things we're working on. Daniel, can you tell us just a real quick summary of what VenturePort is and who it's for and what they can do with it?
Daniel White, CPO, VenturePort: Sure. So VenturePort is essentially an investor relations platform. That might not mean much as individual words, but essentially you can communicate with your existing investors, find new investors, and it's an all in one space for you to share the story of your company. So who it's for, you, the startup founders and the investor side, too, whether that's angels or institutional investors. It's kind of like a portfolio management and a deal flow tool for the investor side as well.
Mikel: So what what brought about, would you say, the need for us to exist? What is the problem that we're solving? As far as, I know that you have experienced yourself in the startup space and, you know, we all on the team have a lot of chops in this space and have come across the same thing. Can you tell me a little bit about that?
Daniel: Yeah, for sure. So in a previous life I was founder of a startup and kind of got first hand experience of some of these issues that we're trying to solve. So things like writing investor updates is you either do it generally via email, sometimes with WhatsApp, sometimes on LinkedIn, or you know, you've got the issue of the time suck that investor updates often take. And then when you're writing those emails, they usually emails you and often end up accidentally not reporting the exact same KPIs or data each month. So it's kind of it's clunky for founders, but then investors find it really hard to track because they're getting it from all different angles. And then I actually get an insight to the data from portfolio companies. There's just this kind of mismatch. It's not a case of founders being secretive. It's more that it's a bandwidth thing and a reminder thing. So you've got both sides chasing each other, whether it's to read the latest update or get help with something from investors or whether it's investors chasing that startup. There's just this inefficiency there. And we didn't really we were frustrated with that ourselves in, you know, in the fundraising process and the IR and, you know, kind of maintenance process. So we kind of built VenturePort, this kind of one stop singular channel where you can do IR data rooms, fundraising. And yeah, I'm pretty excited to solve a big pain point from my previous previous endeavors.
Mikel: But then it's been passed on to me many times too. Even as the marketing guy, they just put this into words for me so I can definitely appreciate it. So from a startups point of view, if they were to log in to VenturePort today, what would they see? What would they be able to to do on there? How how functional is the platform today? How are we doing?
Daniel: Yeah. So we're in private beta now, so the functionality is kind of fairly rudimentary, but we focused on kind of doing the bare bones and what is the most important off the bat. So it will look and feel similar to like our social media sites. So it's kind of like a private LinkedIn, if you like.
Whereby there's a lot of noise on LinkedIn for those founders and investors, you end up getting distracted with all sorts of things. So it's like a no noise platform on newsfeed where you can write investor updates as you would in an email. But then all those investors can see and comment and reply to these these updates. So one of the problems I had is a founder is you'd send the update out to 20 investors and then five or six or more of them would have the same question. So you've got to write the response to each of them individually, whereas doing it in this kind of newsfeed format and post format, kind of it's it makes that whole process a lot more efficient. And also it's good for investors to see other members of the cap table interacting or supporting or, you know, it's it creates more of a conversation around around the IR side because otherwise it can sometimes feel like you're kind of shouting into the abyss, especially if you don't get much feedback on the on the update.
In terms of what else you can do on the platform. It's currently got you sort of data room for fundraising so you can upload all your models, pitch, check all the materials, that sort of thing, and you can kind of showcase what your company's about, you know, the basic core details of what you're doing. So you can kind of share that as a link for a prospective investor for them to kind of have a poke around your files. But then overarching all of this, you've got kind of privacy settings. So obviously you don't want to be screaming to the world about the mechanisms of your business. So for every post or file, you can kind of tweak whether followers or existing investors should be able to see this or whether you want it to be more public for anyone on VenturePort to kind of stumble upon.
Mikel: Very cool. So so a startup today can log on, use the platform, and then as far as their investors, they're able to invite investors to the platform and it's open to investors currently as well and just as useful, I understand.
Daniel: Yep. So if an investor signs up today, they can invite all of their portfolio companies, they can invite companies that they're kind of screening all that. They've said it's not a fit for us at this time, but we're keen to keep in touch. So it's kind of one of these ways of passively following prospective portfolio companies. And the reverse is true for founders. So it's kind of we've kind of built it with single player mode in mind. Talked about this a lot with marketplaces in that it's hard to scale if it's hard to get off the ground, if you're just a fund raising platform, you'd need critical mass of both investors and founders to make it work. So we've done this single player mode thing where the product is useful from day one because the founder signs up and they invite all of their existing investors. And so it's value added from them and it only gets more valuable as the kind of networks network effects take hold on both sides.
Mikel: Yeah, exactly right. Last thing you could touch on, if you would, maybe the backbone, the actual kind of technology behind the platform and kind of what we're working on there and why that stands out a little bit.
Daniel: You know, so the secret sauce that we're kind of cooking away with in the background is integrating these open eye suite of tools to make the processes on both sides faster. So for writing investor updates, you can just put in the bare bones as a prompt and then the rest will kind of be generated. And that will help not only as a time saver, but also for, say, founders that maybe non-native English speakers or it's kind of like a family use case, if you like, in that sense.
The other side of that is the KPI dashboard stuff. So we're going to have like a Zapier integration and other integrations directly with all the apps that are founder might use for their business, whether that be table Twitter analytics or what have you. So they can create custom dashboards to say this is how many followers we've got this month, this is how many downloads or some revenue, etc., etc., whatever, whatever the headline figures are for that business. That in itself is, in my opinion, a pretty awesome feature in there. That's very cool. Those numbers are refreshing on demand so the investors don't have to sit around and wait for a month or six weeks for the founder to update them on these things. They can see it on demand. But then when you combine the KPI dashboard and the open AI stuff, that's when things get interesting because you'll be able to prompt the the AI to comment on the changes in the dashboard. So then it kind of automatically gives you that investor update. So the grand vision, the master plan is an investor update in three clicks, so your founders will receive an email. The AI is being prompted on the dashboard and all the other data we've been provided and we'll kind of silver platter investor and investor update before you ready to go. And obviously it's editable, you can tweak it because none of this stuff's perfect on first swing but yeah so excited that's you know being worked on as we speak and should be out in say a month. And the context for anybody watching this video in a couple of weeks, that should probably get set. But maybe don't hold me to that. Well, we'll see how easy that looks.
Mikel: Good. No, very exciting. And I hope you guys have seen that we strive to keep it functional and simple and clear and useful and to solve a reoccurring problem that a lot of us face on this side. And so, Daniel, I think we both agree you guys should go to ventureport.com. You can sign up for an invitation to our private beta and just check your. Yep. Exactly. Got the same same gear ventureport.com and you can sign up for our beta there and if you have any questions, just DM us on the appropriate platform or send us a message. You guys know how to get in touch and we are looking forward to continuing to build this for you guys. And Daniel. Anything else you'd like to say?
Daniel: Oh, good. Well, good. I echo that. The more beta sign ups, the more feedback we get, the more chance we have of building something that is useful, genuinely useful for people. And so I'm keen to solve the problem that beforehand. So yeah, the more the merrier.
Mikel: Yes, we are genuinely open to your feedback and right now is a great time for you to have some hands on and be a part of the journey. So from Mikel at VenturePort and Daniel at VenturePort. See you guys next time. Thank you so much. Talk to you soon.