With our current transactions including funding buyouts for multi-million pound digital firms, through to business investment for SME’s that are expanding their current operations, all of our negotiations and investment arrangements have had one thing in common – everyone involved has completed their part of the transaction from home.
The director of Axial Capital discussed this in an article back in May when there was an ever-present pause in seeing deals completing, and investment managers struggled to come to terms with placing funds into a business where they’d never met the owner in person and couldn’t send in an auditor for an onsite evaluation of the core business functions. Only a couple of months on and we’ve seen a marked change with funds now being committed and deployed across almost any sector that can show preparedness – particularly for the remote (and dare I say it, socially-distanced) nature of business through coming 12 – 24 months and beyond.
So if your business levels have stabilised and you’ve identified an opportunity for expansion in the market, how should you approach raising capital? If your funding preference is geared more toward investment or venture finance then treat virtual working like an extension of your office or boardroom – you might not shake our hand in person but in all other respects we want to feel that all parties are fully engaged as though we were dissecting a pitch deck and financials with you across the table. So yes that means video calls (at least at the point of serious evaluation of the funding proposal), and presenting yourself on-screen in the same way as you would if you’d travelled in to meet us at our Embankment offices.
Of course, we’re not sitting across the table reviewing the business case with you, so turning your proposal into the most engaging and illustrative overview of your business can make all the difference. In itself this suggests that businesses that have adapted to offer remote and virtual connectivity for clients will get the most attention (even one of our clients in the used car space has embraced this, enabling virtual tours and negotiations and a delivery service that allows the customer to purchase and receive a car without having left their home. It’s been more successful than you might think!). Whether we’re providing investment or a corporate debt facility, the ability to demonstrate that your business and your market is adapting its sales and service channels successfully will make all the difference.
We believe that this forced adaptation has some truly positive side-effects too, with those previously less able to access traditional commerce (think the booming elderly population with disposable income, and anyone not within commuting distance of a main city or trading hub) now being reconsidered along with everyone else. We’re quick to give honest feedback on submissions, so send us your proposition for funding and expansion and we’ll make time for a discussion.