Written by Csaba Konkoly, Co-Founder and President, Hum Capital
In the days before online banking, managing one’s finances was a substantial source of pain. Bank customers only received bank statements once a month, meaning customers only had access to their balance and other account information when the bank sent it to them or if they visited the bank in-person. If you wanted to keep track of what was in your account, you had to balance your checkbook manually, a time-consuming affair. While we’ve figured out how to make this process easy for personal finances, why don’t investors have access to that same level of real-time data for their portfolio companies?
They should. And now, they can.
Why Getting Data is So Challenging
I’ve made nearly 40 private investments in my career, with check sizes ranging from $10K to $10M. To manage these investments, I have a team that works with my portfolio companies to get information on a regular basis, including KPIs, revenue, runway, and other key data.
In some cases, I have a contractual right to this information as an investor. In others, the companies choose to share it because they know it will allow me to offer better insights into how they could be better run.
But getting this information is a frustrating process as my team must manually retrieve this data from my portfolio companies by emailing the company, then following several times until we finally get a response. The information they do send is often formatted in a PDF or email, which does not work well with my own systems. This requires my team to then retype, compile, and put that information into a dashboard for me to review. But because that data was acquired manually, it’s not up-to-date. I won’t have any new information on how the company is doing until we start the process over again.
For companies, this process is equally challenging. They have to track their own information, then have their accountants sift through it all to ensure they send us what we need. Before it can go out, the founders have to verify everything to make sure it’s correct.
In a highly digitized, highly interconnected world, this system is anachronistic, arduous, and highly prone to error.
Hum Capital’s Portfolio Analytics Tool
Hum Capital’s Portfolio Analytics tool has alleviated many of the challenges I’ve dealt with in regards to reporting. It helps investors get the data they need by connecting directly to a company’s systems of record, pulling and analyzing information automatically, without the email back-and-forth or manual data reentry.
The Portfolio Analytics tool works with 70+ systems of record, including accounting programs like Quickbooks, transactional systems like Shopify, payment processors like Stripe, and more. Once a company’s systems are connected to the tool, their data automatically appears whenever there is updated information, meaning I no longer have to wait for quarterly reports to review a company’s health. This is a substantial time-saver for all involved.
Another significant benefit of using Portfolio Analytics is that I can easily decide which metrics to focus on and how the data is displayed. Unlike receiving the information in an email from my portfolio companies, I know that the information in Portfolio Analytics will be in the precise format I need it to be in.
Portfolio Analytics’ capabilities are also far beyond other portfolio management tools, which can track fund-wide metrics such as fund IRR, MOIC, and TVPI, but are unable to offer deep insights into an individual portfolio company. Because Portfolio Analytics is designed to take in large amounts of company data and organize it in a digestible way for investors, I’m able to learn deeply about my individual portfolio companies and have a clearer picture as to the state of my investments.
While some companies may be concerned about losing control over their data, the Portfolio Analytics tool allows them to have full control and visibility into what investors can see and how. Companies are always given a fair and honest presentation of their state-of-business to investors, and the release of data is revocable at any time.
Portfolio Analytics & The Intelligent Capital Market
Beyond its analytical capabilities, the Portfolio Analytics tool offers a wonderful opportunity that investors and companies can’t get anywhere else: access to Hum Capital’s Intelligent Capital Market. This connects companies with investors who provide non-dilutive financing, which is significant for companies who likely have few, if any, connections in the debt world.
Investors who bring their portfolio companies into the Portfolio Analytics tool are fast-tracking them into the affiliated Intelligent Capital Market, making financing much easier compared to traditional methods. Without this market, companies and investors are relegated to setting up their own systems for seeking non-dilutive financing, reaching out to relevant institutions, preparing pitch decks with their own financial data, and securing deals manually. Hum Capital’s Intelligent Capital Market removes all of these pain points, creating a one-stop-shop for those seeking non-dilutive capital. For investors, this is a major source of value they can bring to their portfolio companies.
I’m currently using this tool for my existing portfolio, but I hope to use it to decide on new investments in the future. The ability to review a holistic picture of a company’s health updated in real-time, versus a static deck, will be transformative for my investing process.
If you’re investing in private companies and struggling with data access, you no longer need to manage this manually. By joining Hum Capital and the Portfolio Analytics tool, you’ll be in the company of hundreds of celebrated investors who are taking advantage of this innovative way of monitoring their investments.
Ready to bring your investment monitoring into the 21st century? Get in touch with us.