XAnge VC Tech stack

By: Guillaume Meulle

After the very good articles from Point Nine on their VC tech stack (thank you Christoph Janz !), which was very insightful for us, in return, here is our vision and current state of XAnge VC tech stack in order to (may be) help colleagues or give a better insider view of what is our activity to entrepreneurs.

The central engine of our tech stack is our CRM, based on Pipedrive. We manage all our deal flow with this tool. We had a long experience with CRM (first using MS dynamics). Pipedrive is not ideal (no tag management yet) but allows us to manage the tool without the support of an external integrator, which was the main pain point of MS Dynamics. Furthermore Pipedrive is simple enough to allow a fast entry of new deals which was another pain with our former tool: with 2 000 new deals to log every year, the creation of a new deal must be super fast (think seconds not minutes). Pipedrive is also centralizing our contact management system. To ease the entry of new contacts, we are using Fullcontact to scan business card and create new contact in Pipedrive (with Zapier).

Pipedrive is connected to our web site, which is on Wordpress, to directly grab new projects or new contacts thru structured forms.

Our digital marketing is essentially based on our blog, hosted on Medium. Our content (3 to 5 quality articles per month) are shared on social networks (as usual) but also pushed with marketing campaigns. For email campaigns, our web site is connected to our CRM to collect emails. The CRM is connected to Mailjet and Mailchimp. We are using these two competitive tools because we didn’t make up our mind so far. Mailchimp is very cool with a great UI and a direct connection to Pipedrive but too many emails from this tool arrived in spam boxes. On the other hand, we have less spam problems with Mailjet and as a former board member, I prefer to use the company I financed, but the UI is clearly below its competitor without connection to Pipedrive. We hope the new connectors between Zapier and Mailjet will help us to choose !

For social campaigns we are using Facebook campaign manager and LinkedIn campaign manager. We are not doing twitter campaign which are less efficient than the two former. An interesting feature is the link between Facebook and Mailchimp which allow us to do campaigns on our own emailing list.

All the notes taken during meetings are digitized and shared on Evernote Business. It’s another key element of our tech stack as with this tool everybody in the team has a good vision on the situation on the deals met. Furthermore you can easily search on past notes the keywords used by new project, either directly in Evernote or through a Google search (evernote chrome extension).

Evernote is also used to copy interesting articles on our activity or on portfolio companies and share it automatically with the team.

We store all the other document on an internal server, but we are thinking of moving to Google drive or One drive solution to allow a better connection with our cloud based tools.

Trello is the masterpiece of our task management. All the horizontal projects + events are managed with this tool. For example all the content production is managed on Trello. It’s connected to our Pipedrive, Mailchimp, Google drive and Slack. It’s also used to offer a good visibility of the key documents of the company through a table named “employee key documents”. This tool is essential to create visibility and avoid sending too many projects on the same person inside our organisation.

We are using Slack for team discussion and Skype for conf call and presentation.

We are happy users of Recruitee to manage our career page and applicant workflow which we started recently.

All the interconnections of tools are done with Zapier. Evernote is connected to Pipedrive to log the new notes to the organization, Fullcontact is connected to Pipedrive for new contacts, Pipedrive, evernote and Twitter is connected to slack to inform the team and Pipedrive is connected to itself to automatise activity creation.

We want to move from a campaign centric situation to a contact centric situation where the contact will be sent based on certain trigger. We are working with Reelevant, one of our portfolio company on this subject

We are now hosting a lot of data about startups and we want to use it to automatically screen them after rejection to automatise the recontact. We are working also with one of our portfolio company on this subject, Sparklane.

  • Communication with portfolio companies

We want to better organise the communication with our entrepreneurs. We are currently testing Slack or Trello to propose a tool to our entrepreneurs

We are really impressed by the current side project of Marie and Marc, Talent letter, and we are thinking about launching a service to help startups and better identify them.

If you are inspired, drop us a note with your preferred ideas !

You might want to give the sense that the stack is a moving target, and we are continuously improving it


Originally published at medium.com on October 2, 2017.