Shake the VC world with platformization & Jump to digitalization

Sophie Percheron
Sep 12, 2019 · 5 min read
Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

After reviewing our daily work as well as the thousands of disrupting startups we are in contact with yearly, we asked ourselves — why don’t we jump on the digitalisation train too? When considering applying it to ourselves, it became obvious that a shift from the traditional VC model, to a platform model would bring many great benefits we could take advantage of. For that reason, we decided to be audacious, experimental and to become the first VC as a platform — with breakthrough features.

We saw a great opportunity to refresh the VC world and, since the beginning of the daphni adventure, we have been having so much fun reinventing ourselves. By combining and using new digital tools, and transforming ourselves into a VC-as-a-platform, we are delighted to see how much more efficient we can be and how valuable it is for our ecosystem (to us, entrepreneurs, our investors, our portfolio, experts) — all benefiting from collective intelligence, valuable networking….

Why VC as a Platform?

We’ve built a digital platform to make us more efficient, collaborative and transparent in our investment process.

Our platform allows us to meet with more entrepreneurs and improve the fundraising journey, ultimately leading to better relationships between us and entrepreneurs. The startup analysis process is facilitated by technology and enriched with collective intelligence. It is a pure value-added element, whichenables us to evolve as a VC and differentiate ourselves within this competitive industry.

The platform helps scaling our operations, by allowing access to the qualified deal flow and by facilitating online interactions within our community. Our tools enable us to keep our investors regularly informed regarding hot portfolio news, events, content, and provides them with continuous access to information about the performance of the fund, market trends and innovation.

We’re a startup

by daphni

Daphni isn’t just an investment team, we are more like a startup with a product team. We’re facing similar issues as our portfolio companies, and by developing our own product and platform, we are better equipped to understand and support them. We have developed multiple products: an app, a CRM system, a back-office, digital communication tools…. As any startup, we have our own (VC) product development phases and our operations lead us to have a better understanding of our portfolio companies product issues:

  • from defining a new product/service concept,
  • to preparing a digital launch campaign,
  • by driving an innovative roadmap and
  • managing the company’s product cycle of life

Most of our portfolio companies are digital, meaning that they went through the preparation of a digital launch, they have reworked their digital branding, integrated solutions to support digital marketing campaigns etc. (for ex see the latest Backmarket rebranding, and new ad campaigns).

Since we’redigital too, we have also gone through these processes and are doing it on a daily basis. We’ve developed our own application (iOS, Android, Web mobile), prepared a digital launch and are about to launch a new one before the end of this year. We also defined digital marketing campaigns and integrated solutions to follow our community traffic and engagement. We defined strategic plans to engage our users, shared the latest news of our portfolio via push notifications etc.We aren’t committed to high user volumes like our portfolio companies are, but are committed to the same user engagement and satisfaction objectives. This is a day-to-day challenge.

EXPLORING ALL BENEFITS OF THE PLATFORM

The platform connects us and our community with startups from the moment they apply.

When startups apply on our website, they:

  • benefit from our improved investment process and receive an answer within the upcoming two weeks,
  • decide who from the community that can access their project, to help them succeed, thanks to the opt-in process and rights management system,
  • become visible to smart angels, corporate and institutional LPs (from the community) who can contact startups directly to partner or invest
  • can benefit from the most relevant and interesting ecosystem news of the week by subscribing to our newsletter.

The deal flow sharing feature enables us to benefit from collective intelligence

The platform gives the community access to our deal flow:

  • It helps the us to quickly and efficiently qualify each project. It leverages the team’s execution capacity; the qualification of opportunities is improved with the input of the community experts’ expertise,
  • It’s also an opportunity for the community members to screen market trends, in real time, on a wide range of companies and to avoid any conflict of interest or information leakage. In fact, every entrepreneur can opt-in/opt-out any member of the community

Connecting our portfolio companies with a selection of experts helping them to succeed

The community consists of incredible people all around the world, who are committed to helping daphni and our portfolio companies succeed. The proprietary digital platform is connecting community members in different hubs, including Paris, London, Berlin, Stockholm, Shanghai, Hong-Kong, San Francisco and New York… It facilitates online interactions with the community and encourages cross fertilization between the members.

When portfolio companies are looking for talent, expertise when deploying into a new country or even for legal advice, the community is contacted via our messaging and communication tools to provide quick and excellent support to our companies.

The platform gives our investors instantaneous access to the overall fund performance and co-investment opportunities

Investors are regularly informed about portfolio news, challenges they might face and how they are performing. In addition, as soon as a co-investment opportunity is available, our fund investors are informed via our digital communication tools, and the user-friendly interface lets LPs manage investment opportunities alongside daphni in an easy manner.Thus, there is no need for our investors to wait for three months for the next quarterly reporting, because our new app will enable them to follow and dynamically access the fund performance and to dig into each portfolio company’s current operation update. This, thanks to our dense database, our CRM and algorithm, which together personalizes the information and service provided

Gather and distribute premium content to our community and more

At daphni we built a communication service, which produces and gathers content, creates and helps us in event organisation So much information transits into our office, which is important to share with our community.

We aim at improving the digitalization of our content, facilitating information access, and ensuring that our community can easily access this valuable content at any given time.

What’s next?

Stay tuned for the next steps

Sophie Percheron , CPO@daphni

Sophie Percheron

Written by

daphni chronicles

daphni chronicles shares lessons learned and analyses from daphnipolis, the great community around the venture fund daphni. It's like having private talks with high level thinkers & doers of the tech world.

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