Venture Capital Tech Stack — 2020

My favorite SaaS products for VCs

Jon Ma
Jon Ma
Jan 7 · 6 min read

I worked in venture capital for the last 4 years at firms like Insight Partners ($20b AUM, 300+ investments in Qualtrics, Alteryx, Smartsheet, etc.) and SignalFire ($800m AUM; investments in Grammarly, Roman, One Signal, etc).

Throughout the years, I’ve evaluated countless tools for VCs to figure out what else on the market I could use to be better at my day-to-day job as an investor.

Today I wanted to share what I view as the best-in-class tools for venture capitalists in 2020!

Email Clients

  • Legacy: Gmail and Outlook

Company contact data

  • Legacy: DiscoverOrg, ZoomInfo

Scheduling

  • Legacy: Emailing back and forth

Deal Management/CRM

  • Legacy: Salesforce CRM

Managing your deal flow and reporting to your team what’s in the pipeline is crucial in ensuring nothing falls through the cracks. I’ve used Salesforce and I personally hated using the product. Salesforce was not really built for managing deals but, in my opinion, rather for sales teams. I remember viscerally dreading the need to manually type in the company name, URL, address, state, zip code, funding information, and description of the company into Salesforce every time I created an “Account”. Uploading documents was a pain, and worse, it was impossible to figure out if any of my teammates had already reached out to the founder unless the person manually logged the email.

When I joined SignalFire, we were originally using Salesforce IQ. Shortly after, Salesforce announced they were going to sunset SFIQ. At that time, my friend David Cheng connected me with Affinity, a relationship intelligence platform. I never thought I’d say this, but once we got onto the product, I started to love adding and managing my deals. Let me explain.

When you add a company to Affinity, the product will immediately auto-populate all the fields that matter like total funding, previous investors, location, etc. Most importantly, Affinity will pull all the previous emails sent to the company’s domain. The last point can’t be overstated because it helps prevent deal members from reaching out to the same founder. I couldn’t recommend Affinity more.

Portfolio Management

  • Legacy: Excel

Diligence Notes

  • Legacy: Evernote, Google Doc

Comparable Analysis & Software Benchmarks

  • Legacy: CapIQ, Yahoo Finance

Your partner asks you to pull financial comps to figure out how to value an investment, or you’re tasked with figuring out what are best-in-class benchmarks for public software companies (e.g Payback Period, Net Dollar Retention, ARR Growth). Sound familiar?

When I joined SignalFire, we didn’t have CapIQ so every time my partner wanted me to run comps (e.g EV/Calendar Year Revenue, EV/NTM ARR) for a company, I’d go onto Yahoo Finance, copy enterprise value, most recent quarter revenue, quarter revenue from a year ago, gross profit, and EBITDA and then manually calculating the respective valuation multiples that we cared about.

Pulling comps is tedious, mind-numbing work that can take up a lot of time. I hated it. That’s why I started Public Comps. My hope was that others don’t have to feel the pain of having to manually go through the SEC filings.

Not only does Public Comps provide a one stop shop for savvy SaaS investors and operators, Public Comps is $200/month, whereas CapIQ can start at $39,000/year (source). That’s a 10x+ difference in price. We believe we should be able to automate your comps analysis or pull the best-in-class SaaS benchmarks for software companies in <1 minute, or we have failed you.

Give our comps product a try now for free! https://publiccomps.com/tickers

Private Company Data

  • Other Competitors: Datafox, Mattermark/FullContact, Crunchbase

Disclosures: I’m a personal investor in Carta. Howard and I are behind Public Comps so we are obviously heavily biased. 😀

Public Comps

Software metrics for Public Software companies

Jon Ma

Written by

Jon Ma

Building Public Comps. Former VC @ Signalfire and Insight Venture Partners

Public Comps

Software metrics for Public Software companies

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