Case Study: ClearVision Equity Increases Workflow Efficiency With Altvia

In 2017, ClearVision Equity launched its first investment. In a few short years, the firm has completed over 25 investments across a variety of Southern California industries. ClearVision is a small, experienced team with a high success rate and currently manages about $30 million of committed capital. Before Altvia, ClearVision needed fundraising software to track investor information, send emails, and organize & store files.

The Challenge

Ryan Zachary, Vice President at ClearVision, was able to accomplish that with 8 pieces of software, including Box and HelloSign. What tied the systems together were API connections, which would often disconnect if one platform had an update.

“Inevitably, an update would create a domino effect, and I would have to reconnect all the systems.” Zachary went on to say, “It became too much, I would spend quite an amount of time reconnecting the systems, and it wasn’t sustainable.”

After enough times of reconnecting the platforms, Zachary knew the firm was at an inflection point, and it was time to look for fundraising software.

The Solution

In his research, Zachary narrowed down platforms, and Altvia was the top of the list due to the platform’s customizability. “AIM on Salesforce was a big plus for me. It allows us to continue to customize as we need for future growth.”

Zachary also liked that Altvia’s Investor Portal, ShareSecure, was easy for their team and investors to manage documents and signature requests. “The ability to quickly update documents and files depending on the investment made it a big time saver,” Zachary went on to say, “I was most impressed with the Altvia AIM to ShareSecure interoperability that I didn’t see with other competitors on the market.”

Zachary then connected with Altvia’s Director of Solution Architecture, Christopher Wojack, “Chris came to our office in San Diego and met with us in person. He went above and beyond, answering questions regarding the platform and what implementation would look like. The whole experience allowed me to gain confidence in Altvia’s ability to deliver highly customizable products specific to my use cases.

“Chris was technical as well as very personable, and he knew what solutions were necessary for our firm’s goals”.

While these three factors solidified ClearVision’s partnership with Altvia, it was the appeal of the product suite working together that led to their decision.

Altvia’s CRM solution, AIM, gave ClearVision a centralized database for all their investor information. Correspond Investor and Market Editions made it easy for Zachary to create and send both specific and broad emails and review delivery reports to ensure that the updates or commitments reached the right audiences. ShareSecure gave ClearVision a user-friendly LP Portal to track, share, and sign investor documents.

A traditional crm was built for general ‘customer’ scenarios

Software platforms have made the world a better place by making work a better place. Indeed the world is better off when people enjoy their jobs even marginally more, and workplace applications on big CRM platforms like have done that and much more.

But the potential that platforms like these offer presents diminishing returns: once the platform provider has engineered too many industry specific components into its platform, its usefulness for other industries begins to be threatened, and with that so do the usefulness of the component tools built into the platform.

So it is with the CRM category that has defined: it is generic enough to work for many industries, and yet still offers the potential for others to round off the edges and nail more vertically-oriented and extremely tailored software solutions.

Private capital markets are actually a great demonstration of this dynamic. Where generic CRM platforms simplify — appropriately so — to assume there’s a business, a customer, a sale, and service of that customer, there are a few industry-specific pieces that are missing.

Take for example, that investors become customers by investing through legal entities the GP raises. It’s a subtle but important nuance that just doesn’t make sense at a platform-as-a-service level (because it’s overly complicated for a simple one-time sale that many industries require), but which can easily be added without 10 years or software engineering. Once provided, the rest of the platform’s components become tremendously powerful again and you’re set to take over the world.

As a traditional CRM in our pillars methodology, these nuances must be present to properly account for investors in these legal entities, potential target companies and which are owned by these entities, the context of all interactions with these parties (as well as the appropriate overlap, ie co-investments), and how you’re arriving at finding these opportunities on both sides of the equation, such that you’re able to piece together what’s effective and what’s not. Not just because we say so, but because these are the very relationships and data that are key to the motivation behind a CRM in any industry.

It’s critical, too, that the valuable publicly-available information that helps to enrich CRM systems and save users painful steps of entering it themselves is fully-integrated at the platform level.

Again, look no further than the 3,000+ pre-built integrations that — the creator of the CRM platform concept — has at a platform level to do so, and which only exists by way of holding just short of overly-specifying certain industry workflows that would present challenges to properly integrate.

Stakeholder reporting and communication (investor relations) draws on a range of datasets

The traditional “customer service” model of CRM systems once again makes overly-simplified assumptions about the customer relationship when applied to private capital markets.

In fifteen years I personally have yet to hear the terms “warranty” or “service call” in this market because it’s just not the same. But make no mistake, as uncomfortable as it may be to say aloud, customer service is more important now than ever and it’s constantly happening; the industry is, after all, considered to be a financial “service”.

As it turns out, that service is primarily information-based — it’s driven by data and takes the form of reports and analysis that drive decisions, and then end up again in investor-facing reports and analysis.

The foundational elements of a private capital markets CRM must be built such that they accommodate this data (like we discussed above), but so too that it can accommodate additional supporting data that investors (customers!) need in the context of service.

Oftentimes this supporting data — financial metrics and time-based values, for example — is believed not to meet the traditional definition of CRM and the natural thought is “well, better do this in Excel!”.

While I happen to believe Excel is still the greatest software application ever built, its introduction to this value chain we’ve discussed herein actually creates the problem many firms suffer from: key data needed to provide customer service (again: effectively the entirety of a firm’s reports and analysis) is now in disparate systems and detached.

Both of those dynamics are important and distinct: not only is this supplemental data disparate, but when brought together there is no logical association that can be made between the two data sets.

Allow me, then, to make the point very simply: not only can this financial and time-based value data (you may be thinking about is as “portfolio monitoring” or “accounting”) be a part of a CRM, it is arguably the most important part of a CRM because it’s at the core of what providing service to the customer entails — information that comes out of data!

Firms need a digital method to engage stakeholders (ie investor portals)

Investor portals are not new; in fact, for many of us — including myself — they conjure up horrifying nightmares in which we’re aimlessly guessing at folders to find the newest document we need.

So in lies the opportunity: not only have the portals we’ve come to hate not simplified the process of acquiring information, they’ve failed to create an entirely new experience that is “customer service” driven.

To be fair, this is not a B2C market where you’d be long out of business for not having focused on customer service and thus the customer’s technology-driven experience. But don’t expect to be around too much longer if you aren’t thinking about this shift.

Today’s institutional investors increasingly expect this same consumer-like experience, and a massive opportunity is being missed by not providing it. It’s not about providing them the experience they desire; it’s more about the ability to measure engagement that is had in return.

Put simply: what’s keeping the market from providing this experience is the availability of the information that’s required to create the service that provides the experience.

If you’ve hung in this long, you know that by focusing on your CRM, you have the data that’s required to manage the customer relationship and the technology-driven experience through which that information is shared to create a differentiated and opportunistic customer experience.

fund management software