Growth Catalyst Partners Overview
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Investor Type: Private Equity
Investment Stage: Growth Equity
# of Employees: 10
Product list: AIM, AIM Inbox, Investor Correspond, ShareSecure
# of Altvia Users: 4
GCP Relies on Altvia From the Start to Ensure Rapid Access to Key Conversation Details and Secure Sharing of Information With Stakeholders
About Growth Catalyst Partners
Founded by Jim TenBroek and Scott Peters, with operations in Chicago, IL, and Rowayton, CT, Growth Catalyst Partners (GCP) is a middle-market private equity firm that invests in the information, marketing, and tech-enabled service businesses. Its principals have more than 70 years combined experience investing in and managing over 250 mergers and acquisitions in its target sectors. GCP offers strategic expertise to help portfolio companies and limited partners create value.
The firm targets companies in sectors with strong growth potential through both organic initiatives and strategic acquisitions, partnering with existing management teams to deliver positive results. GCP has twn platform investments comprising over 50 acquisitions.
Connor Dawson is a managing director at GCP. He joined the firm in January 2018 after having spent four years at Wind Point Partners. There, he was responsible for sourcing, executing, and managing private equity investments, and assisted in the execution of three platforms and nine add-on acquisitions while managing five investments.
Having used Altvia at Wind Point Partners, Dawson was confident that it could help GCP, and the firm began using the solution from Day 1. With that decision made, the only real “challenge” GCP had was deciding how best to utilize all of the functionality in the different system components that they chose to use.
He goes on to say that before the firm began truly capitalizing on Altvia’s capabilities, they were sending out information via email and having to field individual replies coming back. “It was a mess,” he says. “Not to mention that it wasn’t secure. The fact that Altvia solutions are secure with an intuitive interface works out really well for us.”
As a newer firm, GCP is continually fundraising and then looking for the best ways to put that capital to work. The ability to access information across funds is vital.
How did conversations with a stakeholder go in the first fund? What did they commit to in that fund? If they didn’t commit, why not? Dawson says that being able to find answers to those and other questions quickly and use that information when interacting with LPs was essential as the firm got up and running with Altvia.
“Having a PE-focused CRM has been really great for us,” Dawson says. “We’re constantly communicating with our network of executives, service providers like accounting firms, lawyers, etc. So, keeping track of different conversations and monitoring our pipeline and prospects is extremely important for us.”
He goes on to explain that one of the biggest advantages that Altvia provides on the sourcing side is serving as an efficient and transparent platform where team members can log notes in real-time, call them up as needed, and quickly understand how others in the firm have been interacting with a stakeholder. GCP also uses the ShareSecure LP portal both for communications with LPs and as their fund data room.
“Overall, with Altvia it’s much easier to understand what our firm’s been doing in a particular space, and we’re much better educated and credible as a result,” Dawson says. “The efficiency with which we’re able to prepare for direct conversations with management teams and owners is very valuable to us. We wouldn’t have that capability without a platform like Altvia.”
In terms of pipeline management, Dawson has observed two main benefits from using Altvia. The first is tracking pipelines from a fundraising perspective and monitoring general deal activity. The second is that GCP creates what they call a “market map”, and use Altvia to store information on all the opportunities included on that map that fit the thesis they’ve developed. The data is then used to drive outreach efforts.
What advice would Dawson give to his peers regarding technology and the role it can play in a firm’s success? First and foremost, he says, “Invest in a purpose-built solution early. You need to make an effort to really understand how the platform works and all that it offers, and then encourage firmwide adoption. The more people that use the tool, the more powerful it is for everyone.”