The VC Tech Stack: Best Venture Capital Tools

A good VC has the uncanny ability to pick good investments and help build thriving companies. But the competition they face is fierce, and today’s entrepreneurs have plenty of choices when it comes to venture capital tools.

This has forced VCs to up their game—each firm strives to be “the firm of choice” and a magnet for promising young businesses. Every VC tells you the same thing…

“We have a winning thesis. A bench of top talent. Access to the best deals. A repeatable playbook.”

Let me emphasize that every VC says this. How can they all be the best of the best? I’ll tell you a secret; they’re not. But, there are attributes that make a firm stand out and rise above the rest.

The VC forgot to mention in the quote above that it’s the way firms manage, measure, communicate, and, most importantly, repeat the processes that make them successful. If you have the right people (LPs & GPs), at the right time (VCs raising funds), with the right approach (today’s LPs expect a personalized relationship), then you’ll outshine the competition. 

How can firms fine-tune their processes and stand out with excellent people, impeccable timing, and perfectly nurtured relationships? We’re in 2021—there’s no way to achieve ultimate efficiency and intelligence without technology. 

Human brains just aren’t complex enough to do what technology can do in a fraction of a second. There are tools that will sort through a mountain of data seemingly instantly, while a human would have taken weeks if not months to do the same job.

There are tools to assist in research, portfolio management, matchmaking tools, and everything in between. Technology is transforming the industry.

We’ve created a spreadsheet covering the spectrum of must-have tools for VCs by domain—from soft skills to hard skills, there is something for everyone. 

See the complete list of 200+ tools for Venture Capital here.

Must-Have Venture Capital Tools

While adopting technology is necessary for VCs to leverage the right people, at the right time, with a high level of service and intelligence, you need to pick the right technology for your unique needs. What are your specific strengths and weaknesses? 

Below we outline the different categories of tools available to VCs.

Traditional Data

These traditional tools feed intelligence to VCs. From information on global venture capital and private equity to public markets and beyond, the traditional data and news gained from these tools help VCs make educated business decisions.

3rd Party Data (Enrichment)

Intelligence tools help firms identify benchmarks, gather company data, provide patent and trademark information, and share tech stack data and recommendations.

Research

The research phase is critical for VCs. Research tools make it easier to connect to relevant experts, predict future impacts, view market trends and analysis, and much more.

Dealflow CRM (Startups)

VCs need a CRM to help manage their contacts, companies, deals, and other essential aspects of their processes. This list gives an extensive view of the options.

Portfolio Management

When managing a portfolio, there are tools that can help make data-driven decisions. Manage, raise, and fund your portfolio easier, faster, and without error with the right technology. 

Matchmaking Tools

Matching the right investors with the right entrepreneurs is what makes VCs successful. These tools help find, manage and fund the right startups. 

Network CRM (People)

Who you know can make a huge difference. Network tools connect you to the right people at the right time and help you track your relationships and collect data.

News Resources

VCs can keep up with market trends, the latest deals, emerging tech, successful strategies, and more by staying in the loop with the news. These tools make staying up to date more efficient and focused.

Scout Sources

With scouting tools, VCs can keep tabs on makers, early adopters, and new technologies. 

LP Tools (for GPs)

LP tools for GPs provide an investor marketplace. Get intelligence on institutional asset flows and reporting.

Liquidity Instruments

Liquidity instrument tools provide a solution for raising capital and secondary trading. They can do things like create compliant digital securities, gather data and analysis on M&A deals, invest or sell shares of private companies, and more.  

LP Tools (for LPs)

LP Tools for LPs offer benchmarks for LPs, portfolio monitoring, reporting, and diligence. 

Now that you know the wide range of Venture Capital Tools available, you might be overwhelmed with the options. If you’d like to talk to an industry expert, contact Altvia, and we’d be happy to walk you through our recommendations.

venture capital tools

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 Salesforce.com 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 Salesforce.com 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 Salesforce.com — 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.

salesforce crm