The spotlight of the week is shed on Dealsuite, a platform where professional users find matches for SME finance and M&A deals. Dealsuite serves companies that want to attract SME funding and companies that want to sell or acquire companies, from minority stakes to 100% ownership. In all cases companies attract debt, sell equity or combine both. The funding is offered by companies and investment firms that buy equity and/or banks and alternative finance sources that provide debt finance. By now, nearly all intermediaries and financers active in the Netherlands have gathered on the platform.
Dealsuite revolves around one core concept: to offer a unique place where professionals active in ‘corporate finance’ can meet to do business. The completeness of the network is impressive. A total of more than 300 professional firms use Dealsuite: nearly all corporate finance firms, all banks, most alternative financing sources, as well as all credit unions and most of the investments firms are involved in this go-to place where they can trade companies or find/provide funds. Dealsuite is a place where professionals can find a complete overview of possible buyers, financers and financing constructions. This even includes possibilities for subsidies. Dealsuite services can be divided into:
In an acquisition process a company is typically represented by its M&A advisor. Dealsuite services are used by these M&A advisors (buy-side and sell-side) and by investment firms (buy-side). The description of a company that is ‘for sale’ on Dealsuite is always anonymous. Potential buyers can express their interest to receive more detailed information about a particular company; which they will only receive if the advisor of the seller decides to provide it and only after having signed a Non-Disclosure Agreement.
- SME financing
This scale-up company soon found out that there was a clear business case for adding a ‘debt module’. Because what was once meant as a platform for buying and selling companies was in fact also used by companies to attract funds. These companies would sell a minority stake to investors to attract funds to open up possibilities for further growth. Obviously these companies where not looking for a buyer but looking for funding. So the Dealsuite team decided it would be better to provide to them the complete array of possibilities, by adding Debt providers to the platform. Since three months this module is now also live and the first debt-deals have been closed.
A scale-up culture
Based in Amsterdam, the company is now active since two years and is propelled by a team of 6 experts. A mix of junior and senior people shapes its culture, typical of a scale-up, leaning towards a youthful spirit; a culture influenced by its office at the Science park, where also companies like Qualcomm and Scyfer mingle together in an innovative hub. The enterprise has an open mindset and has transparency in its veins. Even the options for strategic directions are openly discussed and all team members can engage.
The landscape of SME finance and M&A
More and more, the SME finance and M&A market will digitalize: reluctant actors, once having tested the online approach, find themselves convinced by its advantages. Online matching offers many perks and opens the door to opportunities unreachable offline, where it is harder to get in touch with multiple financers and stay informed about their investment considerations.
Given the lack of transparency in these particular markets; the company aims at palliating this cloudiness through the help of an online platform. By doing so, the team makes the market more efficient: a progress from which all different actors gain, as advisors have direct and easy access to the market and companies find the best buyer/funder for their deal.
The future of Dealsuite
Aware of the fact that half of the sold companies with an income of more than EUR 3 million are traded across borders, Dealsuite is starting to expand internationally. The IT of the platform was already built in such a way that companies across the world can join in. Leveraging on its Dutch network of ambassadors Dealsuite already managed to have presence in 30 countries. In these countries one or more corporate finance firms are on Dealsuite. It is their ambition to multiply these numbers in the coming 2 years and network effects will help them to do so.
Dealsuite and Holland FinTech
Floyd Plettenberg is the founder of Dealsuite and he has always been convinced of the advantages of Holland FinTech; “Gathering the different actors of the fintech ecosystem in one place, where they can learn from each other and do business together is valuable; Especially as the fintech landscape is heavily in motion and the importance of fintech will only grow in the years to come.”
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