How did Diligr come about?
When I was in New Zealand, I co-founded a business that helped Kiwi businesses get investment-ready and raise capital from investors offshore. In this time, I worked with so many interesting companies, and was blown away by both the quality of the companies, and their founders, who hit it out of the park when it came to innovation, determination and drive. As time went on, I started working with more high-tech growth startups. The continuous feedback I received from offshore investors was how Kiwi entrepreneurs consistently punch above their weight, and that they wanted more access.
After living in this part of the world for six years, I know how geographically isolated New Zealand is particularly now with COVID-19 and the inability to travel. As a result, habits have and will continue to change, and businesses need more ways to be connected with investors.
Also in the post-COVID-19 world, there will be a surge in new startups. We have seen this pattern in other economic shocks. We are about to enter an exciting time for startups. So, the idea behind starting Diligr was to help startups get to a point of investment readiness where they are confident raising from investors domestically and globally, and act as that connection or access point to investors.
With investors, the landscape is changing as well – the market in the USA and UK for instance has become so competitive. Capital is a commodity at the moment, and investors are starting to look globally to differentiate their sources of deal flow. They need to generate alpha for the investors in their fund, so they can better position themselves to raise their next funds. A lot of this is driven by sourcing deals that other investors in their sphere aren’t finding. Diligr will aim to be that access point to help them find those ‘needle in the haystack’ deals.
Can you tell us a bit about the platform?
Diligr was created to shorten and improve the capital raising experience so founders can spend less time on the process and more time where it really matters.
To date, we have launched our first version of the startups side of the platform.
A key problem Diligr aims to solve relates to the time and resources a founder will spend creating pitch deck, or other early pitching materials. A lot of the time, it’s difficult for a founder to know what information an investor will want to see, how much detail they should provide, and in what format – much time gets wasted in inconsistencies within the initial pitching phase.
Diligr aims to allow founders to understand what information an investor will need to make their initial evaluation, and easily create a company profile to streamline getting that first meeting. It’s important to understand that an investor will always want to look in the eyes of the founder, and Diligr isn’t designed to replace that human interaction. It will however provide a snapshot to a potential investor, to allow them to quickly assess whether the company fits their investment mandate.
The process begins with the businesses uploading their investment-relevant information as guided by the Diligr format.
Once all the information has been uploaded, Diligr automatically creates their shareable profile. Essentially this works like a Google Doc, where the founder receives a unique link to their profile which can be shared with the investors of their choice.
Once their profile is completed and their profile is ready, the business jumps on to ‘Matchbook’ which is where the matchmaking piece of the platform comes to play. We have collected investment preferences for each investor on the platform, so the company then can search by filters for a shortlist of their ideal investors.
Once a founder has made a decision on who they want to connect with, they can request an introduction to those investors, and Diligr will facilitate a connection if there is appetite on the investor’s side as well.
A key aim for us is to reduce the time spent to get to that first meeting, and allow founders to manage this process in a much more efficient way.
Beyond match-making, we also have built in a curated resource library which aggregates content we have found particularly helpful for capital raising. At any point throughout a founder’s time on the platform, if questions arise or they want to upskill their capital raising skills, they can access these resources for support.
What are your goals for 2021?
We are building out the platform in a series of stages. The first, as mentioned above, is the single-player version for startups. Next will be the investor version which we hope will launch in the first half of 2021. This version will allow us to automate the connection process, and connect investors and startups more easily. A huge focus for Q2 will be getting smarter with our matchmaking, by getting feedback and learning from users about what makes a good match, and what doesn’t.
By the end of 2021, we want to build Diligr to a point where the platform is the meeting place for startups and investors. To a point where we are so highly reputable, that if we are making the introduction, it’s just as good as an introduction from a peer within the industry.
We hope that in not only improving and shortening the capital raising experience for founders, but we are also creating valuable data to help make better capital raising decisions.
Why New Zealand, Australia and Singapore?
We wanted to start with these geographies as there is already an established level of capital flow and appetite for deal flow between the three countries. In starting with these three regions, it also means we have a small enough market to test well, get right, and create meaningful connections.
We are giving Kea members priority access to Diligr’s private beta, so if you are a founder looking to raise capital within the next 6 months, you can sign up here.
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