September 20, 2021

In addition to funding, what can we as a VC fund bring to the table?

By Evli Growth Partners
Maiju Aspegren
Investment Analyst
As part of our trainee blog series, our most recent trainee Maiju Aspegren writes about her experience at our fund - and how VCs bring additional value to the table after the investment.

During my internship at EGP I was delighted to notice that unique value creation was something that EGP constantly thought about. In addition to varied tasks from market research to participation in building the investment cases and search of promising growth companies, I had a great opportunity to follow how the EGP team focused on value creation. Value creation is part of EGP’s everyday work: meetings with fascinating startups, work with portfolio companies, or meetings with parties like other investors always involved discussion of how we at EGP can help you with the matter. After the meeting with startups or other funds, EGP always aimed to give feedback or suggest an investor/ a startup matching party’s criterion.

Matching the value creation capabilities

The basics for value creation are built already before the investment decision when we are analyzing the most beautiful growth companies. As part of the analysis, the EGP team always precisely assesses whether they have the capabilities to support the company in their next steps, making sure EGP would be the right partner in the journey towards sustainable growth. It was great to notice how the value creation capabilities were carefully evaluated for each investment decision and communicated to the companies, even though sometimes it meant letting some promising case pass by because we didn’t see that we could provide needed tools or knowledge for the growth. EGP always wants to provide knowledge on top of the money invested.

“The ownership phase is the time for actual value creation and the current ticket size EGP invests sets the best possible basis for that. Larger tickets to fewer companies lead to a portfolio, that allows the EGP team to deeply focus on selected companies.”

And then the real works starts

The ownership phase is the time for actual value creation and the current ticket size EGP invests sets the best possible basis for that. Larger tickets to fewer companies lead to a portfolio, that allows the EGP team to deeply focus on selected companies. In 4/7 companies EGP has led a financing round and holds a place on the board, and from these EGP’s Growth Partners are the chair of the board in 3. This portfolio structure provides EGP a unique position to spend time with each portfolio company to fully understand their concerns and encourage the entrepreneurs towards the growth goals. EGP team allocates a significant amount of their week to spend with their portfolio companies. The talented and experienced Growth Partners have helped the entrepreneurs for example with developing the business model, getting the best talent to the organization, or raising the next substantially larger financing round.

Throughout the board work, EGP is actively involved in the decision-making, which requires up-to-date insights from the market, whether it is a new competitor entering the market, a possible acquisition target or a change in other market dynamics. The EPG team is aiming to react to the changes in the market quickly and have a comprehensive understanding not only of the portfolio companies but also the surroundings. During my internship, I had the opportunity to take a deep dive into our portfolio companies to see how the market and competitive field of the companies have changed in the previous year. I created reports to help our Growth Partners to update their view of the market and provide insights into the strategic positioning.

Concrete actions for a bright future

EGP actively maps different values and targets, and during my internship, I had the chance to build more structure to support that thinking. I drafted a value creation strategy plan, helping the team to create a more detailed and standardized process for goal setting and value mapping. When the goals are aligned and clear, the whole team, investors and entrepreneurs can push the company in the right direction. Another example of value creation work is ESG-related support. As Petra wrote in the previous blog post here, EGP broadly supports companies’ ESG-related work throughout the investment period, e.g. by co-creating ESG Policy, a concrete action plan for the company. By providing frameworks and professional views, the EGP team has taken much of the load away from the entrepreneurs’ shoulders, so that they can concentrate on their passion: building Europe’s most beautiful growth companies!

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