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How does Africa grow and prosper? The answer is by matching the right businesses with the right investors. This in a nutshell is the expertise of the award-winning capital matching company, Neu Capital Africa, that helps established African mid-market companies and professional investors find each other and work out the best deal. Recently, the company was retained by a leading international government agency in Africa to run its capital matching across the continent. This new business, with its already extensive database, meant that the company had to find a way to ensure it was set up as the perfect mechanism to quickly and effectively match company to capital.
Neu Capital Africa had to be equipped to manage an influx of deals. It previously used another CRM system but it wasn’t set up to match the company’s deal flow. It was complex, timely and frustrating to use. A system was needed that would set the company up so it could scale, that would allow dynamic reporting and that would be designed for their unique business processes – growing Africa through matching investor-ready opportunities. Tasked with growing the business, Barry Hawke, Neu Capital Africa’s Head of Equities and Valuation, contacted Synthesis Software Technologies to implement a solution.
The Synthesis team recognised Salesforce would be an ideal fit. Neu Capital Africa and Synthesis worked together to build a custom Sales Cloud Application. Sales Cloud offers a full range of features and functionalities to track sales activities and customer insights to streamline business operations. Synthesis Business Development, Craig Leppan explains: “Salesforce can be designed for specific requirements and with relevant value for small to enterprise businesses, making world-class customer management, data and reporting a possibility for every business.”
Neu Capital Africa’s experience working on a previous system, their business expertise and their knowledge of what their client required from them made them partners and not just clients when it came to architecting the solution. Within a few sessions, Neu Capital Africa and Synthesis had designed a Sales Cloud Application in the domain of the capital matching world. The company has a multistage process which Synthesis mapped out so Neu Capital Africa could manage these steps and produce dynamic reporting at every stage. Together, the teams managed to streamline the workflow, capturing only the fields that they needed. They no longer had to collect unnecessary data, which slowed down their operations and prevented Executives from using the system. “In the last two months,” explains Hawke, “we’ve gone through about 175 deals to assess investor readiness, and that’s by just three of us Executives! We hope that at least five of those deals will be investable. At the same time, we’ve profiled over 60 different investors. The process then is to connect those investable deals to investors that may be interested in funding them (a match). I need to be able to show an investor that’s interested in agricultural projects in Mozambique the applicable deal and that’s where the Sales Cloud “Capital Raiser” Application connects potential deals nicely.”
The new system has allowed Neu Capital Africa to take complete ownership of their operations. The Executives undertook this journey to design a platform that would set them up to succeed. Because of their hands-on engagement, they have a system that works for them and they are the ones who implement the data, not their admin staff. This hands-on involvement is their distinction and their clients can see it through their increased speed. “Salesforce has enabled us to get our arms around a pretty big universe of opportunities and investors in quite a quick space of time and then build on that in terms of taking those through to fruition where we connect the two and can actually close deals,” says Hawke. Migrating the information and using the system was easy, explains Hawke: “because of the volume of information we already have, we have been able to bulk upload and get it quickly to a point where it’s become quite usable. Synthesis designed the layouts so we only see exactly what we need and from there it is intuitive. There were individuals on our team who were reluctant to use a new CRM system but because of the custom-designed solution they are now driving it.” “Salesforce has helped us show our client quite effectively what we’ve been able to do through our new reporting. It’s impressive. We have been able to show them in a short space of time all the deals, what we have evaluated, shortlisted, engaged with and next steps. It’s useful for them to quickly see where we are, and hopefully, they’re looking at it and saying there’s only three Executives working on this and look what they’ve managed to do.” Hawke shares his experience working with Synthesis: “It’s been very helpful working with Synthesis. Their experience with Salesforce and broader applications in different industries has enabled us to sit down with a white piece of paper to sketch out the workflow we want to follow.” Francis Bacon said: “A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.”
This is true of Neu Capital Africa who has created a platform where opportunity creation is easy. The capital matching company is now empowered to scale and with this, the possibilities for both companies and investors will be endless.