Case study: How Angel Investors Ontario improved deal syndication
Angel Investors Ontario share their experience of using an intermediary shared deal room to help the angel groups under the AIO umbrella to syndicate deals more efficiently.
Angel Investors Ontario (AIO) groups have always been sharing deals with each other. Most of the time, one group cannot fill the entire round and therefore sharing is a necessity. In order to reach all investors, founders often do an “Ontario roadshow” and pitch to almost all groups in the region.
Group managers have a monthly deal-sharing call where they go over interesting companies, deals they have in progress, etc. It has been really useful to have that kind of casual monthly meeting.
Prior to using Dealum, deal sharing was managed via a very messy spreadsheet that was never updated on time for the meeting but rather during the meeting. When a group found an interesting deal from the spreadsheet, they asked for the pitch deck or to be connected to the founders. Group managers put a lot of effort into gathering the information they needed.
Group managers switched from the spreadsheet to the AIO deal room on Dealum. Kate Tomen, the Vice President of AIO, believes that sharing deals on Dealum is much easier for groups compared to filling in spreadsheets. Also, sharing deals only takes a couple of clicks and they don't need to keep reminding everyone to do it.
Monthly group call gives an opportunity to have a casual chat about deals. But the time in the call is now better used because group managers don’t need to gather data for the spreadsheet during the meeting. This time is spent on building relationships, not spreadsheets. Having a recurring monthly meeting on the calendar also reminds groups to share deals.
Deals are now shared more consistently rather than only during meetings. Even if some deals are added during the meeting, it’s very quick and not distractive. Deal sharing happens organically because the scenario where one group can fill the whole round is quite rare in Ontario, and almost all deals are syndicated between multiple groups.
In the past, the shared deals had rounds already 80% filled, but now they are shared at much earlier stages of the investment process because it is easier. Founders sometimes need to answer additional questions when a new group adds them to their deal room, which helps to uncover more information for investors.
Although it took some time for the groups to learn how to share deals with the AIO deal room and directly with each other, now everyone knows how to do it. Having all groups on the same platform makes things much easier and requires less effort from entrepreneurs to share their information with another group on Dealum. Groups that have one or two part-time employees can save a lot of time from the data entry they had to do with the spreadsheet.
“Dealum has helped our groups move into the future, having added ease and efficiency to our processes to share and syndicate deals. It has also added a new layer of transparency for our Angel members.” — Kate Tomen, Angel Investors Ontario
Angel Investors Ontario oversees 16 angel groups, out of which twelve are on the Dealum platform. Using an intermediary deal room (the AIO shared deal room) has worked very well for them and allows them to use the time during the deal-sharing calls better since everybody is focused on the discussion and insights rather than entering data during the call.
With most Ontario groups using Dealum, it also makes fundraising easier for the startup founder by cutting down on the number of different applications to fill out and acting as a data room throughout the deal's life cycle.
Angel Investors Ontario Fact Sheet