The new order
We set up Duet Partners in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. It was clear that the funding world had been turned on its head, bringing with it immense challenges - but also opportunity - as the new order emerged.
With first-hand experience of leading high-growth Tech businesses in the UK and Silicon Valley for over two decades, we could immediately relate to the uncertainty CEO’s were facing in this increasingly risk-averse investment climate.
The recovery that followed truly ushered in 'the age of the entrepreneur'. Founders became the new superheroes of our time. Investors no longer wanted to work through corporate finance intermediaries during early-stage financings. They wanted direct access to develop close relationships and become more closely involved in the startup to scaleup journey.
It was clear that the process of raising early-stage capital needed rethinking.
Startup to Scaleup advisory
Whilst fundraising was always the ultimate goal, we knew right from the start that the classic transactional support offered by traditional corporate finance firms was not going to be enough. With increasing fall-out rates from Seed to Series A to Series B and beyond, founders were already searching for ways to beat the odds. To cross the chasm.
This gave us our purpose.
A critical requirement was to be able to support founders from the moment they began considering the next stage of funding – way before any investor pitch had been mapped out. And we needed to be flexible, as different founders require different levels of support through the funding process.
This led to providing Investment Analysis as a stand-alone service, designed to help founders build winning funding strategies. The process begins by identifying the most appropriate sources of capital based on stage, sector and business model, then uses this insight to stress-test and improve the investment proposition. We have now undertaken dozens of these projects to great acclaim.
At the beginning we set up to provide complete project management support through the entire fundraising process, taking on the funding mandate based on a retainer plus success fee model.
But now founders don't want a fully managed campaign at early stage. They want to manage the campaign themselves and be seen to be doing so by investors. To address this need, we introduced 'The Guided Fundraise' where we assist founders through all the funding preparation and execution phases with behind the scenes support.
A vital ingredient in our work is global investment research. This is required at every stage of the process from investment preparation to campaign execution. We employ the very latest and most sophisticated datasets to sift and analyse investors (as well as their investee companies) to a level of detail that still surprises most founders.
Having now worked with almost 60 founders on a wide variety of funding preparation and execution projects, we have accumulated a wealth of insight. One third of these projects have been with serial founders. The insights gained have since helped us create our first-time founder coaching program, 'Founder to Funder'.
We now advise founders through the entire funding cycle, from early planning (Founder to Funder), to detailed investment preparation (Investment Analysis), and on to live campaigns (The Guided Fundraise).