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Datasite Case Study

How Datasite Launched a Corp Dev Strategy in 4 weeks

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October 14, 2021

Datasite is revolutionizing traditional mergers and acquisitions (M&A) processes with a platform designed to facilitate deals across every stage of the M&A lifecycle. As the leading SaaS-based technology provider for global M&A professionals, Datasite recently rebranded itself as a digital-first company.

Shortly after, the company brought Charles Shannon on as its Senior Vice President of Corporate Development. His mandate was to lead Datasite's inorganic growth strategy by identifying strategic acquisition targets in the M&A space, but he was in for a surprise.

"The day after I started, I was asked if I could create, build, and launch my M&A strategy by our next board meeting," recalls Charles. "The only problem was, the board meeting was less than 6 weeks away."

The Pyramid Problem

The first step to developing an M&A strategy is putting together a comprehensive market map. This requires researching hundreds or even thousands of companies in a given space to gain a deeper understanding of where they fit within the larger ecosystem. From there, firms segment these companies by sub-industry, size, growth trajectory, and other key factors.

Market mapping leads to deep insights and invaluable expertise. However, there are more than 25 million non-transacted companies on the market, vastly more than transacted and public companies combined. And while information about public and transacted companies is largely available via Google and traditional data service providers, finding accurate and complete data for non-transacted companies is an extremely manual and time-consuming process.

"I think of markets as giant pyramids," explains Charles. "The bigger public companies are at the top. Then you have mid-size transacted companies in the middle. But the majority of the pyramid consists of smaller bootstrapped companies, which are the acquisition targets most difficult to find and potentially the most valuable."

"I knew there was no way I could build out a thorough market map at the level of granularity that I needed to guide an entire M&A strategy doing manual research, especially in 6 weeks," he says.

Data Signals Save the Day

Sourcescrub's private company intelligence platform offers a wealth of information about non-transacted companies. Along with highly accurate and hard-to-find founder phone numbers and emails, Sourcescrub also serves up key indicators around investment readiness and potential.

These data signals span 9 key areas:

  1. Growth signals: Employee count, etc.
  2. Web signals: Search engine rankings, website traffic, etc.
  3. People signals: Board members, executive teams, etc.
  4. Investor signals: Company financing, investors, etc.
  5. Conference/trade show  signals: Past attendance, planned exhibits, etc.
  6. Industry recognition  signals: Won awards, inclusion in buyers' guides, etc.
  7. Ownership signals: Ownership type, structure, etc.
  8. News and events signals: New hire announcements, media coverage,  etc.
  9. Growth intent signals: New job postings, etc.

Using the data signals found in Sourcescrub, Charles was able to quickly discover, understand, and map founder-owned companies across the global M&A landscape in just 4 weeks, a process that would have otherwise taken 12 weeks.

After evaluating over 6,000 businesses and narrowing this list down to 600 companies, Charles successfully delivered his corporate development strategy just in time for the board meeting. "Even if I'd had more time, it wouldn't have mattered without Sourcescrub," Charles reveals. "The map would have been much smaller and far less accurate because I wouldn't have known that half the companies on there existed."

Today, Charles' market map spans the entire M&A lifecycle, as well as vertical and horizontal market expansion opportunities. It serves as the backbone of Datasite's M&A strategy, with 60% of late-stage M&A opportunities having originated in Sourcescrub. "I'm ultimately responsible for driving proprietary deal flow, and I simply can't do my job without Sourcescrub," Charles says.

Need a fast track to the answers?

Your corporate development strategy may not be due in 6 weeks, but manually researching and sourcing non-transacted businesses is never easy. Learn more about how Sourcescrub helped Charles accelerate his market mapping process by 3x when you download the full Datasite case study here.

Sourcescrub can help you too. Request a personalized demo to see how.