Key uses of Beauhurst
- Helping clients to benchmark fundraisings
- Expand offering to existing clients
- Moving from anecdotal to data-driven intelligence
Marlborough House Partners is a legal practice that advises fast-growing businesses with fundraisings and exits, helping small enterprises grow into profitable companies. Breaking the mould of conventional law firms, Marlborough House acts like an in-house advisor, working on everything from legal and strategy, to HR and funding.
Who did we speak to?
As Partner at Marlborough House, Patrick Tolhurst advises on fundraisings, exits, product development, corporate strategy, and general commercial matters. Patrick’s clients span innovative sectors such as fintech, internet of things (IoT), and the sharing economy.
How did you first come across Beauhurst?
Stumbling across Beauhurst was a happy coincidence. I knew that all the data provided by Beauhurst was out there, but didn’t realise anyone had successfully managed to segment and organise it, so that it was meaningful and usable.
So far, I’ve found Beauhurst to be a lot better than anything else that tries to analyse the private company market in the UK—there’s nothing like it, frankly.
We thought that using the Beauhurst platform might help our clients understand their market better, and where they might be able to source funding by looking at funds that are active in their space, whether that be cleantech, IoT, or anything in between. And so far, that’s been working for us.
In fact, the way that Beauhurst is structured and packaged up has completely changed the game for us. It’s a tool that I can build a corporate finance function from, without having to hire four people to do the analysis. Beauhurst does that for me. And that’s saved me and my clients a lot of money, because we don’t have to rely on introductions from people who want to take a percentage of the deal.
How do you use Beauhurst to support your clients?
My primary use of Beauhurst is around finding investors for my clients. The platform allows us to segment and cut thousands of data points, to get a list of fund names and contact information very easily.
In our first training session, our account manager, Samir, helped set us up with a number of fundraising searches. Most of mine revolve around the sectors that I operate in, so predominantly on equity fundraisings into cleantech and IoT companies. We saved the results of each search into a Collection, so that I can look at overall statistics on those fundraisings, which regions they’re going into, how they’ve increased over time, and which individual funds are driving that market growth.
And now that that’s all set up, I receive a weekly email with information of all the new fundraisings that meet those search criteria. And that’s really valuable on a couple of fronts. The most obvious is that it keeps me informed of what’s going on across the market. We already have quite a lot of market intelligence, because of what we see and who our clients are, so being able to confirm and augment that intel with a much more macro view is very helpful. It also means that I get to inform my clients on these deals and show that I know what I’m talking about, all in a very time-efficient way.
Now I can see which funds are active in each vertical on a weekly basis, and can see the people at that fund who I could get in contact with if necessary. I’ll send the updates on to my clients as and when I think they’re useful and relevant.
As well as this weekly intel and point of contact with our clients, we can also book in time to do more of a deep-dive with them. It’s only a few weeks into this new year, and people are beginning to talk about their fundraising plans. So now is a good time for us to sit down with our clients and use Beauhurst to figure out who’s active in their space.
One of my colleagues in employment law is also using Beauhurst for the business development side of things. Once companies are fundraising at a certain level, they’ll be in need of employment advice; they need to upgrade their structures and what they’re doing, and they need some HR support. So she’s going to pursue it for that end, to identify companies and get in contact with them. At the moment, I don’t have a shortage of clients, but I know that we have a really powerful business development tool at our disposal if I need it.
What impact has Beauhurst had on your client relationships?
Before we had Beauhurst, we wouldn’t have tried to identify potential investors, because it either wasn’t necessary for me to be the middleman, or because there would be a conflict of interest. But now we’ve got a whole load of funders in front of us who I don’t know, and who I think might be potential leads for my clients. I now have a much wider view of the market, and provide a broader offering for our clients.
Having this resource also means that we are much more of a trusted advisor, rather than purely a legal practice. We’re no longer depending on anecdotal evidence of marketing trends, we’re coming from a more data-driven approach, which increases our credibility. It makes our relationships with clients stronger, and hopefully means we can charge more for our overall services as we do more of this work in the future.
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