How Satellite Applications Catapult Uses Beauhurst to Support UK Space Tech
The Satellite Applications Catapult is a world-leading technology and innovation company, helping businesses of all sizes to realise the potential from space.It works with businesses, researchers, investors and end-users to develop new satellite-based products, services and applications, translating ideas from concept to market. Chris Hobbs is Head of Business Strategy at Satellite Applications Catapult, responsible for supporting the UK’s space market and helping innovative companies grow to their full potential.
Defense and Space Manufacturing
Electron Building, Fermi Ave, Didcot OX11 0QR
What do you and your team do at Satellite Applications Catapult?
“The response time from the Client Services team is fantastic, and I’ve been very impressed with the thorough answers to all of my queries. I know we’re in safe hands with Beauhurst.”
What’s your Beauhurst set-up like?
My team is made up of analysts and consultants. We started with five seats and now we have twelve, so that says a lot about the value we’re getting from the platform.
It’s been a very slick process with our Account Manager, Jo—she’s great at getting training set up for new users and checking in throughout the year. The response time from the Client Services team is fantastic, and I’ve been very impressed with the thorough answers to all of my queries. I know we’re in safe hands with Beauhurst.
Can you give us an overview of what you use Beauhurst for?
At the moment, we predominantly use Beauhurst as a due diligence tool, to get an understanding of clients’ financial and technical standing, as well as their position in the wider market. We compare that to what we learn as we get to know them and, often, we get a different view from what they’re telling us, which is always very handy.
For example, they might tell us they received funding, but with Beauhurst we can check exactly how much, who was involved, and what valuation it was completed at. It’s really helpful to have that all in one place, where you can quickly look through the different categories of information. It’s just so easy to get a solid overview very, very quickly.
How does the Beauhurst platform make your work easier?
We’re all time-poor—I don’t know anyone who has a lot of time on their hands. And so, quite often, you either don’t have time to fully prepare for a meeting, or you’ve not had time to fully think through what you might come up against.
But with the Beauhurst platform, I can check up on things on the fly, whether I was expecting them to come up in conversation or not: it gives me accurate information in a simple format—it’s super easy to digest and is structured intuitively—so I know exactly where I need to go to find a specific data point really quickly.
When I was first introduced to Beauhurst, I wondered if there was too much information that would be difficult to get out. But once I started using it, I realised just how simple it was to get really in-depth data. That means I can use it whilst I’m talking to people, and ask really probing questions—about their credit rating, for example—without putting loads of time in beforehand. If a thought pops into my head mid-meeting, I know exactly where to go to find the information I need. It pops up on the screen and we can talk about it there and then in the first meeting, instead of having to go away, do some research, and arrange another meeting to talk it through—so that’s a massive time saver for everyone involved.
“The depth of the company profiles and the way that they’re structured makes everything so easy.”
How do you use the Beauhurst platform to evaluate a company?
If I have a company coming in to meet me, the first thing I do is look up their company name on Beauhurst to see if they’re tracked. That’s the first line of due diligence, because its an external confirmation that they’re high-potential.
The depth of the company profiles and the way that they’re structured makes everything so easy. It shows which of Beauhurst’s eight tracking triggers the company has met. If they’ve been to an accelerator, then you would probably expect them to have raised investment three to nine months after. Raising equity shows that the company is driving towards an MVP and towards significant revenues, which is great. And it also says a lot if they’ve got the same investors backing them round after round, or if they’re selling out.
One of the red flags for us is if a company is ‘grant-hunting’, whereby they’re securing multiple grants year after year. This suggests that they’re fitting their projects and building the company around grant applications, rather than building something they believe is truly innovative and looking for grants where appropriate. I can see the grant abstracts, and the amount and number of grants they’ve completed over time, which gives me a feel for the company. And I can also get a feel for the financials and how much money they have in the bank.
How do you use Beauhurst for your reporting processes?
One of my responsibilities is compiling quarterly reports for Innovate UK on the companies that we’ve assisted, focusing particularly on the funds they’ve gone on to raise. So I run a query on this once every three months, to check on who we’ve worked with and what funding they’ve secured.
Before Beauhurst, I would have had to make notes as I went along, writing down if I saw a Google Alert, or a post on LinkedIn, but obviously that’s much more time consuming. And it’s also not comprehensive, because in some cases they might not have publicly announced the rounds.
So that process has now been reduced from a day and a half of manual research to less than half an hour—start to finish—using Beauhurst. And I can be sure that I’m getting comprehensive data on the six cohorts of companies we work with, because the platform tracks unannounced fundraisings as well as those mentioned in the media.
How do you use Beauhurst to advise your existing clients?
In order to deliver effective strategic support, we need full insight into a company, from its board of directors to its financials—and that’s exactly what Beauhurst gives us. I’ve started looking at potential investors for one company, advising them on who might be a good fit for their level of growth and technical focus. With the My Clients tool, I can just fill in a couple of questions about the company and instantly get a list of the most appropriate funders for them. It’s really robust and comes up with a shareable report—it’s ideal.