One of the most stressful aspects of starting a new business is figuring out how to fund your operations. Not everyone has the resources available to bootstrap their company, and borrowing money from friends and family might come with a lot of strings attached. In such cases, most founders turn to angel and institutional investors to provide them with the funds, resources, and expertise needed to scale a successful venture.
Fundraising, in itself, is a tedious process that requires actionable knowledge about where to put in efforts, which investors to target, how to reach out to them, what documents are needed, and conducting the negotiations as well. Most founders do not have such information readily available to them and have to outsource this task to financial firms that specialise in connecting startups with investors. The larger firms usually charge high compensations for their services, which startups aren’t able to afford. Other, smaller firms, charge much less but do not have the resources available to provide consistent and satisfactory services.
Enter, Marquee Equity – a bootstrapped Saas platform, that is disrupting the way companies raise funds, globally. Founded in 2016 by their current CEO, Ash Narain, and CTO, Raj Kabir, the Delhi-based fundraising platform aims to make it easier for early-stage companies to connect with quality investors and raise capital.
How do they do this? By betting on technology.
Marquee’s proprietary AI algorithm is, ironically, the heart and soul of their operations. Having successfully automated the majority of their lead generation and investment banking processes, the company is able to minimise human error, bring down operational costs, keep their systems well organised, and speed up the process of connecting companies to quality investors. Their disintermediation platform can handle 8x the deal volume of an average investment banker, which helps Marquee’s clients find their target investors within just a couple of weeks.
As you might have guessed already, the general theme of the company is “extreme automation”. In other words, Marquee practices the use of the least amount of resources to produce the maximum amount of output. The AI algorithm determines the demographics of the companies Marquee reaches out to based on a predictive analysis of when they would be ready to raise funds. The algorithm takes into account factors such as company size and growth rate to make its analysis. Once the leads are generated by the software, Marquee’s human layer of investment bankers and financial experts reaches out to them and helps them make key decisions like whether to raise capital as equity or debt, what valuation to raise at, what type of investors to reach out to, etc. The team also helps with creating pitch decks and negotiating with investors on behalf of the clients.
With a database of over 6000+ angel investors and 25,000+ investment firms spanning across various industries and geographies, Marquee is able to cater to companies situated anywhere in the world. When setting up each investment deal, the AI algorithm uses factors like the propensity of the investor to invest in a certain sector, the optimal time of reaching out to them, when they are most likely to check their inbox, etc. to match companies with the most relevant investor for them. Then, their disintermediation platform proceeds to conduct targeted outreaches on multiple channels (Email and LinkedIn).
Currently, Marquee has 800 deals live on their platform and they facilitate over 2500 transactions every year.
But, the fundraising firm isn’t resting on their laurels yet. Their in-house tech team is currently working on an experimental project to see if they can come up with “a conversational AI bot” to interface between startups and investors, eventually humanising the process of matchmaking. This would enable a more efficient, and personalised, conversation between all stakeholders and enhance the quality of Marquee’s already laudable services.