Is ListAlpha or Affinity a better CRM for your PE fund?

Why Affinity is not well-suited for private equity

Affinity is a relationship and deal management platform for the Venture Capital industry. Despite its success in among VC investors, it has made limited traction into the private equity market largely due to the underlying differences in workflow between a VC and a PE investors.

In our experience the difference in origination approach between VC (i.e., large amount of outbound emails, heavy reliance on events and conferences) and PE (lower deal volume, much deeper due diligence motion) is a significant factor in the design and architecture of the platform.

1) Private equity investors have a more narrow but a far more complex deal flow pipeline than VCs

2) PE funds need to have the ability to track advisers (e.g., CDD, FDD, buy side M&A etc.) and to explicitly attribute their sourcing activities (M&A advisers, accountants, off-market, etc.)

3) Tracking financial metrics in deals is very important in PE. E.g., enterprise value, equity cheque size, leverage ratios and EV/EBITDA multiples are critical inputs and are largely non-existing in VC

ListAlpha vs. Affinity

Below is a summary of the major limitations of Affinity vs. ListAlpha in our subjective experience.

  • User interface that is very geared towards venture capital (e.g., Google Sheets-like tabs, lack of easy filtering by pipeline stage, Kanban boards, etc.)
  • No built-in company research capabilities – only enrichment from Crunchbase or other 3rd party datasets
  • Limited contacts management functionality - no ability to add full work experience or to enrich profiles with new jobs as advisers move from bank to bank
  • Limited deal pipeline management functionality – low ability to customise deal reports, deal records to suit PE needs (industry classification, enterprise value, multiples, margin percentages, formulas, debt ratios, etc.)
  • Limited note taking functionality– lack ability to tag deals, companies advisers directly into notes
  • No thematic investing or grouping based on themes
  • Overly focused on relationship automation – profile and deal views are all about thefrequency of interactions / emails (which is driven by the VC focus of the platform)

Feature benchmarking

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