Santander Innoventures

Manuel Silva Martínez
Julian Mattes
Digital+ Partners

Founded in 2015, Digital+ Partners is a Frankfurt and Munich based growth equity firm that was created with a clear objective: filling the DACH region’s late-stage VC financing gap. Differentiated by its deep domain expertise and unique international corporate network, the firm invests in best-in-class B2B technology companies and helps them scale into global, digital leaders.

Despite a lack of late-stage funding in the firm’s target region, it is still a competitive market—especially for the most promising deals, where even large PE firms compete. To build a successful portfolio of eight high-growth technology companies as Digital+ Partners has, it requires exceptional skills in identifying investment opportunities, determining precise valuations and finding the right partners to co-invest with. That’s why Digital+ Partners leverages PitchBook’s comprehensive market data and robust workflow tools to help drive its success. 

3 ways Digital+ Partners uses PitchBook:
  • To gain a competitive advantage when sourcing investments
  • To determine more precise valuations and inform negotiations
  • To find promising limited partners and co-investors

"We heavily rely on PitchBook to source our deals, find investors and make better investment decisions."

–Julian Mattes

Gaining a competitive advantage when sourcing investments

Digital+ Partners takes a proactive approach to sourcing investments. By tapping into its extensive professional network and PitchBook’s database of more than 1.3 million companies, the firm can quickly discover businesses within its target regions and industry verticals, as well as see funding history, current investors and similar companies.

Julian Mattes, Principal at Digital+ Partners, says, "Before we approach a business, we always want to understand who they are and what stage they are in. PitchBook helps us build that understanding and discover what competitors are in the market faster than if we were to rely on our professional network alone." Digital+ Partners also uses PitchBook to get a better understanding of an industry before they invest in it. By using the Platform to look at all the prior transactions in a given space, the firm gains immediate insight into comparable startups, multiples and important market trends. 

Determining more precise valuations and informing negotiations

"We spend a lot of time looking at revenue and assessing how those metrics could evolve. We rely on the data we get from PitchBook to do this, and it helps us make much more educated valuations."

–Julian Mattes

Whether it’s looking at a target company’s revenue or how similar ones have performed, Digital+ Partners uses PitchBook to access the financial data it needs to build better comparables and inform its negotiation strategy.

"We use PitchBook to find every comparable company," Mattes says. "Then we dig deep into that information, comparing multiples over time and look at the revenue of those companies to inform how we think a potential portfolio company’s revenue could evolve." This research helps Digital+ Partners prepare for negotiations with founders. "We use PitchBook to do our own benchmarking," Mattes says. "Founders always come to negotiations with their own expectations and research, so we use PitchBook to look at their European and US peers to see how they have evolved, so we’re ready for those discussions."

Finding promising limited partners and co-investors

By leveraging PitchBook’s granular data on more than 28,000 limited partners—including previous commitments as well as current mandates and allocations—Digital+ Partners can quickly find and connect with the institutional investors that are most likely to commit to their fund.

In 2018, Digital+ Partners’ first fund closed at €350 million. "The fund’s investors include leading institutional investors and technology companies as well as technology-oriented family offices in Germany, Europe, the United States and Asia," Mattes says. "We relied on PitchBook for fundraising. Especially if the LP we were approaching was one we were talking to for the first time. It helped us to identify who is out there and who we should be talking to."

Digital+ Partners also uses PitchBook to find and connect with co-investors outside of Europe by searching for other active investors and lead partners in its area of focus, researching what deals those investors have done and looking at the performance of their past funds. Using the contact information and LinkedIn integration available through the Platform, Digital+ Partners can reach out immediately.

"We also use PitchBook Mobile to stay up to date on private market news and look up information on potential portfolio companies and investors before we meet with them," Mattes says. "It’s a huge value to have PitchBook with us through the app when traveling, because we can quickly look at what stage a company is at, the previous transactions of other investors and other relevant information prior to meeting with them." 

Now with a growing portfolio of technology companies spread across the DACH region and in the United States, Digital+ Partners continues to leverage PitchBook to inform its investment decisions. "We heavily rely on PitchBook," Mattes says. "It’s one of the best tools we can use."

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