Founded in 2000, DN Capital has funded such well-known startups as music identification software Shazam (acquired by Apple for $400M), online estate agents Purplebricks and used car marketplace Auto1.
Despite a successful track record and a prominent international reputation, the London-based venture firm is always looking for ways to optimize their strategy. Whether its raising a fund, refining day-to-day processes or staying on top of market trends, it relies on PitchBook’s accurate, comprehensive European data to stay ahead in a fast-changing venture landscape.
Raising a €200M fund—the largest to date
Unfazed by uncertainty after the Brexit referendum, DN Capital began fundraising for its fourth vehicle in June 2016. To streamline their approach, the firm used PitchBook to find promising investors (based on allocations, preferences and commitments) and uncover essential contact information, like direct email addresses and phone numbers.
“When we raised our new round, PitchBook played a big role. We could quickly find the right investors and access the information we needed to reach out. PitchBook’s contact information on limited partners is extremely accurate,” says Ragnar Jongen, who has worked at DN Capital since 2016.
The result? A surprising reversal of a post-referendum trend. In January 2018, DN Capital closed a €200M fund, its largest to date, with contributions from institutional investors, family offices, high net worth individuals and—most notably—Europe’s fund-of-funds, the European Investment Fund.
Saving time with workflow tools
More efficient fundraising isn’t the only way DN Capital saves time with PitchBook. Ragnar and his colleagues also rely heavily on PitchBook’s workflow tools, using them to move faster and keep track of important details.
For example, the Chrome extension has dramatically changed the way Ragnar finds information.
“With the extension, we can quickly gather high-level details on companies or investors. We don’t have to click around, switch tabs, manually type in the name of the company or scroll through websites,” says Ragnar.
And while the Chrome extension has improved Ragnar’s digital workflow, PitchBook Mobile has made working outside the office easier. Whether he needs to review transaction details or quickly prep for meetings, the mobile app helps Ragnar stay informed—even when he’s pressed for time.
“When I’m at a conference, have a last-minute meeting or have 20 different meetings in one day, I can quickly skim through information in the app to bring myself up to speed,” he explains.
“We decided to go with PitchBook given the overall accuracy of the data, particularly in Europe. Compared to competitors, PitchBook was doing a much better job.”
– Ragnar Jongen
Tracking the market with custom analysis
Ragnar and his team also leverage PitchBook’s customized research, a free service available to all clients. In fact, every quarter DN Capital requests tailored reports and custom data analysis for various projects or initiatives. It’s a request PitchBook’s research team is happy to grant—and a great way for firms to stay on top of niche activity or micro trends in their space.
“PitchBook’s report building and analysis service is really useful because these types of requests help us get a better idea of market developments. And the fact that it is turned around in very timely fashion is great,” he says.
“Doing that analysis ourselves used to cost us a few working days each quarter, and now that work is completely done by PitchBook. It’s a huge time saver,” he adds.
Quickly vetting companies
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that DN Capital, one of the most established venture firms in Europe, usually fields inbound requests rather than actively sources deals. But that, of course, is a job in itself: each and every startup that comes across their desk needs to be vetted. For both quick and extensive due diligence, DN Capital employs a rigorous research process that involves PitchBook.
“You don’t have to do that Google search when you’re looking at a particular company or find different bits and pieces of information scattered around the internet because PitchBook has done that already,” explains Ragnar.
In other words, access to PitchBook’s in-depth company data helps DN Capital cut through the noise and gauge exit potential—all while knowing that the information is accurate and up to date.
“For me, the key things are updated information, accurate stats on previous fund rounds, company location and current investors. I also look at competitors and changes in the market. PitchBook gives me a jumpstart in all these areas,” he adds.
Accurate European data
When it came to evaluating data providers, DN Capital cast a wide net, considering competitors like CB Insights, Tracxn and more. But for accurate European private market data, the choice was clear—and the price was right.
“We decided to go with PitchBook given the overall accuracy of the data, particularly in Europe. Compared to competitors, PitchBook was doing a much better job. Accuracy combined with price makes PitchBook the best on the market for sure,” says Ragnar.
Armed with comprehensive European data, robust workflow tools and custom research, DN Capital is thriving and shaping the European venture landscape, with two-thirds of its latest €200M fund going to early-stage startups in Western Europe.
“PitchBook has had a tremendous impact,” says Ragnar. “We’re very happy with it.”
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