July 09, 2024

How AI Helps Deal Teams Prioritize Value Creation

Taylor Lowe

Taylor Lowe

skelly on

Deal teams are the workhorse of any fund. From sourcing and evaluating investments to leading and supporting portfolio companies, they are crucial at every step in the investment cycle. And from early stage VC to late-stage PE, the goal of a deal team is the same: value creation.

Value creation is how deal teams improve a company’s operations, strategic positioning, costs, or growth initiatives to name a few. It’s work that requires thoughtfulness and insight, and it’s often what can make or break the success of a portfolio company.

In practice, deal teams don’t have as much time for value creation as they’d like. Instead, their time is often spent sifting through large amounts of data just to grasp the current state of a business. And these hours add up! Digging through data rooms, parsing board decks for metrics, and reading call transcripts or market studies all pull from the team's time to find creative ways to add value to an investment.

Metal can help. Designed for deal teams, Metal significantly reduces the time needed to understand a company and its operations, allowing for more detailed, thoughtful work.

The Deal Team Process

While each team’s process may vary, it can be generally understood as a cycle of information gathering, synthesis, and presentation.

deal team process

1. Data collection involves sourcing information from data rooms, independent research, equity research reports, or market studies, to name a few.

2. Prioritization is generally guided by an investment thesis or key questions about a deal, helping teams select the most relevant files to analyze first.

3. Analysis is the heart of the work. This is where deal teams dig into details to find answers to their highest priority questions.

4. Synthesizing involves summarizing key findings and making them digestible for the broader team.

5. Presenting and feedback is the last step of the process, where the team shares its findings with senior deal team members or the investment committee. This step is critical, as it helps the deal team get feedback on where to spend their time next.

This is an iterative cycle! Each round of feedback will create additional questions for the team to dig into. And while these iterations are critical, there’s also plenty of time spent on lower level tasks that detract from value creation activities. Imagine if we could give this time back to deal teams. What could they achieve with each deal as a result?

Supporting Deal Teams with Metal

Let’s break down each step in the deal team process and explore how Metal can help.

Data collection: Metal can process any file—decks, documents, transcripts, financial statements, and more—making them ready for analysis. Simply upload your files and Metal gets to work. Whether you’re uploading multiple files or a zip, Metal will recreate your data or folder structure for easy reference.

Prioritization: Once the data is processed, you can quickly search or chat through the files to identify key points. Metal’s search is thorough and flexible, returning results based on metrics, keywords, phrases, or the sentiment of the content.

workspace search

Analysis: Depending on your team’s needs, Metal offers several tools to speed up the process. Table extraction allows you to pull tables from any document and join them into a single sheet – useful for aggregating financials, management bios, customer contacts, and more. Reports can help you compare datasets within the system. Want to contrast a new deal to previous investment committee memos? Or compare company financials to management transcripts? No problem, simply provide your instructions to Metal’s reports and let it run.

workspace chat

Synthesizing: AI excels at summarizing, and Metal is no exception. Chat and Reports are two tools deal teams use to condense large amounts of information into digestible summaries. Teams can also copy these outputs into other tools – including excel!

workspace reports

Presenting and feedback: Consolidating deal data in one place makes it easy to reference or share with team members. Found a key piece of data to share with your deal team lead or investment committee? It will all be stored in a sharable Metal workspace.

workspace sharing

What’s Next?

Our team is fully focused on deepening Metal’s integration with deal team workflows. From initial file upload to presenting to the investment committee, we’re building Metal to support deal teams every step of the way.

For one, we’re extending Metal’s integrations to connect with familiar file repositories and data sets. We are also enhancing Metal’s generative outputs – allowing teams to iterate on data generated in the system with higher precision. We’ll also roll out support for tracking key priorities for every deal, and what additional data the team needs to collect in order to answer them.

These improvements will be announced soon! But if you’re interested in giving Metal a test run today, please reach out. We’re seeing massive efficiency gains with our customers today – helping deal teams regain hours of time which can be directly applied to value creation, and better investment decisions.