In just two years, it has raised a total of $US3.7m in seed and series A funding.
Corporate access has been a growing trend elsewhere with fund managers willing to allocate over a quarter of their $5bn-a-year commission pot to brokers that allow them an hour to meet the senior executives of corporate clients. The 2013 Thomson Reuters Extel Survey of 5,400 portfolio managers and buy side analysts revealed that 25% of client commissions are being used to reward brokers for providing corporate access. Home-grown fin-tech startup WeConvene, however, finds that the process of bringing investors and clients together is 'broken' and 'inefficient’. It wants to bring efficiency to the process by allowing real time booking, tracking, analytics and providing compliance tools to an increasingly regulated industry.
“Today, Corporate Access providers, usually investment banks – the sell side, have teams of people writing, sending and monitoring a mountain of invitation email. Customers, usually an investment fund – the buy-side, are forced to sort through this deluge with no systematic way to filter, identify and monitor the event invitations that matter to them,” says Radek Barnert, co-founder and CEO of WeConvene.
Basically, WeConvene de-clutters email inboxes. It automatically syncs booked events to the calendar so that any meeting a buy-side user books automatically goes into the user’s diary. WeConvene provides a separate easy to use workflow that enables coordinators and assistants to share all events with the team and book on their behalf.
Founded in 2012 by Radek Barnert (CEO), Mike Barnert (CTO), Jeff Wang (Chief Software Architect) and Jadeite Hui (Chief Administration Officer), WeConvene has built a platform for the global Corporate Access community. It bills itself as the only shared platform designed for both the buy-side and sell-side together, and the only product that offers real time booking of corporate access events. It has raised US $2.5 million in a Seed and Series A rounds last year and recently acquired a UK business called Extel.
WeConvene started as a self-funded startup for a time, with early seed money coming from industry contacts who also understood the problem and believed in the WeConvene vision.
Rad explains that it’s not unusual to receive up to 1000 emails a day. It is simply not possible to prioritise, filter, or identify valuable meetings given this volume of email and the buy side’s current solution is to employ people to do this job. The system is broken and inefficient.
“We started WeConvene to remove the reliance on email and to put both sides back in control of the process – the buy side can filter events based on preferences and then book with a single click, while the sell side maintain full control over their distribution and can, for the first time, accurately track and monitor interest and response.” Rad said.
According to Rad, their primary goals for the next 24 months are to grow the customer base and community globally, to add premium features and functionality to enhance revenue opportunities, to introduce corporate participants to the platform and to develop connectivity with the major financial information vendors globally.
Name of the Company: WeConvene
Founders: Radek Barnert, Mike Barnert, Jeff Wang and Jadeite Hui
Total Funding at hand: USDS3.7m
Source of Funding: Seed and Series A funding
Major Investors: NA
Start of Operation: December 12, 2012
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