Category: Unlisted companies (page 1 of 2)

What a Blowuper is?

Surely you have seen a similar image to this in Linkedin, where a businessman is compared to an entrepreneur. Basically what the businessman does is to sell the same product more expensive, thanks to his commercial skills and / or to his Know-how of the product. The entrepreneur, on the other hand, transforms the product providing an added value detectable at first sight in order to sell it much more expensive.

Remaining in the superficial side, the image is shocking and the entrepreneur comes out very well. It doesn’t happen the same to the businessman, who, if we simply guide ourselves through the image, can almost be considered as a scammer.

In both cases, it does not refer to the costs incurred by acting one way or the other. In case of the businessman we do not know whether he has sold the product elsewhere or whether he sold it in a different moment from when he got it or even to whom he sold it. Of the entrepreneur we don’t know either what he needed to transform the product, if he needs other materials to produce it, how long took the production or if he needed any expert or f maybe he needed some extra knowledge.

The other day, having dinner with some friends, we discussed this issue due to the more classic economic activity of one of them and due to my sector. He trust more in traditional businesses and I defend that we live an exceptional time where every day a new business that is going to change the world comes up. The debate went on a long way and among other things, I thought, that there is another kind of entrepreneur who is presented as a model of success and who we should imitate. I baptized him as: Blowuper. It is, in essence, an entrepreneur who creates a “blow up” company, bloat by a lot Marketing and having as unique KPI the growth of the customer database. Customers who do not necessarily have to pay for the product or, at best, pay a price not higher than the cost (as in the picture below).

We live in an atypical age where the excess of liquidity is lowering the rigor in investment criteria. This situation gives wings to the Blowupers, who can bloat their bogged down businesses through this excess. These businesses, without this blockage and due to their business model, where the operating margin is negative (any financiers get their hair stand on end with this term), are doomed to fail.

In June it closed (less in Brazil) the Hispanic portal par excellence (Terra) and, before Google, the web browser par excellence was Altavista. Probably, when the expected correction in the system will be done, we will say phrases like: do you remember when they brought everything home? Or when a premium services car cheaper than a taxi was waiting for you? Do you remember the Snapchat? What happened to it all? Anything, the tide just went down. And it will be then when we would realize who was an Entrepreneur and who a Blowuper.

Signed by Guillem Comí

Consulting Companies: needs and opportunities

Consulting firms are increasingly seeking tools to manage corporate information for their clients, as they often do it in a non-optimal manner and often manually. Not only does this create increased costs and lost time, but it also limits communication and organization within a company. This leads to very few opportunities to innovate in the services offered and brings difficulties in facilitating the transparency of clients with stakeholders in a safe and controlled manner.

In this light, Private Investments Network presents a solution:

The Private Investments Network platform facilitates the use of a tool for managing the corporate information of clients and adds value to corporate clients by allowing consulting firms to:

  • Consolidate relationships with corporate customers as, using the platform, they gain control over a position in between the communication amongst the company and its shareholders and investors
  • Save time and costs when acting as the manager of information for different client profiles, such as startups, Private Equity firms, and family businesses
  • Differentiate themselves from the competition with a low cost tool, helping one to significantly increase revenue
  • Integrate the look and feel of the platform with that of the website of the consulting company
  • Benefit from an ERP at no cost
  • Encounter the opportunity to monetize off of additional services
  • Be perceived as innovative by offering existing and potential clients a digital solution managing the relation with their shareholders and investors, complementing the traditional services an accountant or auditor provides

If you want to know more, access our web:

Are you in charge of managing corporate information in a Consultancy Firm? Tell us your experience by leaving a comment here.



A tool for Family Offices and Business Angels

Family Offices and Business AngelsFamily Offices and Business Angels are increasingly struggling to have efficient portfolio management and portfolio reporting. This limits their capacity to analyze their own portfolio and causes them to lose valuable time and money. In addition to this, Family Offices and Business Angels experience difficulties controlling meetings and tasks in order to provide smart capital.

In this light, Private Investments Network presents a solution:

The Private Investments Network platform facilitates the use of a tool for managing portfolio information and to continue to add value to the portfolio by allowing family offices and business angels to:

  • Facilitate the process of uploading company information
  • Same time and management costs, increasing productivity
  • Automatically receive investee companies’ information, as well as key performance indicators that are organized and automated
  • Promote Mentoring and Smart Capital processes
  • Monitor an updated evolution (with access to historical records) of the companies that currently are, and previously were, in the portfolio
  • Identify the value of unlisted shares

If you want to know more, access our web:

Do you have to manage your investment portfolio? Tell us your experience by leaving a comment here.

Venture Capital Funds: needs and challenges

Venture Capital FundsVenture Capital Funds are increasingly experiencing difficulty in obtaining corporate information when needed. This is due to decentralized information causing a lot of work in completing reports. In addition to this, Venture Capital Funds struggle to manage their relations with investors and Limited Partners.

In this light, Private Investments Network presents a solution:

The Private Investments Network platform facilitates the use of a tool for managing corporate information by allowing venture capital funds to:

  • Automate information uploaded by companies
  • Follow the evolution of the invested companies and have information displayed and available in a simple, practical and centralized dashboard
  • Save time and management costs and increase productivity
  • Facilitate Smart Capital and Mentoring processes
  • Automate reports to Limited Partners, allowing fast and efficient reports through the corporate website
  • Have invested companies at the forefront of best practices with regards to transparency with investors (made to facilitate the exit)
  • Have easy and automated investor relations with a secure channel through the corporate website

If you want to know more, access our web:

Are you in charge of managing corporate information at a Venture Capital Fund? Tell us your experience by leaving a comment here.

Family businesses and the relationship with shareholders

Family Businesses
Family businesses are increasingly experiencing a lack of a formal, fluid channel of communication and disordered communication within their company. They encounter decentralized information and a lot of work in completing reports. This leads to difficulty managing meetings and completing their assigned tasks.

Based on a study from IESE, launched earlier this year, we decided to highlight some of the most relevant points concerning family businesses that influence the way they communicate and their relation to shareholders.

  • Family businesses represent 85% of all Spanish businesses and create 75% of private sector employment, based on data from the Instituto de Empresa Familiar en España (Institute of Family Business in Spain).
  • Nearly 80% of respondents considered that the existence of formal communication mechanisms promote family involvement within the business, strengthening the evolution and the growth of a company, helping them convey family values, contributing to the continuity of the company and improving the quality of family relations.
  • Almost 60% of respondents said that in their companies there was no formal communication mechanism intended for family businesses. In the majority of cases, there are no established processes, nor tools, nor channels to communicate with stakeholders of the company.
  • 64% of family respondents enjoy family meetings in order to convey corporate information. The majority of respondents acknowledge that the communications with partners and shareholders is not as fluid as it should be.

In this light, Private Investments Network presents a solution:

The Private Investments Network platform facilitates the use of a tool for managing corporate information by allowing family businesses to:

  • Have a formal and fluid channel of communication with the possibility to segment stakeholders into groups
  • Have centralized information with a historical record and the ability to conduct automated reports
  • Have a simple tool to manage meetings with a historical record of calls, documents, and assigned tasks
  • Display information about KPIs that are predefined and automated
  • Manage documents on the platform at any time, including controlling access to them, as well as modifying the documents and creating several versions
  • Identify the value of the business’s unlisted shares
  • Have the option to open for intentions to buy and sell shares between shareholders and potential investors, while limiting their access and determining specific period of time for buying and selling

Furthermore, Private Investments Network’s key features continue to add value to different users of the platform

Family members:

  • Have a straightforward family members’ forum system that allows users to open a topic and invite other users to see and comment on it
  • Determine limited access and the possibility to designate view-only access to documents
  • Have direct links with access to the meeting agendas and voting enablement
  • Click to call, allowing shareholders to automatically call a basic help line service open from 9:00 to 18:00 on week days, including 6,000 incoming calls

Corporate Administrators and Managers:

  • Enable voting with specific span
  • In the details of the agenda, one can report an issue, describe every article and specify assistants
  • Add documents and determine whether they are read-only or can also be downloaded and/or printed
  • Report, during the meeting, the number of those present and remote assistants
  • Have the possibility to create a new “Responsible” manager to validate changes of secondary managers
  • Have the possibility to indicate, for every shareholder, the number of any series of shares

Board of Directors:

  • Have a private portal created in the cloud in order to have a different server from the intranet for shareholders
  • Have classified information that is restricted to the board of directors in a distinct environment
  • Allocate one’s own corporate administration manager that can be the same or different from that of the general platform
  • Have each system with its own information independently, without unwanted synchronization

Managers of large volumes of information:

  • Intelligent search engine for the shareholders list
  • Possibility to export to Excel the information available on the screen (investors list, the list of assistants to a meeting, and more.)
  • More options to segment the permits of a manager

Are you in charge of managing corporate information in a Family Business? Tell us your experience by leaving a comment here.

Fdo. Helena Lopes y Sara Jokinen.

Corporate governance: its importance for unlisted companies

Based on “Recomendaciones de Buen Gobierno Corporativo para empresas no cotizadas” (“Recommendations for Good Corporate Governance for unlisted companies”), an excellent study realized by IE Business School and Grant Thornton, from Private Investments Network we want to point out several recommendations and best practices for unlisted companies that we have found most interesting.

 “All companies have to ensure an environment characterized by quality and integrity of information that is used by the Board of directors to take the best decisions”, claims Antonio Garcia-Lozano, Consulting Leader at Grant Thornton.

Listed companies follow corporate governance policies that are essential for the relationship with shareholders and, a logical question that the study sheds light on is: why not follow such policies in unlisted companies in order to achieve high performing boards of directors?

 “Unlisted companies make up 85% of the Spanish industrial landscape. Nevertheless, the majority of the legislation and recommendations in force, as far as good corporate governance is concerned, is directed exclusively to listed companies. Extending good corporate governance to more business segments implies strengthening the sustainability and development of our companies and, by extension, our economy and society”, says Tomas Garicano, director of Good Governance Centre, professor at IE Business School and Senior Advisor in Corporate Governance for Grant Thornton.

The study is aimed at unlisted companies with an annual turnover higher than 750 million euros or an average personnel of more than 1,500 workers. Following, we highlight the main recommendations:

  • The partners have to establish a corporate governance framework that, taking into consideration the regulations in force, adapts to their needs, their size and to the complexity of their operations
  • It is appropriate distinguishing amongst the governance activities, administration, approval and supervision, entrusted to the board of directors, and operational management activities, entrusted to the executive board and the organizational structure of the company
  • The members of the board of directors need to allocate the time needed to perform the tasks, meet periodically, assist to convened meetings and rely on timely information, the necessary advice and adequate training
  • To ensure the transparency of information, it is recommended that companies disclose in an official channel the required reports or volunteers (auditor independence, committee reports and audit appointments and remuneration, if any, related operations and corporate social responsibility)
  • There should be an information system that allows reviewing of topics prior to meetings and gathering, facilitating communication between members and optimizing meetings
  • It is advisable to maintain sufficiently comprehensive minutes. The minutes of the meetings of the board are a reflection of what happened in those meetings and the relevance and depth of the issues discussed. They should be broad enough to capture both the matters discussed, such as the views expressed by the directors and their decisions made, avoiding various communication versions.
  • It is important to have a system of relations with shareholders, allowing one to know their opinions, interests, and expectations; particularly when they are not all represented on the board. The system should have a continuous relations approach over time, aiming for a periodic relationship that goes beyond the meetings of the board of directors or holding the annual general meeting.
  • One should at least communicate: financial and non-financial information, internal and external, of the present and future; that includes at minimum the issues related to the present situation and financial prospects of the company, the strategic plan, and its implementation risks, regulatory compliance, market and competitors; and, aspects of internal management and human resources.

From Private Investments Network, we offer a tool that allows unlisted companies to follow these policies within a private and secure environment, providing solutions to enhance the relationship with shareholders and other internal stakeholders.

The features of our platform allow one to maintain a transparent, segmented, and secure communication, managing processes such as: meetings, tasks, metrics, documents and even capital increases.

If you would like to know more details about how Private Investments Network helps companies, click here.


Private Investments Network is recognized by the French Finance Innovation Cluster

Finance innovation
Private Investments Network is extremely happy and grateful to have received the recognition from the Finance Innovation Cluster, the grouping of private/public competitiveness of the Paris Europlace that promotes technological innovation in the financial sector.

This recognition is given to projects with high potential at the European level and which are:

  • Innovation: Particularly with regard to techniques used, the implemented models, customer segments, the developed technologies and the covered risks;
  • Strategic for the French financial industry: Bringing new products or new customers, facilitating international competitiveness, meeting the needs of the economy and increasing employment support;
  • Credible: Verified partner skills, technical feasibility and financial viability of the project.

The selection of projects that are recognized is made by the members of the Finance Innovation Cluster, which is represented by major financial sector institutions in France.

Here you are able to view the pitch presented by the CEO and co-founder of Private Investments Network, François-Eric Perquel, at the Finance Innovation Cluster.

And here you can watch the video with the presentation (it is in French).

You have found funding, and now what?

For many entrepreneurs, the process for obtaining financing can be expensive, lengthy and require a lot of dedication.

Normally, after obtaining funding, the entrepreneurial team is engaged daily in growing the business (which is normal) and this can cause for the investor to be “left out” and fail to keep him/her fully informed about the developments in the company.

You can see on our channel a video that speaks a little of that context:

The current situation of many startups that pass through the funding processes is:

Platforms for funding put their efforts in connecting projects with investors. However, once the relationship between them is created, they do not offer tracking solutions at the height of the responsibilities that are generated.

So, how is the post-investment communication managed?


  • Through press releases, offering partial and incomplete information
  • By direct contact with each investor, in some cases, which often proves to be time-consuming

Good communication is important in order to:

  • Improve investor relations
  • Take advantage of the knowledge of investors (Smart Capital)
  • Facilitate reinvestment
  • Save time in the process of due diligence, reporting, audit, etc.

With a good communication, all stakeholders in the ecosystem win. Success in this field makes investors invest more.

If the investor is satisfied and feels cared about, he/she will return to invest in new rounds of the company or in other rounds of other companies that stand out for good company – investor communication. Betting on good communication with the investor is a very good cover letter for the investor, makes you differentiate your project from others that may be, a priori, more interesting but, at the same time, more opaque.

Current process of communication between companies and investors:

Standardized communication process by Private Investments Network:

As a startup, you can register on the platform for free, in order to use it as a repository of information organized and ready to be audited and to communicate with your shareholders or potential investors. In addition, you can have a section with private access for your stakeholders on your website, free of charge during the first year of life of your startup.

If you want to know more, send us an email at and you will be advised how to take full advantage of the tool.

Here you can see a video about some of the things that you can do with the help of our web platform:

Do you agree with these ideas? Have you already gone through problems in communicating with your investors? Tell us about your experience by leaving a comment here.

Corporate governance tool

Law Firms are increasingly seeking tools to manage corporate information on behalf of their clients, as they normally do it in a decentralized/dispersed manner and often manually. When it comes to acting as secretary of the board of directors or managers of corporate governance, there is a lot of manual work to manage corporate information of the customers, few opportunities to innovate in the services offered and difficulties to facilitate the transparency of its customers with stakeholders in a safe and controlled manner.

In this scenario, we present the solution of Private Investments Network:

The platform of Private Investments Network facilitates the use of a tool for managing the corporate governance of law firms´ clients, by allowing:

  • Saving time and costs when they act as secretary of boards of directors, or when they manage information from different customers, such as startups, private equity and family businesses
  • Creating a new lasting bond with their corporate customers given that, through the platform, they gain control of a position in the middle of the relationship between the company and its shareholders and investors
  • Being seen as innovative by offering current and prospective customers a digital solution managing the relationship with their shareholders and investors that complements the traditional legal services
  • Provide a better service than the competition at all levels through a low-cost tool that can significantly increase revenues

In addition, good corporate governance allows offering advantages to different customer profiles:


  • Have a list of shareholders updated with all the information necessary for the company and all organized and accessible internal documents quickly and easily
  • Initiate relationships with investors from the incipient point of the creation of the company and facilitate management of their corporate operations

Mergers, acquisitions and private equity

  • A permanent data room which can be easily adapted to make a due diligence at a very affordable cost
  • Capital increases management in a private environment, with controlled access to information and a communication channel between the company, shareholders and potential investors

Family business

  • Permanent availability of specific information as, for example, family pact, family values, history and family structure, meetings, task management, voting, etc.
  • Facility in informing shareholders and the possibility of doing it with potential investors. All according to the values of the company, control, transparency, legal compliance and privacy
  • Facilitating the access to liquidity for these companies (capital increase management), for family shareholders and for potential investors (Matching tool)

If you want to know more, send us an email to and you will be advised on how to take full advantage of this tool for outstanding corporate governance.

You can see a video of some of the things you can do with the help of our web platform:

Are you on charge of corporate governance of a company? Tell us your experience by leaving a comment here.


Smart capital: what it is and how to take advantage of it

If you are an investor, entrepreneur or you have an interest in the startup ecosystem, you might have already heard about Smart Capital.

The smart capital can be defined as the capital contributed by sophisticated investors who bring not only money, but also knowledge. In other words, it is a monetary investment, which also offers knowledge and interesting contacts. Getting this type of investment can be a key to the success of a startup and will be an increasingly important distinguishing factor.

According to the Dow Jones VentureSource Report, European startups collected 3,3 billions of dollars from venture capital only in the third quarter of 2015, representing an increase of 31% over the same period in 2014.

“European startups collected 3,3 billions of dollars from venture capital only in the third quarter of 2015, representing an increase of 31% over the same period in 2014”

In this scenario, the startups are increasingly seeking investments with higher values and, in order to stand better chances of succeeding in a highly competitive environment, the contribution of the new partner is essential, helping to adapt the business model and the best path to follow for rapid growth.

A good investor, with a strong profile of smart capital, would be one that is available for its investees, constantly offering its business vision, experience and advice. Knowledge of subjects such as human and financial resources, leadership, management of technology and best practices in sales are key to the success of companies, but they are often little known by startup founders, who may be young brilliant and innovative, but with little experience in managing a business.

An investor with smart capital also helps its investee connecting with potential customers and other contacts that could be useful to them, since this type of investor usually has a broad network and is well known in the sector.

Managing the smart capital

Normally, the investor will not be in the daily business, but should be able to help with insights that make a difference at key moments, contributing to the decision-making and, consequently, to the expansion of the company.

To be able to offer both knowledge and information, the investor needs to be informed and know well the company in which he invests. The difficulty is precisely to manage this information, as the investor usually has a wide portfolio with different companies he/she has invested in.

It is therefore necessary to optimize tools that automate the relationship management, centralizing the information in a simple and organized way. An investor who wants to bring smart capital, has to know the businesses evolution, their numbers, to follow the sales, profits and results, to accompany their most important decisions, know about their positioning and what direction they are going.

“The investor needs to be informed and know well the company in which he invests, but the difficulty is precisely to manage this information, as the investor usually has a portfolio with different invested companies”

In addition to facilitate the maximum information from the investee to the investor, the company should have some communication mechanism or tool to facilitate obtaining smart capital. It is useless to have in the list of shareholders a group of investors with a high potential of contacts and valuable information for the company, if there is no mechanism, process or tool that can organize such information. This tool should also facilitate ways for the investee to motivate the investors who claim to bring some smart capital.

How to get smart capital?

The first thing that a startup looking for that type of investor should do is not evaluate just the amount of the investment and its valuation, but also analyze other possible advantages that the investor can offer. There is a term derived from the smart capital, which is the Smarter Capital; it means to make a comparison between potential investors, evaluating pros and cons, to discover what will be most useful for your business.

These investors are often highly connected and present in social networks and major industry events. The most important event on the smart capital in Spain is the Smart Money, organized by Loogic.

“Smarter Capital means to make a comparison between potential investors, evaluating pros and cons, to discover what will be most useful for your business”

The first edition of this year will be in Madrid on January 25th at CaixaForum. The meeting brings together leading investors and entrepreneurs in Spain. It is the best opportunity for entrepreneurs to find investors to participate in their projects wisely and for investors to find good projects in which to invest (read more in

Private Investments Network participates as one of the main sponsors of the event to present a web platform that helps strengthen the relationship between unlisted companies and their investors and potential investors, improving communication and smart capital. To learn more about the solution send a message to

Fdo. Helena Lopes

Older posts