Helping start-ups navigate the complex world of funding

Posted: 21/07/2021

As most start-ups will testify, it’s not enough to have a great idea. Without investment the idea will never come to fruition, but many entrepreneurs have little financial expertise to back up their brainwave. In today’s world, particular for digital healthcare, there seems to be a plethora of possibilities, but grasping them is much more difficult than it should be.

Lawyer and serial entrepreneur Heather-Anne Hubbell has experienced funding pathways from end to end. As a former analyst, banker and risk manager she has helped businesses transform their processes by leveraging technology, and came to the conclusion that a single platform would be the easiest way to simply structure and avoid task duplication.

“It’s so labour intensive and manual that I thought there had to be a more streamlined way to make funding accessible,” she says. “The genesis was all the pain points I have encountered over the years and the need to eliminate as many as possible. We are building a digital pathway between investors, issuers, advisors, administrators and those with capital needs.”

Creating a coherent pathway

Phundex helps everyone to have a single place to reference information, undertake activities and follow along the process to be able to get to market faster. “It makes the activity more streamlined and frees up capabilities,” she says. It leaves you free to do the value added activity with the people that you’re working with.”

Each different party to a transaction has a different role to play and uses different tools. “I thought if I could create a platform that has a golden source of data as the base, one that can create some workflow activity that people can follow, it could bring all those parties together and simplify the funding experience,” she says.

“No matter what part of that role you play the ecosystem, you can put your piece in and be able to see what everybody else has done and ensure that you’re following the process where you need to be. You can be sure you’ve got the right inputs and you’re giving the right output and people will get what they need to see. It is effectively a collaboration hub for all the parties to join together.”

The concept behind the platform is a series of workflows with examples and suggested templates. Alternatively, clients can start from scratch and build the workflows they require. “We have the data attributes set up as individual pieces so that you can gather that information in and populate the documents you want with the necessary processes so you can do the reporting you’re looking for.

“It’s the full workflow which automates the activity and passes it on. You don’t just have a series of tasks that control up to a project, but you have a workflow that takes people through to the next step, identifying what they need to do and the next person they need to reach out to.”

Linking the entrepreneur and the investor

There is often a translational issue between an innovator and an investor. It often hinges on how well the entrepreneur tells their story to enable the investor to make a decision. The platform offers a verification and validation service for start-ups to help them build up their commercial offering.

According to Heather-Anne, traditionally in U.K. funding non-institutional investors require an incredibly complicated series of information that may take several days to complete. With Phundex the documents are available to such investors and do not need to be replicated each time. Phundex also serves a due diligence platform where all the information can be accessed at different levels depending on the requirement.

“There are many investors that focus specifically on digital health and given where we are with Covid and all of the other medical, digital medical opportunities are out there,” Heather-Anne says. “There are many interested investors including the institutional investors that are looking at the whole ESG aspect – the environmental, social and governance and the health tech space really resonates in that area as well.”

Phundex can be used effectively by anyone in the investment life cycle from a start-up, a large incubator that feeds into a venture capital business or the VC itself or a regulated fund services business.

“We are building additional models that talk about the scorecard, which allows investors to reach decisions, but not everybody will want a standard scorecard,” she adds. “They will have their own, but they can build the process to put together the information from a decision-making perspective.

“It also allows you to go through phased approaches. So if you’ve got a number of stages that your project transaction funding role needs to go through, you can actually set those up as separate steps and take it through as you bring all that information through to the end. And that means that everybody’s seeing the same information, which makes the decision making much easier and faster.”

As an SAAS (software as a service) platform, there is an on-boarding fee and a monthly licencing fee for a certain number of people to use it based on the type of user and the customisation they would like.

The platform itself does not require regulatory compliance but it can be customised to enable clients to have FTS built into the tools and systems they’re using. It validates the jurisdictions they operate in and can assess at a very high level if there are any challenges that they may have in terms of where the data is stored.

Phundex will launch in August but it already has some clients on the Beta platform. For Healther-Anne, it’s not just a healthcare solution but one that will resolve issues for entrepreneurs across all sectors. “I think it will meet many different types of businesses,” she says. “We’re currently looking for partners to develop complementary roles – I see it as being a collaboration hub that continues to expand its network of API capability and to enable more and more activity to happen on the platform.”

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