MarktoMarket was founded in 2017 to address the challenges experienced by advisers and investors in the private capital markets. The founders’ frustrations with existing industry research tools, and the continued lack of accessibility with regards to private company information, compelled them to create a better solution. The MarktoMarket platform now provides its customers with a range of modules to help its customers make more informed decisions, faster.
MarktoMarket’s first product focused on private company valuation, a hugely time-consuming discipline due to a lack of data, data inaccuracies and poorly classified information. The MarktoMarket Valuation solution provides advisers and investors with a comprehensive, easily searchable database of precedent transactions, where all data can be audited back to source documents, saving users time and giving comfort over data accuracy. The follow-up product – Buyer Research – assists users in the identification of likely acquirers for portfolio companies or clients’ businesses, based on historic M&A activity. At February 2020, this product was trusted by over 60 of the UK’s most active advisory and investment houses as well as accountants, lawyers and wealth management firms.
MarktoMarket more recently launched Origination. This product was designed to help investors and advisors perform deal origination, market mapping and commercial due diligence
exercises in half the time of conventional, labour intensive methods. ‘Origination’ helps investors and advisers generate and win more deals, boost their research capability and make better decisions. Origination enables investment teams to take a data-driven approach to identifying, evaluating, connecting with and analysing prospects that are primed for acquisition or financing events over the next 12-18 months in order to build relationships with companies months ahead of the competition. Research capability and speed is vastly enhanced by MarktoMarket’s proprietary search tool, which pulls together information from a vast array of sources so that users can screen niche sectors and sub-sectors quickly – this helps customers with due diligence, acquisition search and market mapping. The use of alternative data sets (not typically found in other platforms) also helps to uncover hidden intelligence and to remove ‘blind spots’ when conducting research on companies for investment teams.
The business employs 28 staff at its Edinburgh offices, bringing together professionals from financials services (including M&A, private equity and fund management), enterprise software and data. Through three funding rounds the business is now backed by 24Haymarket, Techstart Ventures and Par Equity, as well as private investors with successful backgrounds as entrepreneurs and finance professionals.
The company was formed by Douglas Lawson, Martin Clarke and Bertie Wilson. The founders all came from different professional backgrounds. Doug was a small-cap fund manager, having co-founded Amati Global, an investment boutique, and sold a 49% stake in 2017. He had experienced the frustrations of existing databases on the market and recognised the inefficiencies that were prevalent in advisory and investment firms due to their reliance on these sources. Martin had a long history of building products for financial services institutions, both as a consultant and a member of the software engineering team at Lloyds Banking Group. Bertie has experience in corporate finance, having worked for Peel Hunt, a leading mid-market investment bank, and as a startup founder, having created an ecommerce business.
The founders raised pre-seed capital in order to build a prototype product and research the market to test their hypothesis that customers would pay to solve pain points around difficult to access, erroneous and missing data in connection with their roles as company advisers and investors. The feedback from this research and the demonstration of the prototype product to prospective customers provided the evidence needed to raise a second round of funding in 2018 in order to build out the team and commercialise the product. Using the founders’ networks, a £630k round was closed and hires were made in software engineering and data analysis. The result was the launch of MarktoMarket’s Valuations product in late-2018.
From late-2018 through to the end of 2019, 60 customers subscribed to MarktoMarket’s platform. These customers included accountancy firms, legal practices, corporate finance firms, private equity institutions and wealth management businesses.
In mid-2019, with customer numbers and revenues building, the founders raised capital from existing investors and 24Haymarket, Techstart Ventures and Par Equity. The total raised was £1.75m and this allowed further expansion of both the engineering and data teams, as well as business development. The team expansion has enabled the development of new products, taking MarktoMarket into new markets and allowing the business to offer more solutions to existing customers. New investors in the business include senior figures from private equity, M&A and data, giving MarktoMarket access to deep industry knowledge through its board and wider shareholder network. The company’s 28 staff are based at Codebase in Edinburgh and split between Engineering, Business Development, Data and Operations teams. The board consists of Cahal Dowds, former heads of US/UK M&A at Deloitte, David Alexander, an experienced entrepreneur and angel investor, and Richard Gladwin, a former senior trader at several international investment banks. Mark Hogarth of Techstart and Aiden McMillan of Par Equity sit on MarktoMarket’s board as observers.
Douglas Lawson (CEO)
- Co-Founded Amati Global Investors in 2010, selling 49% stake to Mattioli Woods plc in 2017.
- Ranked in world’s top 5 portfolio managers under 40 and AAA rated by Citywire.
- 15 years experience in smaller companies fund management, private equity and corporate finance.
- Qualified Chartered Accountant.
Martin Clarke (CTO)
- BEng in Software Engineering and AI, University of Edinburgh.
- Key member of team at Lloyds behind award-winning LetsUConnect motor finance system and Head of Product Development at Software Alliance.
- Founded software consultancy in 2013, delivering projects for clients including Archangels.
- Qualified Project Manager (APMP) and Business Analyst (ISEB).
Bertie Wilson (CCO)
- Graduated from University of Edinburgh with a first class degree in Economics in 2015.
- Founded and raised seed capital for ecommerce start-up whilst studying.
- Worked in Corporate Finance at Peel Hunt, a top Extel-ranked investment bank, in 2016.
Olga Melnyk (VP Ops)
- 7 years of startup experience in senior roles in sales, customer success, marketing, product and ops
- Latterly Director of Hutchison Networks, where was responsible for Fabrix Business Unit
- Scaled Fabrix from 25 to 120 people