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Investment Analysis Services

INSTEP staff frequently provide advisory services to venture capital firms, M&A/Investment banking groups and corporate development departments. These often take the form of technical due diligence engagements.

INSTEP's investment analysis services include:

Due Diligence Analysis
INSTEP staff routinely work as outside, independent members of due diligence teams for venture capital firms, M&A firms and corporate development groups. We begin each due diligence assignment with a definition of project scope across the following spectrum of areas:

  • Market Strategy and Positioning: we carefully assess the focus of the company's market strategy in terms of product category, targeted market segments, distribution channel and pricing strategies.
  • Business Plan: review of business plan in terms of clarity, completeness and consistency; focus on targeted market opportunity and assessment of business viability and sustainability.
  • Technology and Products: analysis of overall product logical and physical architecture and appropriate use of commercial-off-the-shelf technologies; product agility; conformance to and exploitation of relevant standards; product development and release planning strategy; product security; product quality and usability; product evolvability, scalability and integrability.
  • Intellectual Property: assessment of appropriateness, broadness and completeness of technology patents and the market value of such patents.
  • Operations: review of the infrastructure, tools and processes used to support deployed products.
  • Partnerships: review of appropriateness and depth of technology, system integrator and distribution channel partnerships.
  • Business and Technical Processes: analysis of key business processes in the areas of sales, marketing, product R&D, professional services, quality assurance and customer support with competitiveness and scalability in mind.
  • Competition: analysis of likely emerging and existing competitors and the sources of competitive strength and weakness of the company.
  • Customers: review of customer satisfaction, field service responsiveness and true referenceability.
  • Personnel: analysis of key management in terms of skills, depth, adaptability and domain knowledge.
  • Risk Analysis: identification of key risk areas related to market, personnel, technology, products, competitors and customers.
  • Exit Scenarios: analysis of exit strategies and scenarios in terms of appropriateness and reasonableness.

INSTEP's deliverable from a due diligence review is typically a document or annotated presentation supplemented by a verbal presentation.

Post Investment Analysis
Post investment, INSTEP performs periodic reviews of portfolio companies for progress against forecasted development, revenue, customer and market penetration plans.

M&A Advisory Analysis
INSTEP assists M&A firms and corporate development groups in buy and sell side transactions. This may include:

  • Supporting the development of a deal book highlighting a firm to be sold,
  • Performing market research, gap and opportunity analysis for strategic partnerships and acquisition searches,
  • Developing desired characteristics of an acquisition and evaluating acquisition candidates against these characteristics,
  • Performing M&A due diligence reviews,
  • Facilitating the integration of post-acquisition products, processes, people and culture.

Participation in Advisory Boards
Often times investors and corporate boards desire an outside perspective on market, technology, product and investment trends. In such cases, INSTEP assists companies in the formation of and participation in advisory boards for these purposes on behalf of investors and corporate boards.

Customized Engagements
Investment clients have specific needs that may not fit neatly into any single INSTEP service offering. In these cases, we work with the investment client to develop a customized engagement scope of work and plan to meet the client's individual needs. Such engagements often involve elements from several of our service offerings.

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