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Case study

360-degree Digital DD of a fintech startup

A comprehensive, A-Z assessment of a fintech startup prior to Series A. The work covered in-depth review of technology, talent and skills, organisational processes, product strategy, UX analysis and customer acquisition plans.

Background

A VC fund approached us to perform a 360-Degree Tech Due Diligence of a fintech startup. The investor was preparing to fuel the startup and wanted to have a clear and comprehensive understanding of its current situation in almost every aspect of the business and technology.

Assessment

Unicornly performed a 6-weeks long assessment with a goal to deliver an A-Z report with tangible suggestions of most important aspects of the company. We digged deep into technology and reviewed its architecture, codebase, security and infrastructure. We assessed the human aspect of the organisation and reviewed skills of the team, as well as the ability to attract and retain talent. Then, we moved towards product roadmap and strategy and validated all the assumptions the team initially made regarding further feature development and market positioning, with particular focus on customer acquisition and retention. Eventually, we did a review and comparison of competition offering to suggest opportunities to leverage when building a market advantage.

In order to best deliver the assessment, Unicornly was present on-site for most of the time, interviewing staff and consulting on processes.

Results

As a result of the assessment, Unicornly prepared a report that was a comprehensive summary of current tech and business situation of the company. The outcome included a description of observations, a rating of what the team found good or not so beneficial, as well as a list of suggestions on what to focus on in the future.

Our main technical observations were related to a possible threat of cloud service vendor lock-in, lack of scalability of the infrastructure and unclear roadmap of feature development. Also, it turned out the company was doing particularly good with attracting new employees, but was not ready operationally to handle its growing scale and had a very siloed structure.

Basing on the findings summed up in the report, the VC renegotiated the terms of the transaction in order to obligate the company to follow a roadmap of steps to take before future rounds of new investments.

Unicornly acted as a technical due diligence vendor on a transaction supporting our growth strategy. The team was extremely professional and flagged important issues. I would certainly recommend them to any company that is considering buying a tech-enabled business.

Michael Thain
Tech Director at ZX Ventures

Related services

Acquisition Architecture Codebase Infrastructure IP & Open Source Market Processes Product Strategy Retention Security Tech Team User Experience

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Unicornly acted as a technical due diligence vendor on a transaction supporting our growth strategy. The team was extremely professional and flagged important issues. I would certainly recommend them to any company that is considering buying a tech-enabled business.

Michael Thain
Tech Director at ZX Ventures

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