5 minutes with…. Untap
The Drawdown (TDD): What is Untap?
Manfredi Bargioni (MB): Untap is next generation portfolio management for PE funds (this is how we’ve been described by PE Stack!)
It is a unique solution that brings together traditional portfolio monitoring (financial data), with strategic actions and plans, as well as ESG (KPIs, actions, strategy and plan). It brings together these three dimensions into one single coherent view of portfolio companies, funds and the GP.
TDD: How did it come about?
MB: Myself and my co-founder Juan Manrique come from another company, where we were serving large corporates with a project management solution. Five years ago, we were working with a PE-backed client, who used the platform to manage their exit process. That was an eye-opening experience for us; to see the challenges that PE-backed companies face when exiting.
We realised that our unique tech, with some adaptation into the financially driven market could be adopted into the private equity space. We researched the idea with GPs, LPs and large consultants. Once the idea was validated we developed the Untap platform using our existing tech combined with new learnings.
The key modifications were around the value chain within the PE funds; understanding data gathering through to data management within various stakeholders. We also looked at where the friction points were and what could be done better.
We also made ESG a key focus, not only on the data but really understanding and reporting on what you are doing about it beyond the numbers.
TDD: How has it gone so far?
MB: We officially launched 18 months ago and so the last year has been very intense. We have brought on good clients; mid and large size players in the market who are recognising our differentiators.
We have also been selected by TechNation, as one of the top 50 innovative digital companies in the UK.
TDD: What makes you different?
MB: There are several platforms providing portfolio monitoring in this space. We have some advantages in being new, but we are also focused on portfolio management, which is about looking beyond just the financial data reports.
Monitoring is passive, whereas management is active. Private equity is competing for deals, which pushes up pricing, meaning that operational improvement is vital for generating returns. We think the insights our solution provides will be transformative for funds; the data enables managers to better analyse themselves, and the ability to adopt new technologies such as AI.
At the moment, for most PE funds, information sits in silos; it is held with different teams in separate spreadsheets. That’s a shame; data is valuable and the wealth of information PE has is powerful. That’s the next goal of development; finding the way for clients to leverage this data.
TDD: What’s your plan for the next 12-18 months?
MB: We will focus on expanding our client base, especially in the US.
We’re also having some interesting discussions with fund administrators. We position ourselves in the middle office, meaning we connect very well with fund administrators, as well as with CRM systems. As these organisations look to expand, we’re excited about investigating partnerships and ways of working together further.
We are also considering a Series A round to really capture our potential over the next three to four years.