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Aperture Venture Capital successfully raises their first round

This venture capital fund now seamlessly manages, tracks and protects confidential financial information with Dropbox and DocSend.
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Aperture Venture Capital is an investment fintech fund and corporate partner network that invests in diverse founders and companies of The Multicultural Mainstream. They are on a mission to redefine the venture landscape for generations of diverse entrepreneurs by building an ecosystem engineered for successful exits. They rely on DocSend’s platform to fundraise from major investors and limited partners (LPs), including FIS, Truist Financial and PayPal to catalyse a new generation of founders and their companies.

The Challenge

William Crowder, Founder and Managing Partner of Aperture Venture Capital, was searching for a more secure way to externally share and track confidential fundraising pitch decks with potential LPs and investors.

The Solution

William turned to Dropbox’s file storage and DocSend’s secure document sharing to unify the way he creates and distributes investment files both within and outside of his organisation. 

Dropbox safely stores internal investment documentation 

When starting a venture capital fund, VCs must build trusted relationships with potential limited partners (LPs) in the hopes of raising funds. At the core of building trust is knowing that no matter where someone might be working, their organisation’s files are secure. 

When searching for a way to house all of his venture firm’s files, William turned to a solution that he was already familiar with using. As a user of the Dropbox Personal plan, William knew the first-hand benefits of organising his files on Dropbox’s intuitive cloud storage platform. Adding an additional business licence for his firm only seemed second nature. ‘Our entire firm runs on Dropbox. It’s easy for me to grant access to different documents using file permissions, depending on who is working with us.’ William is able to customise permission access to a range of individuals working with his firm, whether they are legal contractors, full-time employees or fund administrators. Everyone can easily access necessary materials for daily operations, including employment agreements, compensation packages and financial models.

Raising initial funds with DocSend’s virtual data room  

Once William was ready to send out final documents to potential investors that he created using Microsoft Suite products in Dropbox, he uploaded them into his DocSend virtual data room. Though there were many options to consider when first evaluating data room software, William chose DocSend because of its overall frictionless user experience for potential investors. ‘What we were looking to raise and who we were going to be raising the money from, I wanted to make sure that everything we put together looked as professional as possible but was easy to access for potential investors & LPs. That’s where DocSend’s virtual data rooms came into play,’ William shared. Aperture Venture Capital’s data room reflects the polished nature of the firm, containing customised branding and logos. 

Once he got started with DocSend’s virtual data room, William uploaded all of his firm’s introductory materials and shared it with potential LPs and investors. His data room holds his fund’s pitch deck, one pagers and all due diligence materials. Potential investors can easily access fund documents and investment memos right in their browsers. Additionally, William can control who can download files and set expiry dates, granting him full control over sensitive funding information. With DocSend, so far, Aperture Venture Capital has closed its first round of a $75 million corporate diversity fund, and its second close is well under way, aiming to power a more inclusive economy. 

‘DocSend has been seamless in terms of people accessing the materials and being able to see everything they need to see. It’s a perfect mix of an easy user experience and great peace of mind.’

- William Crowder, Founder and Managing Partner, Aperture Venture Capital
William Crowder

Seamless updates after sharing virtual data rooms

For many VCs, positioning their core message can be an evolving process. Initial drafts might go through many iterations until managing partners see traction with potential investors. 

As William was initially fundraising for Aperture Venture Capital, he was able to seamlessly test out different versions of his pitch decks using DocSend. Meticulous to detail, William shared that in the early stages, there were many changes, whether it was the branding, messaging or the overall look and feel of the virtual data room. William wanted to ensure that potential investors had the right information, without bombarding them with notifications of a new version or email attachments. ‘With DocSend, we were able to update our pitch deck and virtual data room without notifying the end consumer of that information. Automatically, everyone has the latest versions, without any tedious notifications. It positions us in the best light, especially in a critical time when we are trying to form relationships,’ William shared. 

Our decision to use DocSend’s data room for fundraising is largely driven by the idea of version control. Having the ability to control distribution and access to our information has been invaluable to us.

- William Crowder, Founder and Managing Partner, Aperture Venture Capital

Protecting sensitive information with advanced security controls in DocSend

When initially raising funds for a new venture capital firm, managing partners want to keep confidential information tightly secured to protect the narrative and reputation of the firm. With DocSend, William has more control over the information he sends out to dozens of potential LPs. For example, when sending out a virtual data room, William sets an expiry date. Sometimes, investors will get back in touch after the link expires, which might indicate that they are considering an investment. 

On the other hand, if there are individuals requesting access to the link, but they were not granted information, William can see exactly who was trying to view his virtual data room. ‘Especially when you are sharing proprietary information online, once you press send, typically what you put out there is pretty much gone. We wanted more control over our fundraising documents. In this new landscape of virtual meetings, DocSend provides us with peace of mind knowing our documents aren’t ending up in the wrong hands,’ William shared. 

DocSend’s analytics optimises venture capital fundraising

Early on in the fundraising process, William relied on DocSend’s document analytics to help refine his pitch deck. ‘In the beginning, we were trying to figure out what was resonating and what was not. DocSend lets us see what pages people were spending the most time on, which helped us understand the most critical areas of our pitch,’ William shared.  

Additionally, DocSend’s analytics helped William approach conversations with potential investors and LPs with an idea of what they cared about most. He was able to see the parts of the deck that people spent the most time on, letting him make his conversations most relevant to potential investors. ‘By looking at how much time people are spending on specific slides, I’m more prepared when approaching meetings with potential investors and am able to anticipate any questions that people might have beforehand,’ William shared. DocSend provides critical information that helps personalise meetings with potential investors early on in the fundraising process. 

Forming warm introductions with potential investors 

It can be daunting to ask for investors to provide warm introductions to a colleague or a peer. DocSend can help identify new parties that may be interested if someone forwards a link on to a potential LP. ‘If a potential LP we met thinks a peer of theirs might be interested, I can see who they have forwarded our pitch deck to,’ William shared. Uncovering these warm leads in DocSend could take hours out of the painstaking process of trying to determine whether an LP has already viewed your virtual data room. 

Additionally, DocSend’s forwarding analytics shows managing partners when pitch decks are getting into the hands of the right decision makers. ‘I love watching who is accessing the pitch deck and seeing how it gets forwarded within an organisation. I’ll use this as a trigger for when to get in touch proactively. It takes a ton of guesswork out of the equation and points us to real leads,’ William shared.  

Looking ahead to the future: utilising block list to protect sensitive fundraising materials 

As Aperture Venture Capital continues to raise the rest of its $75 million fund, William is looking forward to continuing to explore all that DocSend has to offer for his team. ‘I am excited to try out the block list feature. It’s a great way to add additional layers of security that could prevent potential third-parties from viewing our documents,’ William shared. 

With Dropbox and DocSend, William is able to continue to hyperfocus on his venture firm’s mission and pave the way for a new generation of diverse founders.

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