Ask the Leader – Mark Goddard
20 Sep 2021
As an entrepreneur, there are always 200 things you could be doing but probably only two or three things that matter. LDC helped to give us that focus.”
Why did you choose LDC?
It was an open auction and it became very clear as we went through the process that LDC was committing a lot of effort and time getting to know the business. Long before they ever wrote a cheque, they wanted to understand the market they were buying into and the management team. That wasn’t replicated by any other private equity house. The rest of the potential investors were going to the presentations and sitting back, waiting for information. LDC was very proactive, which meant we were able to get to know them a lot better. After the deal was done, there was no learning curve: we were able to go straight into the business plan and make it happen.
What value besides capital did LDC bring to the business?
We really believed in our SaaS strategy and had a great CTO but, ultimately, the SaaS reference points in the property space weren’t there. It sounded good, sure, but no one had done it. LDC was able to put me in touch with leaders at their other portfolio companies that had already been on a similar journey. We learned a lot from these interactions.
What’s your advice to anyone considering private equity?
The one thing every management team should ask a prospective private equity partner is where you are in their fund. Many private equity houses have funds and if you are the first in, you’re the baby. You’ll have a lot of expectation put on you but also support. If you come in later and they have spent all their money, you’ll struggle to execute in terms of investment. LDC was unique in that it doesn’t have a traditional fund structure, so it can always make the right decisions for the business. It’s not dictated by the phase of a fund. Also, choose someone you like. You’ll be working really closely with these guys for three years plus, so make sure the chemistry feels really good.