Recent mergers and acquisitions (M&A) community innovations have been driven largely by new financial technology (FinTech) software products, not new services or underlying processes. Enlightened M&A transaction buy-side, sell-side, and intermediary practitioners would be wise to consider adapting their secretive and artsy legacy best practices to best leverage new purpose-built FinTech M&A software tools for successful outcomes, as well as productivity and efficiency improvements.
DiliVer is a software product company in the FinTech M&A/capital markets space. They produce enterprise-wide, metrics-based due diligence scorecard applications that assess a seller’s performance and growth potential related to a potential M&A transaction (a.k.a. “deal”) with a buyer. They recently won a 2018 “TOP 10 FINTECH SOLUTION PROVIDERS” award from CFO Tech Outlook.
A conversation with DiliVer’s Founder and CEO, Neil Kleinberg
What inspired you to start DiliVer? And how did its transformation come along with time?
Based on my personal experiences and scars from performing M&A due diligence for many deals, I developed the DiliVer intellectual property and software to relieve the pain and suffering of others! Initially, DiliVer started with the sell-side, an internal self-assessment app for companies wishing to position themselves in front of potential buyers as part of their exit strategy. Later, we added the buy-side too, an external independent-assessment app for strategic and financial acquirers.
Tell us about your first project. And how did you expand your offerings with time?
DiliVer’s first project was with a Fortune 500 global company’s M&A software business unit. It started out as a partnership-related competitive analysis of the broader M&A software market and how our respective products could complement each other. But then, when they saw our due diligence application in action, they became a buy-side customer too. They used our due diligence application for a strategic acquisition that was being coordinated by corporate development at their headquarters.
What is your culture of innovation and what is your approach on empowering employees to be more creative?
DiliVer encourages innovation from everyone and in all areas of the company, from external-facing solutions for the customers and partners to internal-facing solutions for our own departments. We ask each employee to challenge anybody and anything at any time they see a window of opportunity for making improvements. And we generously reward successful innovation. We ask our employees to try, test, and rollout new creative things in small steps in controlled environments to minimize risk and maximize constituent feedback and validation.
What are the products/services that bring most innovativeness out of your company, and how successfully did you carry them out?
Our buy-side and sell-side M&A due diligence applications are all based on our underlying intellectual property, which is a proprietary FinTech M&A platform. It consists of three parts—a business excellence framework (the same one we use internally), whose principles promote a company managing a high-growth and continuously improving M&A environment via performance measurement tools; a process model, whose guidelines promote end-to-end leadership responsibility for M&A spanning the entire transaction life cycle; and a data model, whose rules promote leveraging “science for the art of M&A”, which is our mantra.
How do you stay relevant to the consumer interests and hold their trust and loyalty?
We like to say that excelling at your core competencies is the minimum requirement needed to achieve sustainability. But it’s your specialization areas that differentiate you enough from competitors that are needed to achieve prosperity. As part of our company business excellence framework, we also strive for continuous improvement as the market and internal conditions change.
What are your future business ventures?
Our current mission is to become the gold standard for M&A due diligence. Our long-term vision is to be a core part of the first truly integrated suite of M&A packages. We will be partnering with other leading M&A software companies to produce “breadth and depth” solutions in a collaborative M&A ecosystem.
Neil Kleinberg, Founder of DiliVer LLC
With 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur, executive, management consultant, and lead technology engineer, Mr. Kleinberg’s expertise spans the commercial and government sectors and many industries. In his previous role, Mr. Kleinberg led corporate development buy-side and sell-side M&A activities at enterprise software market leader ASI, and participated in more than 20 initiated transactions, including a private equity raise. Prior to ASI, as President of VerticalFalls Software, which developed CRM solutions for financial advisors working in brokerage firms, Mr. Kleinberg orchestrated a successful exit as the company was acquired by Sage in 2007. Mr. Kleinberg is also currently an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, where he teaches Mergers and Acquisitions, Entrepreneurial Finance, and Corporate Governance courses, and he is a Technology Commercialization Advisory Board member at Johns Hopkins University, where he received his MS in Computer Science and BS in Bioengineering. Mr. Kleinberg is also a mentor of the Washington, DC Metro Chapter of the Founder Institute, and he was elected to the MindShare CEO Network and Alumni Association.
“DiliVer’s mantra is “science for the art of M&A”—we’re not trying to eliminate all of The artwork in the M&A community, just complement it with the best available industry-specific, data-driven technology. These new software tools not only save our clients money, but they also help make them money!”