The power of embracing a digital fundraising workflow

September 14, 2023

In the rapidly evolving landscape of private equity fundraising, digital workflow tools can enhance the investor experience and operational efficiency of your capital raising efforts. By automating fund subscription and contract obligation management processes, firms gain a competitive advantage, especially when fund closing speed is critical.

Shifting dynamics

Fundraising is increasingly challenging amid economic uncertainty and mounting pressure on private equity fund portfolio valuations.



As competition for capital intensifies, GPs must differentiate themselves while managing fee pressure and regulatory complexity. Firms with streamlined processes, robust deal sourcing and risk management frameworks, and a track record of operational excellence have a better chance of standing out.

Not only can a digital fundraising workflow enhance the investor experience, it also may benefit GPs by enabling greater operational scalability, transparency, and efficiency.

Streamlined fund subscriptions

Digital fund subscription solutions play a crucial role in transforming private equity fundraising. Traditional subscription processes involve extensive paperwork and PDFs, limited visibility into investor onboarding, and cumbersome coordination. Digital solutions let GPs reduce manual work and operational friction, enabling faster fund closes and an enhanced investor experience.

Improved investor experience

A manual fundraising process puts the onus on investors to sort through lengthy PDFs often containing 100 pages or more of subscription documents and investor questionnaires to provide relevant information. This approach leads to confusion, errors, duplication, and weeks of back-and-forth between GPs and LPs.

Meanwhile, digital subscription solutions provide secure, user-friendly access to online portals where LPs can effortlessly complete questionnaires and upload supporting documents. Using embedded conditional logic, a subscription portal guides LPs through documents, showing them only questions related to their specific investor qualifications, business type, and tax status. The use of electronic signatures further enhances the efficiency and convenience of this process.

These digital solutions eliminate the need for LPs to search through and complete physical paperwork, significantly reducing administrative burdens and the likelihood of errors inherent in the traditional process. GPs can create a more satisfying fundraising experience for LPs by providing a streamlined, user-friendly fundraising process.

Enhanced transparency, communication, and compliance

Digital subscription platforms provide a secure, centralized portal facilitating seamless communication between GPs and LPs. Both parties can easily exchange messages, share documents, and address questions. As a communication hub, these portals foster transparency and strengthen the GP-LP relationship.

Additionally, dashboards and reports provide GPs with real-time pipeline visibility, reducing reliance on outside counsel to provide investor status updates. Moreover, compliance features — such as easier collection of required investor information for anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) checks — demonstrate GPs’ commitment to regulatory obligations.

Less friction, more value

In a challenging fundraising climate, firms of any size can realize benefits from digital fundraising solutions, such as improved operational efficiency, decreased administrative burden, and enhanced investor experience. In addition, GPs can allocate the time saved to strategic initiatives and relationship building. These benefits may be especially crucial for smaller or emerging GPs seeking to establish themselves in the market in a condensed time frame.

Leading private fund managers trust Insight

Centralized contract obligations

Automating contract obligation compliance also offers significant benefits to GPs. As GPs manage investor documentation and side letters for multiple funds and LPs over time, keeping track of the resulting obligations becomes increasingly difficult. In Ontra’s recent survey of over 400 private market professionals, 77% said they worried about overlooking investor obligations due to relying on spreadsheets or lengthy compendia to store these details.

A single source of truth

Digital fund obligation management solutions can provide a single source of truth for side letters across funds, enabling streamlined monitoring and compliance with investor obligations. Within a collaborative environment, GPs and their outside counsel can assign, monitor, and audit obligation tasks and workflows in a centralized location.

Informed negotiations

GPs and counsel also gain immediate access to precedent for quick and credible decision-making during side letter negotiations. This informed understanding of precedent may improve the quality and speed of capital commitment negotiations with established LPs, ensuring compliance, transparency, and effective term negotiations for new capital commitments.

Redefined fundraising success

Digital fund subscription and contract compliance obligations are beneficial solutions in their own right — but even more powerful as part of a legal operating system. A holistic approach transforms legal workflows required to fundraise, invest, and operate funds, enabling:

  1. Streamlined administrative processes
  2. Improved data accuracy and transparency
  3. Enhanced investor experience

As GPs face the challenge of more competitive and complex fundraising, the importance of operational efficiency has come to the forefront. LPs value GPs that can efficiently deploy capital, execute value-creation strategies, and ultimately deliver consistent returns. By harnessing the power of a legal operating system, GPs can transform their operations, strengthen LP relationships, and enhance their competitive position in an increasingly intense fundraising environment.

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