Nonantum Capital Saves 1,000+ Hours by Optimizing NDAs With Ontra

Nonantum logo
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1,000+

hours of founders’ time saved on NDAs

60%

reduction in NDA turnaround time

65%

increase in NDA processing capacity with Ontra's support

“We wanted the highest quality, and we wanted it at an attractive price point. We also wanted a partner that could get NDA reviews done quickly and well. We found all that with Ontra.”
Scott Farden | Co-founder and COO at Nonantum

 

Challenge: Leadership at lean firm spending too much time on NDAs

From its inception in 2018, Nonantum ran “extraordinarily lean” teams by design. That left the four founding partners handling all aspects of the firm’s operations, from sourcing and closing deals to processing NDAs — and everything in between. As Nonantum prepared to launch a second fund in 2021, the founders realized it was time to scale up their processes.

The firm already outsourced its operational infrastructure, like finance and HR, but its team lacked support for routine contract reviews. According to founding member and COO Scott Farden, the 300 NDAs that Nonantum negotiated each year took up several hundred hours of each founding partner’s time annually. The firm needed a solution for NDAs that required less internal bandwidth and enabled leadership to focus on more strategic work.

Solution: Contract Automation frees the team to focus on deal sourcing and portfolio company management

In November 2021, after evaluating various options—including outside counsel and other law firms that specialize in NDAs—Nonantum chose Ontra’s Contract Automation platform to optimize its NDA process. Ontra’s platform combines AI capabilities and a global network of legal professionals to efficiently and cost-effectively handle routine legal agreements. Farden recalled, “We wanted the highest quality, and we wanted it at an attractive price point. We also wanted a partner that could get it done quickly and well. We found all that with Ontra.”

The onboarding process took just two weeks and focused primarily on creating an efficient NDA workflow. Farden’s chief concern was that if the process did not work smoothly, the time he saved on actually reviewing NDAs would need to be spent on tracking down executed agreements and confidential information memorandums (CIMs). Fortunately, the NDA handoff process between Ontra’s legal network and Nonantum’s deal team proved smooth from the beginning, and neither Farden nor anyone else at the firm became the “CIM-chasing police.”

 

Results: Refocusing by slashing NDA turnaround time

Ontra’s Contract Automation and AI capabilities, and around-the-clock legal network support, helped Nonantum reduce NDA turnaround time to just 3-5 days—down from the two weeks it often took when done manually. The solution has supported Nonantum’s growth, scaling with the firm as its contract volume has grown significantly from around 300 up to 500 NDAs per year. As a result, Ontra saves several hundred hours per year for each senior deal member.

Farden detailed how Contract Automation allows the firm to turn NDAs around so quickly: “When we get a new NDA in our inbox, it takes about 10 seconds to forward it to our Ontra team. We don’t have to set time aside, dog-ear it, and say, ‘I’ll get back to this at 11:30 PM tonight,’ then spend an hour doing it. As soon as we get an NDA, we send it along, and then it’s rolling.” This streamlined, standardized process helps Nonantum ensure nothing falls through the cracks.

With a speedier, largely hands-off NDA process in place, Nonantum’s leadership and deal professionals gained more time for the firm’s two top priorities: proactively sourcing more deals and focusing on existing portfolio companies. The firm also experienced an unexpected benefit: without the need to review NDAs, Nonantum’s younger professionals received the invaluable learning experience of being able to review more investment opportunities. By spending more time honing their pattern recognition to distinguish between good and bad deals, they became better investors.

Ultimately, Ontra’s Contract Automation checked all the boxes for Nonantum: speed, quality, and cost-effectiveness. However, the best outcome was work-life balance for the firm’s leadership. Farden explained, “We all work really hard, and we charge hard, but we have families and our health to look after. If you’re spending one to two hours less per day on NDA execution, you can get in a quick run or sit down and read a bedtime story with your eight-year-old. For me, that’s the best part of using Ontra.”

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