I am a growth equity investor here. And so, the biggest part of my job is really going out there and trying to find high caliber investment opportunities for our team.
Over the past several years, what I’ve seen is the space has gotten increasingly competitive. You need to be able to move very quickly.
NDAs are a critical component of this process. So NDAs sort of gate all of the information that you’re typically going to need in order to evaluate whether a business is a high caliber investment. And so if that process is inefficient, if it takes weeks, if things are falling through the cracks, the deal team will then have to take on that extra burden. And so your bandwidth that you would’ve actually used towards sourcing other opportunities or doing extra diligence or doing extra market work all of a sudden then gets put on trying to get through the NDA process.
At a firm like Blackstone, we have a lot of different departments that are processing NDAs as well. And so, you wanna make sure that all of the terms that you’re accepting for the most part are relatively uniform across the different departments, and that exceptions are few and far between. So you wanna just make sure that everyone is sort of working off the same standard and the same form and that you’re agreeing to, um, all of the same things.
I first came into contact with Ontra at my previous firm, we had actually gone through a period where we were using external counsel to process NDAs and we realized that it was just taking a long time. It was getting expensive, it was, things were sort of slipping through the cracks because the deal teams were the ones who were running point on making sure everything was executed properly.
I was thrilled when I came to Blackstone and I realized we were also using Ontra, because it’s a very standardized process, there’s not really much of a ramp up time or ramp up period for people who are using Ontra, so it was a really great process to sort of step back into.
The onboarding process with Ontra was very straightforward and very efficient. There’s typically not all that much work needed if you are on the deal team. Um, as a person who is interfacing with Ontra, there’s really not all that much training or, um, a ramp up period that’s needed. It’s very straightforward. The team introduces themselves and so you usually have one point person, one or two point people that are helping negotiate your NDAs and you just get to know them and then they’ll usually take the process from there.
You can always trust that Ontra is going to work efficiently, they’re not gonna let things slip through the cracks and that they will at the right time flag any sort of nuances that might be coming up in the NDA process earlier on so that they prevent any sort of bottlenecks down the road.
They’re usually sending you a little summary table of all the key terms in an NDA so everyone is aware of any nuances to the NDA. And so you can always trust that the NDA negotiations are going to be done well, they’re going to be done thoroughly, and that you can actually as a deal team member and as an investment professional, can focus on really supporting the founders that you wanna work with and, and providing them with the right resources and advice.
When you find a great high caliber investment opportunity, time is usually not really on your side. And so you wanna get through the routine negotiations as quickly as possible. And so Ontra has really helped us unlock a lot of efficiencies and give the deal team a lot of leverage so that we can be focused on the stuff that really matters, which is doing the diligence that’s needed, really building a deeper relationship with the management team and founders so that we can actually be the sort of trusted advisor and partner for them in the next leg of the journey.