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Greenfield's Point of View - March 2021

From the March 2021 Intel Report.

What are you doing at Automotive Ventures?

I have the pleasure of catching up frequently with Private Equity and Venture Capital fund managers, as well as companies looking to either acquire or sell. While you may have picked up a copy of our Auto Intel Report, watched my weekly “Friday Five” segments on CBT News, or seen my LinkedIn commentary on the auto industry, it may not be immediately apparent what our actual business is. Since I’ve been getting the question a lot, let me take a minute to walk you through what we’re doing here at Automotive Ventures.

Beyond cats and motorcycles, I love two things more than anything else. I love working with entrepreneurs and I love deals. Having the opportunity to work with both within the automotive space is how I’ve found resonance with the universe.

During my 20+ years in the automotive industry, I’ve recognized a lack of good resources available for both entrepreneurs and acquirers; information on investments being made, acquisitions, who is buying what, and valuations paid.

From my perspective, entrepreneurs have a hard enough job finding product/market fit, raising money, figuring out their marketing/sales go-to-market strategy, and differentiating from their competition. I strongly believe they need better information to help them navigate through their journey; resources to help identify the total addressable market for dealership advertising and SaaS spend; the competitive landscape for the various segments of the market; how best to build their business and position themselves in the market to maximize outcomes and optimize their value when they’re ready to sell; intelligence on which companies might ultimately be acquirers of their business and what those different acquirers might pay in terms of valuation.

Beyond this lack of industry intelligence, there’s little doubt that automotive is entering a period of accelerated change. Industry experts will talk about the impact that electrification, connectivity, autonomy, and subscription models will have across the entire automotive supply chain. More immediately, we are witnessing changes in consumer shopping behavior that are impacting dealerships, OEMs and the vendors that sell into them. All of this without considering the positioning of the big tech giants (Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple) and what impact we’ll see from them in the near term.

So, we set out to address these two industry issues: the thirst for market information, and the change coming to the automotive industry over the next decade. Automotive Ventures aims to be the beacon to provide context and resources to ensure industry players can navigate ambiguity toward success over the coming years.

As such, Automotive Ventures has four areas of focus:

  1. Making investments into early stage auto tech companies

  2. Providing strategic consulting services to help companies buy, sell or grow

  3. Providing Investment banking services for those looking to raise money or realize their best exit scenario

  4. All three areas above supported through industry intelligence

The goal is to provide auto tech entrepreneurs with a continuum of service across their entire lifecycle.

Introducing Investment Banking Services: Progress Partners

In order to provide investment banking services for clients, I’m thrilled to announce that I have joined the Progress Partners team as a Managing Director.

Progress Partners is a full-service merchant bank that works with emerging technology companies to build value for the digital future. The firm leverages its trusted relationships to unlock insights for buyers and sellers to complete M&A transactions, raise debt or equity capital, and develop strategic growth plans. We are genuine experts who value entrepreneurial leadership and technology to build and realize superior value for our clients. The firm primarily operates in the US and Canadian markets and secondarily in the UK and across Western Europe.

I’ve joined the Progress Partners team because together we can optimize outcomes for entrepreneurs, dedicating our resources to deliver the best outcome for you and your business. We have a strong team that is committed to ensuring great options and outcomes for entrepreneurs.

I have first-hand experience of being on the other side of the table with investment bankers who have literally left tens of millions of dollars of value on the table. I believe that entrepreneurs deserve the absolute best outcome for themselves, their teams and their families. I look forward to helping entrepreneurs reach the outcomes they deserve.

How do we help entrepreneurs who are exploring exits?

  1. We have a team of genuine experts who value entrepreneurs and their companies

  2. We have trusted relationships with the right people to open doors, get the meeting and ensure the right companies are in the bidding process

  3. We have the right people on the team, and deliver outsized outcomes from engaging the right experts and thought leaders and professionals

Whether you’re looking to raise money or sell your business let me know how I can help. I am personally committed to the best outcomes for automotive technology entrepreneurs and their teams.

Wrapping Up

At Automotive Ventures, we will continue to publish content that helps you understand and navigate through the ambiguity and change coming to the industry. And we will continue to offer services to entrepreneurs to ensure they can build the best businesses and achieve the best outcomes when they’re ready to sell.

It’s an exciting time to be in an industry that is going to see more change in the next 10 years than it’s seen in the past 100. No matter where you are in the ecosystem, we can help. I look forward to taking this journey with you.

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