Rubicon leverages a set of proprietary processes and best practices to help enterprise software companies accelerate growth and adapt to greater scale. Plans are tailored with management to prioritize operational change in areas of greatest need and value impact.
Our M&A strategy focuses on making companies fundamentally more competitive in their target markets, and not just buying for scale and cost synergies. Our framework-oriented approach to M&A encompasses everything from creating a strategic roadmap of acquisitions to the detailed planning of an effective integration.
Rubicon is focused on maintaining alignment throughout the investment lifecycle and focusing on the right discussions. We deploy a collaborative engagement model that ensures transparent and direct partnership, on-going alignment with management, and efficient interactions.
Rubicon believes that company leaders learn the most from peers that have been successful in addressing similar growth-related challenges. Our portfolio collaboration platform offers structured engagement and facilitates informal access to executives across the portfolio in order to learn from shared experiences and problem solve on common issues.
The most effective companies continuously adapt as their business gains scale and increased complexity. Rubicon’s RTP Change Management framework is designed to accelerate the adoption of best practices to address the needs of greater scale and improve strategic decisions. RTP Change Management consists of process frameworks focused on key areas of investment like product development and market expansion, and a set of high-impact processes to address the increasing complexity of scale. Some examples of the types of challenges that we have helped address are:
- Extending competitive product advantage as your customer base and solution set grows
- Continuing to satisfy all customers when demands increase and models of engagement need to scale
- Growing sales organizations while ensuring the same quality of knowledge, performance, and overall sales effectiveness
- Attracting and motivating the best people in a highly competitive enterprise software hiring market
- Creating a back-office infrastructure that will support growth, acquisitions, and ultimately a successful exit
It’s a great framework, but what really breathes life into that framework is the access to the individuals at Rubicon. We use the framework as a place to start, but then we’re able to adapt it – because of their involvement – to our specific circumstances.
STRATEGIC M&A FRAMEWORK
Rubicon believes that M&A can be an effective approach to creating a sustainable leader in a fragmented market, but also that effective execution is critical to success. Rubicon’s M&A framework brings a thoughtful approach to acquisition-driven strategies that is focused on creating value through adding product capability and market share. The framework provides a structured approach to M&A roadmap creation, deal execution, and programmatic integration planning and execution. Specifically, Rubicon’s framework helps with:
- M&A strategy and planning with a focus on maximizing strategic market value and not just building scale
- Effective sourcing of targets with an emphasis on building relationships and getting to an answer quickly
- Efficient diligence and transaction execution with a focus on key issues such as IP value and customer relationships
- Effective and efficient integration processes to realize value quickly while minimizing risk of business disruption
Rubicon was with us every step of the way along our M&A journey, from strategy development and market mapping to execution and integration. Their approach to M&A is exceptionally thoughtful and helped us put together the most competitive set of solutions in the market that is driving substantially more value for our customers than we ever could have offered alone.
The most effective partnerships are created through maintaining alignment of interests, continuity of people, and continued value. Rubicon’s team structure and engagement model are designed so we can contribute real value to the partnership in a manner that makes effective use of everyone’s time. We maintain continuity of our team throughout the investment lifecycle because we don’t have separate deal and operational professionals. Finally, we drive towards continuous alignment with management through specific process steps starting with detailed planning before an investment is made. The following are some of the components of our engagement model:
- Upfront strategy alignment to ensure a common view of overall strategy, near term objectives, and investment planning at a meaningful level of detail before the deal is done
- Streamlined board meeting that focus more time on deep-dive discussions on decisions critical to the business and less on financial updates
- Annual planning processes structured around key investment decisions based on market opportunity and current performance
I’ve found Rubicon’s approach to be fundamentally different from other investors. Their emphasis on full team alignment to core mission, coupled with efficient and candid communication establishes a foundation of trust allowing us to focus on the strategic, business impacting decisions that drive better outcomes.
Rubicon believes that business leaders have more to learn from peers that have executed comparable strategies and encountered similar issues, than from consultants that don’t understand their business. Rubicon’s portfolio engagement platform offers real engagement with executives that have experience in solving similar issues as they have grown their companies both organically and through M&A.
Rubicon hosts several programs every year for portfolio executives that strengthen the peer-to-peer network across our portfolio, creating opportunities to share best practices and solve common issues facing our businesses. These programs include:
- Annual Executive Summit with participation from over 50 portfolio company executives
- Emerging Leaders Program designed to identify, coach and provide career advancement opportunities to promising young leaders
- Specialized sessions for functional managers led by Rubicon and third parties covering areas such as finance, sales and go-to-market, and product management
- Online collaboration platform with access to an extensive online library of best practices from across our portfolio, and the ability to engage with peers on specific topics
The portfolio-wide sessions that the Rubicon team organizes throughout the year have been invaluable opportunities to learn from the experiences of other software companies facing the same challenges we see in our business. We have many examples of both areas where we’ve been helped and where AudienceView has provided specific guidance or best practices to other companies based on our own successes.