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January 5, 2022

Tips to Improve Onboarding Within Angel Syndicates

Key takeaways:
  • Angel Syndicates can lower funding requirements by lowering their onboarding expenses, widening their client reach.
  • A lack of transparency and communication impedes the efficiency of onboarding
  • Controlling your clients' experience from the beginning sets the right tone.
  • Using digital onboarding tools, you can take the onboarding process from months to days.

Onboarding new investors to Angel Syndicates can feel like a drawn-out, bureaucratic process, and that's a surefire way to create some tension down the road. One of the most significant pain points associated with onboarding investors is the immense amount of back and forth between information gathering, verifying, and following up with stakeholders. Not only does this eat up a lot of time, but it's essentially as good as burning money.

Putting your business in the hand of manual processes will lead to suffering, mistakes and ensure the onboarding process will take months to finalize. The good news is many of these pain points can be totally eradicated with a smooth digital onboarding process like HelloFlow. A well thought out onboarding process can set the foundations for a long and fruitful partnership. Let's break it down.

What Does the Onboarding Process Look Like?

In three words: it's not pretty. Traditionally the process starts with a generic 20+ page long PDF that needs to be filled out and verified. Within those pages are legal disclaimers and forms that take up 10 or more pages. Naturally, this kind of information overload confuses clients, causing them to fill out forms incorrectly.

These PDF's also typically cater to 4 or more different types of investors, each with their own dedicated pages to fill out. It's either up to the investor to figure out which portion applies to them, which they might incorrectly do, or have one of your team members walk them through the document page by page. Both are less than ideal.

By reducing onboarding complexities, you reduce errors, trim contact points between the investor and your syndicate, ensure quicker approvals, increase the opportunity cost of onboarding, and significantly improve the overall customer experience. It often takes weeks for clients to finally provide the suitable materials after several follow-ups. All that work, and the actual act of onboarding the client does not begin until after this document has been finalized.

There is a lengthy back and forth when verifying and checking documents, on top of multiple calls and emails. The process becomes very convoluted and confusing, particularly when handling mountains of paperwork. But that's only the beginning. The grueling part really sets in when implementing KYC and AML checks, accreditation verification, conforming with investor limits, and following various other rules and processes. It's a process that is rife with delays, even if you're using partially automated systems.

What are the Pain Points?

The traditional structure of onboarding investors is rife with pitfalls and is structured in a way that fosters errors. Clients often find that documents are complex to follow, and while they may be familiar to your internal teams, leaving investors to decipher them alone is like throwing a wrench into the works. This ultimately leads to errors and lots of confusion. You’ll find yourself alternating between chasing a client for information and trying to explain to them exactly what it is you need for months.

Not many people are known for their patience, particularly when it comes to investment; they'll want the deal to close fast. On top of that, they expect this process to be less complicated with Angel Syndicates, versus dealing with lawyers and VC's. This process often involves several people from varying departments to coordinate effectively. To make matters worse, investors can feel like they have little visibility of the onboarding process and often don't understand why it's taking so long, this is particularly problematic when outsourcing to another company that doesn’t properly lay out the process to your potential investors. When you're in the business of high-risk, high rewards, all these pain points don't reflect well on your ability to manage a company.

Until now, there have only been two options for onboarding investors within an Angel Syndicate. You could take the risk and onboard every investor one by one manually, but this would require a dedicated team that would have to get it right from the offset. Many syndicates are also on the smaller side and made up of investment experts. Having these members of your team spend time chasing information rather than fielding pitches is a waste of assets. Not to mention the time it takes to code an onboarding system from scratch.

The second involves using a nominee structure that will help you create an SVP for each investment, assist with onboarding and provide a client portal. However, that's a large sum of money for a customer experience you have little control over. On top of that, most only gather information without actually assisting in the client approval process, and if they do provide such a service, the cost is even higher. Luckily, now there's HelloFlow, which meets you in the middle, but more on that later.

a businessman with notebook and case
With digital onboarding, Angel Syndicates can onboard more clients faster offering smoother process.

Why Do These Challenges Need to be Addressed?

Imagine telling your prospects you can onboard them in just a few days, not months. Having your onboarding process run smoothly not only attracts new investors but also gives you more time to focus on bigger picture tasks, like finding game-changing startups.

Having your onboarding process run in a well-organized, orderly fashion sets the tone for your business capabilities. Controlling your client's experience makes all the difference. A solid onboarding flow happens swiftly, without confusion and with total compliance. It also helps to minimize redundancies before they even happen. Automation can help guarantee all required documentation is on hand before moving to the next stage and ensures your internal teams are all on the same page.

By opting for digital onboarding, Angel Syndicates can often reduce their minimum investment requirements too, thereby opening up to a wider segment. This is because manual onboarding is expensive, so much so that it is the main cost associated with having a new client.

How Can HelloFlow Help You Improve?

Easy does it! HelloFlow helps you untangle an unnecessary web of onboarding complications, allowing you to communicate more efficiently with investors and implement a smoother workflow. Our entire system is a do-it-yourself solution without really having to do it yourself. In fact, we do all the heavy lifting. All you need to do is drag and drop the right components into your onboarding flow, which will take you a just a few hours. Then you have a fully functional no-code digital onboarding platform that helps you to collect and verify data, perform AML checks, capture electronic signatures and more.

HelloFlow is an almost hands-off system that works for you, ensuring that you are onboarding quickly, in a compliant manner, without breaking the bank! Our entire catalog of services works cohesively to ensure onboarding is easier for businesses and people. Both medium and large syndicates can benefit from conducting onboarding themselves through HelloFlow and creating SPV's themselves. It's really that easy, but we know seeing is believing, so why not sign up for a guided demo or try a 14-day trial on us, totally free, no strings attached.

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