Over the last 12 months, Axial has made major investments in its technology, leading to network growth and adoption from top-notch middle market advisors. Here are a few of the major improvements that are delivering new value to the network:
Keeping Private Capital Markets Private
When Axial overhauled its recommendation engine in 2017, we did not merely upgrade the sophistication of the algorithms — we also made all deals private on the network. This means that all companies and intermediaries now have the discretion to be selective with who they reach out to, mirroring how most choose to conduct their deal processes traditionally – in a tailored and confidential manner.
We came to the conclusion that the public nature of online deal networks, including our own, was blocking larger lower middle market companies ($20M to $200M in revenue) from taking advantage of the market intelligence and efficiency we bring to a deal process. For these companies and their advisors, the ability to control the timing, visibility and optics of their deal process was critical.
This was a controversial decision, but our conclusions have been confirmed. Since this change, we have seen a strong rate of adoption by both larger revenue/EBITDA companies and top-notch middle market investment bankers, while maintaining our traditional excellent coverage of the $5M to $20M revenue range.
Leapfrogging the Field in Accuracy
In February 2018, Axial released a new way to classify and filter businesses, reinforcing Axial’s position as the more accurate connector of buyers and sellers. There are now over 19,000 industries and sub-sectors that can be used to define the kind of business one is looking to sell or buy. The new system has taken Axial’s matching algorithm to a new level, and now allows buyers to support both broad and extremely targeted strategic mandates across both industries and business models. To create this new industry taxonomy, Axial began with the U.S. government’s NAICS system and then modified it for both usability as well as better coverage of emerging and fast-paced sectors.
Funnel Management for the Buy-side
For financial investors who are interested in sourcing many deals, they can struggle to manage their deal funnels efficiently. Axial now allows buyers to keep track of the status of their deals, from a signed NDA through management meetings to a letter of intent. Buyers can also keep running notes and research about the deal and easily extract their deal sourcing activities for analysis in offline tools like Excel.
Infrastructure and Performance Improvements
A year ago, we overhauled the core of the application, moving to a containerized microservices architecture to support greater scalability and continuous deployment. Most recently, we finished a wave of performance enhancements to the application that improved speed of key sections of the application by 5x – 10x. We sped up the recommendation engine, the buy-side deal management tools, the sell-side sharing tools, and overall browser loading times.
What Is On Deck?
We are doubling down on our mission to provide the very best real-time market intelligence tools for those looking to sell a business or raise capital. Current work includes an overhaul to the sell-side outreach tools, giving our advisors greater control and customization and better analytics. Customers will also soon see greater controls over geography, market segments, and who they receive deals from. They will also see richer disclosure on interaction histories across Axial’s proprietary deal graph, and advances to the matching engine which combine machine learning with deal graph data.
If you are a deal professional in the lower middle market and want to learn more about Axial, we would love to hear from you.