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  • Writer's pictureMart Lumeste

Tech Investment Missteps: Navigating the Unexpected

2023 so far has not been an easy year for the private equity market. As represented by the S&P 500 and Nasdaq, equity prices experienced significant declines, impacting private equity investments. Private equity investors now face a new reality where generating revenue and margin improvements become increasingly important for driving returns, replacing the previous reliance on multiple expansions.


Stormy sky with 3 boats on land

With the potential for high returns and transformative innovations, technology investments hold immense promise. However, like any investment, there are inherent risks; sometimes even the most meticulously planned ventures can encounter challenges.


Assessing the Situation


When a tech investment fails to meet expectations, it is crucial to comprehensively assess the situation. This evaluation should encompass factors such as market dynamics, competitive landscape, technological feasibility, and execution capabilities. By gaining a clear understanding of the underlying reasons for underperformance, stakeholders can make informed decisions on the best course of action. If a technology due diligence has been completed, stakeholders will possess a comprehensive understanding of the specific domains requiring restructuring or investments to boost business markers. If not, an organizational and architectural assessment should be conducted. This will further enable them to align their focus with the investment thesis effectively.


Adapt and Pivot


In the face of adversity, successful organizations demonstrate agility by adapting and pivoting their strategies. This could involve reassessing the target market, exploring new product or service offerings, or reevaluating the value proposition. By embracing flexibility and remaining open to change, companies can uncover alternative pathways to success and capitalize on emerging opportunities. Especially during the current challenging circumstances, individuals who skillfully identify new opportunities will emerge as the winners.


Restructuring and Refocusing


In some cases, it may be necessary to restructure the investment or refocus the business strategy to realign with market demands. This could entail divesting non-core assets, streamlining operations, or identifying strategic partnerships. By optimizing the investment's structure and reallocating resources to areas with higher growth potential, stakeholders can reposition themselves for future success. In dynamic market conditions, it is prudent to reassess the business landscape to discover the readily attainable opportunities.


Leveraging Technology Due Diligence


Tech investments that haven’t gone according to plan often highlight the importance of a thorough tech due diligence processes before the deal. Engaging technology experts who specialize in evaluating tech trends, competitive dynamics, and technological feasibility can help mitigate risks and increase the likelihood of successful investments. By conducting robust software due diligence, investors can make more informed decisions and set realistic expectations. Furthermore, throughout the holding period, consultants can provide valuable assistance for value creation and conducting essential architectural assessments for it. These inputs are instrumental in enabling investors to make informed and improved management decisions.


Given the intricate nature of the technology sector and the fragmented distribution of knowledge across various domains, the involvement of experienced consultants becomes indispensable in obtaining a comprehensive, holistic perspective on the current state and potential of tech investments.


Learning from Failure


While failing to meet the investment thesis can be disappointing, it also offers valuable lessons. Embracing a culture of learning and reflecting on what went wrong can provide insights for future investment decisions. The complex nature of certain tech investments can render it challenging to understand the underlying complexities and pinpoint the root causes of the failure. In such cases, the expertise of seasoned consultants becomes invaluable in conducting a comprehensive analysis. By documenting and sharing these lessons, investors can enhance their investment processes, refine their strategies, and improve overall portfolio performance. The belief expressed by legendary basketball coach, John Wooden also holds true for the state of the private equity market: “Failure isn't fatal, but failure to change might be.”


Risk Mitigation Strategies for a Tech Investment


To proactively manage the risks associated with tech investments, investors should incorporate effective risk mitigation strategies into their investment approach. This includes conducting thorough market analysis, assessing the scalability of technology solutions, evaluating the management team's capabilities, and developing contingency plans for various scenarios. By anticipating potential challenges, investors can minimize downside risks and increase the likelihood of success. A thorough tech due diligence analysis serves to mitigate risks associated with both the offering and the investment thesis. It must also encompass a risk mitigation roadmap, providing a strong foundation for the value creation during the course of their investment. While it may be tempting to rely solely on a high-level perspective when evaluating technology, a comprehensive understanding of risks and opportunities requires digging into the intricate details.


Long-Term Value Creation


In the world of technology investments, short-term setbacks do not necessarily equate to long-term failure. By focusing on long-term value creation and maintaining a disciplined approach, investors can weather temporary challenges and position themselves for sustainable growth. This may involve providing additional capital, fostering innovation through R&D initiatives, or implementing operational improvements.


While tech investments offer tremendous potential for investors, there are times when these investments do not go as planned. However, failure is not a dead-end but an opportunity for learning and growth. By assessing the situation, adapting strategies, leveraging software due diligence, and learnings gathered from organization and architecture assessments, and implementing effective risk mitigation measures, funds and investors can navigate the uncertainties associated with tech investments.




Intium is a tech advisory, focusing on tech DD and value creation. We work with PEs, strategic investors, and portfolio companies helping assess software and tech-enabled assets. Our state-of-the-art value creation portfolio can help harness today’s technology advancements and/or assess current technological premise for maximum efficiency achieving the best possible value.


We are happy to help you with buy-side tech diligence, sell-side vendor due diligence, and value creation solutions. For more information, contact us directly via contact@intiumtech.com


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