SLASSCOM Launches ‘Investment Playbook’ Webinar Series
SLASSCOM, Sri Lanka’s national chamber for the IT/BPM industry, through its Global Trade and Investment Forum, recently launched the ‘Investment Playbook’ Webinar Series, kicking off with ‘Chapter 01: Roadmap to Funding Options: What every CEO should know’.
The goal of this series is to help mid- to large-scale IT/ BPM companies discover investment-enabling tools, tips, and tactics from the gurus in the industry, and learn how to make their products and services investment ready. The first session covered funding options for fueling an organization’s growth, valuations for product and services companies, and how to prepare one’s company to match investor expectations.
The informative webinar featured an esteemed panel, including NDB Investment Bank Chief Corporate Advisory Officer Nilendra Weerasinghe, Acuity Partners Senior Vice President of Corporate Finance Shehan Cooray, CT CLSA Capital Vice President – Investment Banking Dushan Gomez, Veracity Holdings CEO and Founder Jeevan Gnanam, and NDB Capital Holdings CEO Senaka Kakiriwaragodage.
The session began with an introduction to the series, hosted by My Online CEO Mahesh Yogarajan, followed by the first presentation of the webinar by Nilendra Weerasinghe, who spoke on Funding Options for Growth.
Speaking on the funding options for growth, Nilendra Weerasinghe highlighted that the various options available across the lifecycle of a company, with each stage carrying its own unique markers, from the . ideation stage, testing of commercial viability and research and development efforts.
Following this, he described each of the succeeding stages including the ‘Startup’, stage where sources of funding are primarily angel investors and seed funds; then at the ‘Growth’ stage, it is mostly through venture capital, private equity or debt capital; and finally, at the ‘Maturity’ stage, sources of funding include public debt and equity markets.
The next presentation was on ‘Valuations for products and services companies’ delivered by Shehan Cooray. Giving an insight into the subject, Shehan outlined: “Valuation is not an exact science. We live in a world where the pace of innovation has reached a level higher than ever before in our history. The reason why valuation is hard is because it depends on the expectations of the future. Even people who are insiders who work in tech companies, have difficulty predicting what the future will be like given the rapid innovation taking place and the technological convergence that we are currently seeing.”
He went on to talk about long-term value, expected returns, valuing young companies, valuations at the growth stage, among others.
The final presentation of the session was by Dushan Gomez on ‘How to prepare your company and investor expectations’, during which he covered three broad pillars: how to pitch your business to an investor, corporate governance requirements, and typical investor evaluation processes and what to expect from it. He explained that “The most important thing at the outset itself is to tell the investor why they should be investing in you compared to so many other options they have out there. For an early stage company, I would ‘what is the problem you are trying to solve’, and ‘what is your solution?’ are questions of paramount importance that you need to address upfront”.
A panel discussion was also held on the topics covered, featuring questions from the audience, who were treated to a range of input for all the exceptional panelists present for the forum. This webinar is the first in a series that is set to unfold over the coming months.