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Case Study

Valo Ventures

Valo Ventures adopts a relevance-scoring approach to finding companies within its theses

About

Valo Ventures is a thesis-driven venture capital firm investing in climate solutions that are advancing the digitization, decarbonization and adaptation of the industries that shape our lives and fuel our economy. Our mission is to "invest for a brighter future," which we define as investing in venture stage companies that are creating products and services that deliver long-term social, economic, and environmental benefits that better our world for future generations to come.. The firm’s portfolio companies include UrbanFootprint, Boston Materials, Novoloop, Simbe Robotics, and more. Our portfolio reflects our belief that human innovation and capitalism, directed at meaningful climate solutions, will creating enduring businesses and improve the quality of life for future generations. Valo is a Nordic root word meaning “source of light”; and the company is illuminating new use cases for Harmonic—including reverse-syncing its CRM to Harmonic in order to strengthen relevancy scores as prospective portfolio companies pass through its funnel.

Firm size

5-10

Stage

Series A

CRM

Affinity

Portfolio

UrbanFootprint, Boston Materials, Novoloop, Simbe Robotics

Features used

Console, Integrations, Relevance Scoring

Growth Opportunities / Valo’s Needs

  • Extend the reach beyond their existing networks to further enhance their startup sourcing process and discover best-in-class startups that meet their theses.
  • Create a scoring and recommendation engine that continuously improves.
  • Develop an integrated cross-platform workflow that allows the team to stay within their CRM where Valo’s startup diligence process is managed.
  • Further develop its edge as a data-driven investor.

Harmonic’s Impact

  • On a weekly cadence, Valo is sent new companies that match their theses. 
  • Relevant companies are auto-imported into Valo’s Affinity CRM.
  • A two-way sync between Harmonic and Affinity allows an automated scoring model to improve over time, as Valo’s investment team qualifies or disqualifies companies.

An “impactful,” data-driven approach to sourcing new leads

“The first and most impactful way we leverage Harmonic’s data,” says Sam Suskind, Principal, “is for sourcing new high quality leads aligned with our investment strategy that we otherwise might not have seen.”

Harmonic supports a granular and precise filtering mechanism across the broad landscape startups, using founder backgrounds, sector tags and company descriptions to identify companies of interest for Valo. The team has organized saved searches in the platform with signals they find of value —“primarily ones based on the founder highlights or momentum of each company, paired with the industry, technology or thesis we’ve identified.” Every few months, Valo refines these saved searches to match the firm’s focus as it evolves over time.

These saved searches have both broadened  Valo’s top of funnel sourcing and accelerated its process. As new companies are pushed from Harmonic to the firm’s CRM through a weekly sync, the team only needs to review them at a cursory level.

Harmonic’s filters feed us companies based on aggregated, publicly-available information. So it’s a relatively quick search—a matter of minutes or less—to decide whether it makes sense to reach out and meet the founder directly. Typically, we surface 20 to 50 companies a week through Harmonic, and it’s a roughly 30% conversion rate to outreach for scheduling a first call.”

Another area Valo leans on Harmonic for is “to enrich our current pipeline for directional guidance on who we should be spending more time with.” That includes momentum-based data on headcount growth and more. After all, sometimes companies that aren’t initially relevant become relevant over time; suddenly they’re hitting high-growth metrics or have made key hires—and so they’ll resurface in Valo’s CRM. Harmonic’s integration with Valo’s CRM in Affinity allows them to add newly-formed companies and to resurface later-stage high-growth companies in one view.

Relevance Scoring and Automated Score Tuning: “Moving in the right direction”

When Valo initially reached out to Harmonic, the firm was looking for a way to sort new companies based on their resemblances to known, good-fit companies. Valo already had qualification data on good-fit and poor-fit companies within their CRM, but were seeking a more effective way to leverage this data. Harmonic’s Relevance Scoring rates all ~30M companies in its database according to how well they fit themes in a list of known companies.

Using Harmonic’s integration, Valo set up a reverse-sync from Affinity back to Harmonic. 

“We’re in the beginning stages of assessing the new scores provided by Harmonic with the two-way sync,” Sam says, “but the results are moving in the right direction. One key use case for us is events where there’s a long list companies in attendance and a limited amount of time to review them in advance. With the Affinity-Harmonic sync, we can much more quickly prioritize which companies to meet at that event.” Ultimately, the Relevance Scoring will be used to support augmenting top-of-funnel sourcing at the firm, alongside Harmonic’s saved searches feature.

As the Valo team qualifies and disqualifies companies within their CRM, Harmonic’s “Recommend” and “Do not Recommend” lists are automatically updated with their selections. Meaning, Harmonic’s relevance score gets more accurate with every company qualification, allowing the model to more closely align with Valo’s theses over time.

Interested in learning more about how Harmonic can supercharge your relevance scoring? We’d love to chat with you!

Lauren Shufran
Content, Harmonic.ai
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