Client
A European private equity firm wanted to support the growth of several portfolio companies that were building Internet platforms.
Challenge
Many Chinese Internet platforms have established strong growth track records due to their willingness to take risks and diverge from traditional ways of conducting business. A European private equity investor believed that benchmarking successful Chinese platforms could yield valuable lessons about growth, business model design, user experience, and stakeholder management for their portfolio companies.
Objectives
Approach
IoT ONE began the benchmarking process by scanning the market for companies in markets similar to those of the investor’s portfolio companies. Three markets were selected for analysis over a 12-month period. In each market, two Chinese platforms were benchmarked. This involved using desktop research to map their businesses and then conducting expert interviews to fill data gaps and provide context about the logic behind certain business decisions. The benchmarking exercise included several areas of the business, such as growth strategy, sales tactics, business process flows, offering portfolio, customer segments, user interfaces and user experience, and cash flows. IoT ONE analyzed which elements of the assessment were likely to be useful references for the client’s portfolio companies, and which were less likely to succeed in Europe due to the different market environments.
  • Scan the market for companies in markets similar to those of the portfolio companies.
  • Conduct desktop research to map the business strategy, processes, portfolio, and economics.
  • Interview experts to fill data gaps and provide context about the logic behind certain business decisions.
  • Identify elements that are most likely to be useful references for the client’s portfolio companies.
Result
  • 20 platform companies were prioritized for assessment across the three markets in scope. A detailed assessment was conducted for two companies in each target market.
  • Several workshops were led for both the investor and the management teams of their portfolio companies to ensure that learnings were effectively transferred.

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