Helping Private Equity transition from Excel to software in managing portfolio cap tables

We help a lot of private equity funds transition from Excel to DealsPlus in managing their portfolio cap tables. Using Excel to manage private equity portfolio cap tables is inefficient for the following reasons:

  1. Private equity portfolio structures are complex: 
    • Investment structures can be multi-layered with investors at multiple levels in a corporate chain. Funds will need to track through each level. 
    • Private equity portfolio cap tables use management equity plans. These will have multiple instruments (strip equity, sweet equity) and many shareholders (employee shareholders and the fund). 
    • Portfolio cap tables change frequently during the holding period due to events at the portfolio level. 

      Excel is not optimal to manage structures like this. 
  2. Funds end up with as many Excels as the number of portfolios they hold. This becomes difficult to manage over time. The time and cost spent during quarterly valuations, waterfall modelling, and portfolio exits is high. 
  3. DealsPlus tracks interest accruals and related events (PIK’d interest, variable interest rates and transfers between shareholders). Tracking the value of interest-bearing instruments becomes much easier with DealsPlus, saving time and cost.  
  4. Deriving cap table position for any date – past or future – taking account of all the events before the selected date is difficult in Excel.
  5. The Excel cap tables are not connected to the underlying legal documents or share registers. It takes a separate exercise to reconcile the three and discrepancies are not uncommon and costly, especially during a transaction event or in portfolio valuations.  


The DealsPlus advantage

  1. Accurate and up-to-date information: DealsPlus’ role-based access, intelligent workflows, and cap table engine ensure that all information related to the ownership structure can be easily kept up-to-date. Key decision-makers at both the fund and portfolio levels have valuable data and insights. 
  2. Improved transparency: DealsPlus allows funds to view and access the ownership data across their portfolios in real time. This can help increase transparency, simplify portfolio valuations, and speed up exit processes.
  3. Faster and more efficient administration: DealsPlus’ cap table engine streamlines the cap table administration by enabling all events – issuances, buybacks, transfers, cancellations – to be logged easily and efficiently. 
  4. Compliance with regulations: DealsPlus helps ensure that a company stays compliant with relevant regulations, such as securities or tax laws, by providing accurate and auditable records of ownership.
  5. Better decision-making: DealsPlus’ cap table module is connected to other modules in our software – structure charts, data room, compliance tracker, and legal entity monitor. This provides stakeholders with a clear view of the company’s ownership structure and capitalization, which can help inform multiple functions – tax, legal, compliance, and deal team members.
  6. Simplified portfolio valuation/waterfall modelling: DealsPlus’ cap table can be synced to portfolio waterfall models, allowing funds to see the value by instrument and by shareholder in real time. 


Overall, DealsPlus can help reduce the risk of errors and discrepancies in a company’s ownership records, increase transparency and trust, and streamline cap table management and portfolio valuation processes, saving time and resources for both funds and their portfolio teams.