Transforming the SME sales market is Deale’s objective. A startup born in Barcelona that is committed to digitization and automation through its M&A technology platform to help put small and medium-sized companies and potential investors in contact. A connection that is fundamental because SMEs represent around 90% of the European economy, but it is estimated that only 10% of the companies that have carried out a corporate operation in the last three years had experience.
This M&A platform carries the search for partners and operations of acquisitions and mergers to the digital world, as if it were a marketplace, in order to facilitate this operation. “It is a world that SMEs are usually unaware of. We provide them with knowledge of these strategies for expanding companies and give investors access to open companies,” Gerard García, founder of Deale, told elEconomista.
The platform, the first and to date the only digital M&A platform in Europe, works without intermediaries, putting companies, investors and advisors in direct contact to generate opportunities and carry out the operation or business. “We bring transparency to a fragmented market because where is this segment of companies from one million to 40 million? We want to increase the size of the companies”, focusing especially on SMEs with turnover from three million euros.
In its operations, Deale shortens response time. “An M&A process can take eight months. With all the steps well defined, the platform greatly reduces the period of the operation.” In addition, the search time for the right partner decreases, since SMEs receive offers from investors who are really interested in doing business.
For investors, the platform also has advantages by shortening their search time. “They no longer have to go looking for polygons, travel… There are advisors who come to us with companies that do not have a website or professional social networks such as LinkedIn. This is very inefficient.” In fact, despite the 700% increase in the capital available from investors in the last 20 years, the search for opportunities has grown at a distance from their access. “With the platform the search time is reduced and everything can be done online“In addition, they are integrating advisors into the platform -who can increase their client base-, apart from incorporating the figure of the deal manager.
Deale also automates the process. “There is no longer a team to make a teaser” (document that includes data and elements of a company for sale and of the transaction, maintaining confidentiality). Deale works with tools to do it all in six steps and in less than half an hour. The operation is also simple. Users only have to create the account directly, select their profile (company, investor or advisor), add the information about the industry and what they are looking for, validate the professional and personal identity and sign the confidentiality agreement.
“The company creates a blind profile and in six steps it has generated the automatic teaser, while investors can start looking for opportunities after registering based on the sector of interest”, among other variables. This responsive web platform already has more than 600 users, of which 350 are investors and has more than 700 registered SMEs. There are already users from areas such as Murcia, Toledo or Seville, although the objective is to advance in the geographical area. “We are global and European. I don’t think there are barriers or borders. In the future, Deale will go there.”
In fact, the startup has recently signed an agreement with the German group ETL Global, one of the leading firms specializing in professional legal, tax, auditing and consulting services in Spain and Europe with a portfolio of more than 320,000 SMEs. in the European territory. With this synergy, it is intended facilitate advice on operations between companies and investors to small and medium-sized companies, which have more difficult access to these services than large companies. Among the next steps to be taken is the incorporation of more functions to manage the interactions that are taking place on the platform and provide greater certainty to investors.
A 500k marketplace
Deale was born in Barcelona, launching in early October 2021. The idea came from Gerard García’s own experience. “He worked at Arcano, in Madrid, and I saw that there was a need to contact SMEs with investors, but they could not access because of the high commissions. There was also a microfragmented universe of advisers who, with technology, can easily connect.”
This was the starting point to start developing the business idea and the startup, which gained more strength during the covid-19 pandemic during which Gerard García found himself “locked up in 20 square meters in New York”. The entrepreneur lived in this city while working on CoverWallet, which was bought by Aon. At this stage, his mentor was a technologist and curious about business, while the entrepreneur was curious about technology. “I saw that there are processes that can be automated“. And during the days of confinement he began to think of a prototype.
With his departure from the United States and his return to Spain, he began to delve into that union of technology and business and to speak with advisers, different investment funds or private equity, among others. After leaving the American company, he began operating as a freelancer and starting up Deale. The startup launched a 320k pre-seed round, which eventually closed at 500k.