Interview with Lasse and Marlon from Trustventure - CFO-As-A-Service

"A trustful and successful cooperation between founders and investors is the basis for the growth of a venture capital financed company. To this end, it is of utmost importance to identify and actively reduce information asymmetries in the initiation of a possible cooperation with potential investors through professional preparation and to maintain the created transparency in the long term."

The service "CFO-As-A-Service" was developed based on the need of young companies to build up competences in the commercial sector and to create transparency for investors. Marlon and Lasse Hüttebreucker give an insight into their career and the beginnings of Trustventure as well as into services and various projects.

Who are the founders of Trustventure?

We are Lasse and Marlon and together we founded Trustventure based on the idea that high quality consulting services are hard to find in the venture industry. Although many corporate finance consultancies offer very good services for SMEs, only a small number of adequate consultants can be found in the field of venture capital-financed companies. We want to actively fill this niche and offer excellent advisory services to young growing companies.

While we mainly worked in consulting established companies before Trustventure was founded, we now actively focus on younger growth companies. This type of cooperation is exciting for us, because in addition to basic commercial competence, an understanding of fast-growing business models with a high technology focus must be guaranteed. What is also attracting us to work with clients of this kind is that we can directly participate in the development of new technologies and thus, actively contribute to the design of future-oriented business models.

With the idea of a holistic consulting approach from the perspective of a financial advisor, we want to support management teams in scaling issues and the development of disruptive business models.

What does CFO-As-A-Service mean?

There are many companies that are very successful in day-to-day business and product development, but still need support in the commercial areas. This becomes difficult at the latest when you first come into contact with professional investors, who have a very high need for transparency regarding the financial development of the company.

For this problem, we offer a service which we have called "CFO-As-A-Service". As an external entity, we map the competencies that are selectively lacking in the companies, and at the same time build up these competencies internally. The aim is to ensure long-term support for the companies during all phases and thus actively contribute to scaling up.

Which target groups does CFO-As-A-Service address?

We work with companies who appreciate our competencies in the commercial sector. Usually, we are in close coordination with the management or investors in the areas of transparency, control and planning regarding financial issues. 

We offer our services to start-ups, small businesses or medium-sized companies who want to improve their position in these areas.

Another target group for us are institutional as well as private investors who hold investments and who wish to have a certain structure in their portfolio.

In which business phases do you support your clients?

As the earliest phase, we support individual companies that have received initial seed financing and are developing further on this basis. For example, within the scope of a project, we evaluated the preparatory work already done together with the founding team and developed a market-ready strategy. In the course of this, we set up a financial deck and initiated the first institutional financing round.

With another client, we joined after the first institutional financing round was completed and the start-up had the proof of concept in the market. Here, too, we evaluated the medium-term financing strategy with the management team, set up a corporate plan, determined the company valuation and advised on the strategic orientation of the company. In this way, we jointly laid the foundation for long-term scaling and accompanied the next financing round.

After a financing round or an M&A process, we provide support in setting up and implementing controlling mechanisms, such as the introduction of monthly reporting or the definition and controlling of value-driving key figures. Especially when start-ups receive financing from a VC investor, it is important to maintain the trust and transparency that has been built up in advance. In some of our projects we are commissioned by the investor himself for this purpose and support the founding team with our resources.

What are the goals of the cooperation?

The main goal of our work is to support companies in building trusting relationships. Especially with regard to the financial situation, it is essential that companies make reliable and plausible statements and thereby signal professionalism. We do not offer standard solutions, but work together with each client individually.

With our services we aim to ensure that the cooperation with us enables companies to increase their own value in a structured way. For us, this means that we support decision-making with robust analyses of strengths, weaknesses, risks and opportunities. In addition, we base corporate management on measurable and objective KPIs and thus pursue a holistic consulting approach that results in a company being able to increase its own value.

What are the advantages of Trustventure as a financial advisor?

By working with us, valuable management resources can be conserved and at the same time the information security demanded by all stakeholders can be guaranteed. In addition, management decisions can be externally validated and substantiated in a resilient manner.

In the context of the Corona crisis, for example, we were able to provide support in the planning of short-term liquidity and the implementation of liquidity-saving measures, thus helping companies to react quickly to changing market influences.

Another important point to note is that we are independent. We are outsiders with an objective view of things and are therefore able to develop measures and give unbiased opinions on issues of corporate development.

What are the goals in the further development of Trustventure?

We would like to build up a small but top-class consulting team that positions itself as a competent partner for financial issues in the venture capital industry. Within the next two to three years we will therefore continue to expand our team and at the same time consistently improve the quality of our consulting services. At the same time, we want to grow together with our clients and contribute to the sustainable success of these companies.

At Trustventure, we advise young companies on financial issues and offer CFO-As-A-Service. Our expertise in questions of corporate finance, planning and controlling creates transparency and security for you and your investors. Get in touch using our contact form or send us an email via office@trustventure.de.

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