Customer Success Stories | Honest Ventures

Customer Stories | Honest Ventures 🔩

Honest Ventures is a Venture Capital firm in Korea operated by four partners- two CEOs from Korea Investment Partners and two vice presidents with more than 20 years of investment experience.

The famous quote “honesty is always the best policy” by George Washington in 1796 is the philosophy behind Honest Ventures, who strives to be an “honest” investment firm for both its portfolio companies and investors. The firm started using QuotaBook from October 2020 to streamline its post-investment management process, especially to centralize how it tracks growth of portfolios.

Complexity in documentation and communication grows together with the increase in the number of portfolios, creating too much workload for managers to handle one by one. Jinkyung Lee from Honest Ventures’ management team met with our customer success team, and shared her personal experience with QuotaBook, and how she is utilizing it to simplify her work.

Honest Ventures is using Quotabook to streamline business updates from portfolio firms, and the general post-investment management process

QuotaBook (Q): Hi! Could you briefly tell our readers about your role at Honest Ventures?

Jinkyung (J): Sure. I’m currently managing our investments and internal operation related tasks such as writing proposals, setting up funds, managing post-investment portfolio firms and so on.

Q: How did you join Honest Ventures?

J: I used to work at a startup as a business support manager and got introduced by someone to Honest. I decided to join because I saw the vision of the industry and the team’s expertise in managing investments.

Q: What would you say is the most rewarding part of your job?

J: I’m super thrilled whenever Honest Ventures is chosen as a General Partner for a fund based on the proposal I wrote or when I come across news about our portfolio startups receiving follow-on investments or going public.

Honest Ventures decided to implement Quotabook to deal with challenges of fund management and portfolio firms management

Q: How’s the team culture in Honest Ventures?

J: Before joining, I was worried that the culture here might be a little different from my previous jobs at startups and accelerators. Thankfully, Honest is more flexible than I expected. We have casual dress codes, can work from home, and have flexible working hours. Most recently, we also implemented an e-signature process for internal workflows, so there’s many attempts being made company-wide for efficiency.

Another culture I like at Honest is that everyone is responsible for what they do. We often hear about senior partners requesting juniors or even other teams for manual and complex documentation tasks, but Honest is different. Even the partners are handling every detail and checking up with portfolios personally.

Q: What are Honest’s strengths and differentiating factors?

J: I remember once our Vice President compared us to a dish (to be specific, Bibimbap, a famous Korean dish where you mix rice with veggies and sauce). Simply put, we are a team of specialists grouped together creating synergy just like a dish with great ingredients. There are four partners in our firm and each one of them has more than 20 years of experience in the VC field. Also, our two associates specialize investments in their own sectors of interests, bringing performance together.

Jinkyung, manager of Honest Ventures, is using Quotabook to facilitate and simply communication to receive and update shareholder’s list and buisness reports

Q: What are Honest’s target sectors?

J: We mostly invest in ICT manufacturing, service, and biological healthcare sectors.

Q: What kind of VC does Honest want to become?

J: It would be best if we can discover startups with great potentials early on, grow together with them and ultimately, become a VC trusted by our LPs as well. Trying our best to earn this trust as we speak.

Jinkyung explaining a great advantage of using Quotabook, which is that VCs and startups can handle everything in one single platform such as managing shareholders list and meetings, employee incentive plans, business reports and e-voting, streamlining post-investment management

Q: It was last year when Honest decided to use QuotaBook. What kind of challenges were you going through at the time?

J: The number of portfolios is constantly increasing with more funds we manage, and currently we have about 60 to 70 startups. It naturally became overwhelming and difficult to deal with the post-investment management.

We came across QuotaBook while searching for a service to support our work as well as our startups’. When we go through deals, we come across many startups that face difficulties preparing documents or setting up processes for funding, so I thought QuotaBook can help out. One great advantage of using QuotaBook is that startups can handle complex procedures and documents in one single platform, starting from shareholders list and meetings to employee incentive plans, business reports and even e-votings.

Jinkyung explaining the Business Reports function of Quotabook, which can standardize the formats of business reports from portfolio firms

Q: What did you expect the most out of QuotaBook when you first decided to implement it?

J: Back and forth communication to receive and update shareholders list or reports was the most time consuming part of my work, so I was really hoping that QuotaBook could help.

Q: Is there a particular feature that you find most convenient?

J: I was definitely looking forward to the ‘Business Reports’ feature that I just mentioned.

Business Reports through Quotabook makes it possible to manage business reports from all the portfolio firms on a single page

Q: Can you tell us more about how QuotaBook helped out with your work?

J: The whole process of requesting business updates from our portfolios became much simpler. I used to copy and paste each and every email address of our startups for business updates but now, I can just click ‘bulk request’ directly on QuotaBook.

I can also bulk download the attached files. Before, I would open every single email to download the attachments. Not to mention the frustration of renaming files if the original formats are somehow different from the requirement. Now we can simply pre-set the template and file name from the beginning, so the formats would be automatically standardized.

Quotabook helps the documents like business reports to be formatted consistently according to the needs of Venture Capitals, significantly streamlining the post-investment managementRequesting business reports to all portfolio firms at once through Quotabook, simplifying post-investment managementSetting templates and formats of business reports for portfolio firms can streamline and simplify post-investment management process

Q: As a person who has experience managing businesses in a startup, an accelerator and even a VC here at Honest, what are some common pain points in the startup field?

J: I think it all comes down to how we communicate to request, share and receive data. We rarely receive what we requested at one go, so we would follow-up to get everything we need. This whole process is tiring for both the investors and startups.

Having been on the side of preparing and sharing the data, I personally understand that it’s not simple, especially for a startup that raised funds from multiple investors. It’s hard to respond to every email asking for data in different formats even if you’re dealing with the same piece of information.

Jinkyung, the manager of Honest Ventures, is communicating with the portfolio firms through Quotabook by receiving standardized business reports

I believe such communication costs can be greatly reduced by using QuotaBook and hope many more startups and investors will adopt the platform to facilitate overall communication 😀.

Once again, a big thank you to Jinkyung for kindly sharing her experiences. Just like her last comment, QuotaBook looks forward to helping out more founders and investors around the globe simplify equity management!

Make equity simple with QuotaBook - QuotaBook is a SaaS-based equity management solution for both Startups and Venture Capital funds. Startups and VCs can sync crucial equity-related data such as cap tables, employee stock options as well as investor updates on our platform so that every stakeholder can communicate through a single source of truth. QuotaBook is the No. 1 equity management software for startups in Korea, trusted by 2000+ startups & VCs and backed by more than 20 VC funds.