David Newman, COO and co-founder of the private asset platform provider Delio, says access to legal advice and commercial counsel provided by participation in AG Elevate has helped his business prepare for an ambitious growth programme.
Compliance, contracts, and access to a range of legal services are all critical to early-stage firms, but can pose a challenge when cashflow is a matter of life and death. Less common, says David, is for start-ups to see lawyers as strategic business advisers.
He explains: “The biggest benefit of Delio being selected in the 2017 AG Elevate cohort has been in the face-to-face time we have had with the partners. The ability to sit down with lawyers and have a legal sounding board has given us the opportunity to think about broader strategic aims in a completely different way. The Elevate scheme has given us the chance to consider how we grow, and even how we approach our business model.”
Delio helps a wide range of organisations connect ultra- and high net worth and family office capital with private investment opportunities to enhance their offering. Delio does this through a series of interlinked white labelled digital platforms and launched its initial version of the solution in May 2016.
Delio was one of seven successful Fintech firms selected to join the first cohort. It was joined by Comply Advantage, Mespo, Money Fellows, Pace Invoice, Penta, and Valoot.
Now Delio is looking to use the benefits of the Elevate programme to grow and build its business.
David says: “We’re currently mid-negotiation on a strategic partnership which is a great example of where the commercial and legal acumen of the Addleshaw Goddard team is invaluable – we’re much better-appraised of what we’re committing to, and we’re going into it with our eyes open. That’s the real benefit to us of an initiative like this.
“We’re also looking at how we can evolve our business model to provide our clients more regulatory support. That needs very careful handling from a legal perspective and has a range of implications for how we operate in future. Having the Addleshaw Goddard team to work through the issues with is of immense value to us and gives our clients the confidence they demand.”
David points to other benefits to the scheme beyond the core support, not least of which is the credibility and recognition of working with an international law firm.
He offers advice for other start-ups in the position his firm were in last year: “Entrepreneurship is not all about taking a risk and jumping in head-first. We took our time in developing our solution in close partnership with our clients, which has been hugely beneficial in securing some excellent cornerstone contracts in our first year.
“Addleshaw Goddard has helped us build a platform for growth which will allow us to capitalise on these early successes, and we now have an exciting trajectory over the coming months and years that we are better equipped to execute on.”