Stephen Chandler, Managing Partner at Notion Capital, discusses our approach.
These are difficult and unsettling times for all and our thoughts are with those affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
In terms of our own business, we have implemented a work from home policy and stopped all non-essential travel in line with current guidance. The team remains in good spirits and productivity is high which is a testament to their quality and resilience.
As for new investments, we are open for business and continue to review proposals and e-meet entrepreneurs. The bar is high and we will obviously assess plans and projections in the light of a more cautious economic outlook, but the fundamentals of our market remains strong and difficult market conditions present opportunities as well as challenges.
As regards the existing portfolio, we have reached out to all our companies to offer support and assistance where we can. This includes shared learnings on how people are dealing with the crisis. (Unsurprisingly, the best leaders are on the front foot and dealing with issues proactively.) We have asked all companies to revisit their plans and projections in the light of market conditions and seek to maximise cash runway where possible in anticipation of a tougher sales and funding environment. Those with debt obligations have been asked to engage with their providers early and transparently to explore options. Some of our companies (e.g. those serving the hotels and recruitment sectors) are more profoundly impacted than others though all are experiencing challenges, just like all quarters of our society. Much of the Notion team has been through bear markets before both in 2001 and 2008 so “know the drill” and will rise to the challenge.
One positive light in these dark days is that there can be few greater endorsements of our strategy and investment thesis than what we see happening all around us today. It is SaaS software delivered from the Cloud that is enabling and empowering the workforce to deal with these challenges and continue in their working lives despite social distancing and isolation: SaaS that powers our calls and our e-meetings; SaaS that gives us use of business applications and access to essential data from home; and SaaS which helps minimize direct contact and transmission through electronic invoicing, booking and commerce. We remain supremely confident in the human spirit to get through this and come out of it stronger.