"HOW TO USE" THE ARTHA PLATFORM

Introduction

The vision of the Artha Platform is to create a dynamic space and community for investors to connect and collaborate around due diligence in support of small and medium-sized social enterprises in India. The repository and 'space' we create is designed to help develop a network of trust, knowledge and learning with the explicit goal of reducing transaction costs of doing smaller transactions in the region.

The Artha platform is a "by invitation" only network; it provides an investor-centric document repository for deal info and due diligence. This means that investors have the prerogative to add other users, and lead investors drive the process of signaling interest, initiating diligence, and contracting with third parties contacted through the network.

User Types: Descriptions

  • Investors on the Artha platform are those that have been invited to participate in Artha via email and agree to the specified Terms of Use. Please refer to the Terms and Conditions for investor qualifications.
  • Enterprises are located in India and seek to maximize exposure to their enterprise may request access to Artha. Upon receiving an invitation to join, Enterprises will be prompted to agree to the Terms of Use. Once they have agreed to the Terms of Use, Enterprises may seek to showcase themselves as an investment opportunity within Artha by posting information about their financing requirements for their enterprise as described below
  • Third parties are local service providers in India that provide due diligence and capacity building services. Third Party Services Providers (TPSPs) will be given feedback on their performance in providing service toward the appraisal of any deal upon which they have been invited to work. These deals may be viewed on their profiles. TPSPs may bid on opportunities as they compete to do due diligence work for investors. Bidding entails participating in what is essentially a controlled 'open tender', submitting a standardized short proposal including offering, pricing, and timing to inquiring investors in need of local support for execution purposes. Investors may decide not to tender and retain third party services directly. They may also choose to complete their required diligence exercises in-house.

    TPSPs also have their own dashboard, and can only see the deals to which they have been invited to bid for provision of their services or to which they were retained. Under "MY DEALS", TPSPs are given access to the due diligence process (whether via winning bid or direct selection), and can also upload separate documents as part of their services.

  • Enterprise Support Organizations (ESOs) can use the platform to set up a profile and invite Enterprises to join Artha. ESOs will be invited to join Artha and access will be granted once they have agreed to the Terms of Service. As established in the Terms of Service, ESOs will not charge any compensation for their participation in Artha.

How Artha works

The following 4 user types are able to interact on a system that is designed to extract the essence of their competencies and role in the investment ecosystem.

There are four different kinds of users on the Artha Platform: investors, enterprise support organizations (i.e., frequently serving as deal source), third party service providers (i.e., small organizations whose business is to work on due diligence, business development, capacity support or a range of other strategic, operational and technical interventions), or enterprises. The value of Artha lies in the bridge it creates for the interaction between these various players; it is the connective tissue in a web of social capital that resides in every country context.

Password-protected functionality for Investors:

  • As a profile type, investors have the deepest and widest level of access across the site.
  • Investors can connect with other investors, as well as Enterprise Support Organizations, Third Party Service Providers, and Enterprises.
  • Once connected, investors may share their 'activity' stream with fellow investor contacts.
  • Investors are not visible to any other user type unless they choose to be. Automated connect requests are generated after an investor expresses an interest in moving from interest to due diligence action.
  • Work with a dashboard of options which encompasses a view on one's personal pipeline of interesting opportunities, access to the full Artha enterprise pipeline, access to an activity stream, as well as to all due diligence related and personal documents.

Registration for different user profiles:

  • For those who would like to receive an invitation and who are interested investors, Enterprise Support Organizations (ESOs), or 3rd party service providers in India, click here for a request.
  • If you are an enterprise in India you may complete a pre-registration form on the home page, and you will be contacted by Artha.
  • Once you are invited to register into the network, please fill out your profile and carefully read and accept the Terms of Service.

Growing your network:

  • One of the core benefits of involvement on Artha is to use it as a springboard from which to expand your network, or to consolidate professional relationships that have begun as passing acquaintances or one-off previous introductions. The main stakeholders in the system are able to connect to one another, thereby allowing one another access to respective user profiles and the activities each undertake. Investors are able to request to add any user type including peers, while enterprises, third parties and enterprise support organizations may only be connected if an investor decides to initiate a contact request first.

How Artha' Shared Due Diligence Works:

  • The Due Diligence ("DD") Process on Artha is depicted by the following graphic:

    which over time gets 'filled in' to look like this:

  • As investors move from stage to stage of the due diligence process, the line depicting progress in the appraisal process around investment darkens segment by segment. The fully-darkened circle means that an enterprise has been taken through the full diligence process and investment has been completed on an opportunity listed in the Artha Enterprise Pipeline.

    See the graphic below for further detail:

  • Investors can explore, search and filter opportunities in the main pipeline when they click on the ENTEPRISE PIPELINE tab behind the Dashboard of their user profile:

The role of Lead Investor:

  • Lead investors in Artha are in 'pole' position, and determine the 'how', 'what', and 'when' of any diligence process. They elect how to "set up" due diligence, how to design the template of questions (that amounts to their chosen appraisal process), whether to work by themselves, in conjunction with co-investors, with the management of the enterprise or with an external (local) third party service provider – or all of the above. Lead investors may also allocate or assign tasks to stakeholders at the virtual 'deal table', determine when diligence is complete, signal an intent to commit funds, or retract specific steps, removing players from the table as they deem appropriate. Lead investors may issue 'switch lead' requests to peer (co-)investors in the event that they no longer choose to sit at the helm of the process, for whatever reason.
  • The entire system is supported through a series of email notifications (note: to be further bolstered by integrated intra-system notifications) that automatically keep users in the loop by sending them important explanatory messages where action is required.

About the main Enterprise Pipeline

Opening the Artha Enterprise pipeline gives us a basic top level view on all listed opportunities, with search and filter features that cover the following criteria: sector, state/region, investment size, due diligence status, deal source, popularity, and investment type. The more granular view of each enterprise includes more detailed tabs containing critical information about the business (including elements such as its location, model, operations, competitive advantage, core product/service, etc.) as well as information related to finances and investment, management team and overall impact.

The typical Enterprise/SME Profile

  • The kind of deal information presented for each investment opportunity on Artha is comprised of a list of non-exhaustive factors including:

    Contact information
    Deal Information
    Deal Source/Reference
    Investment Requirement (USD)
    Business Summary
    Business Model
    Advisors
    Sector(s) of Focus
    Management Team
    Problem Being Solved
    Core Product/Service Offering
    Target Market
    Customers
    Preferred instrument (debt/equity)
    Financing Round
    Sales/Marketing Strategy
    Financial information
    Competitors
    Competitive Advantage
    Use of Funds
    Innovation
    Patents or Patent applications pending
    Proposed Use of Funds
    Previous Investors
    Intended Impact Outcomes
    Social impact Indicators

**These are an indicative set of fields that provide a snapshot of the Enterprise. Some of these fields are only viewable after one has established a connection.

Starting the Process on Artha:

Signaling interest

  • Investors may choose to signal (or later, remove) interest in a deal at their prerogative by clicking the "SHOW INTEREST" button, which simply includes an opportunity into the view of their "MY PROFILE". This signalling provides ease of access to the deal (effectively putting it on a 'personal watch list'), but does not generate connection requests or other consequences through the system. Peer investors who are "contacts" within the system can however see that one or the other is now 'interested' in something.

  • Once you have shown interest, you will see the following, allowing you to confirm your interest and determine whether you would like your interest to remain anonymous:

    Once one reaches the cusp of Stage 3 with Due Diligence underway, maintaining anonymity in the process is no longer an option.

  • If interest has been signaled and this has progressed to the beginning of due diligence or appraisal of any depth (Stage 2), future viewers of such a deal will see that a lead investor already exists and has initiated some level of activity around this opportunity. Access to the deal hereon is contingent upon one now making a co-investor request, and having that request accepted by the lead investor to share access to the opportunity, which in turn must act within a set period of time or lose the 'pole' position on the investment process.
  • In this scenario, one must thus click on "REQUEST ACCESS" to the deal. The first investor to signal interest in an enterprise is always considered the de facto 'lead' investor. A lead investor may retain this position for a maximum period of 21 days without taking a further step; an enterprise at the same time may request that they be removed from a particular investor's 'portfolio' of interest, by clicking on 'RELEASE INTEREST', thereby prompting the investor to do just that.

  • For as long as one is engaged on any level with an SME opportunity, it 'belongs' to his/her list of priority items on the user dashboard.

Due Diligence Set Up: Stage 1

  • After an expression of interest, the next time you click on the same opportunity now under the "MY PORTFOLIO" tab on your main user profile (as well as on your main Dashboard), you will be presented the following step: DUE DILIGENCE SETUP.

  • The first step in determining how to execute upon your due diligence requirements will require making these two critical decisions, otherwise known as DUE DILIGENCE SET UP:
    • Will you do the diligence yourself OR invite/appoint a third party or parties (selected on their own merit and already pre-invited into the Artha network)?
    • Do you choose to use the guided due diligence process on Artha that offers a modular, organized approach to apportioning specific tasks to specific parties 'at the investment table' OR do you choose to bypass the system-enabled screens and prefer to work offline, using your own offline templates/methods/process?

  • Regardless of your response to question 1, if you have elected to use the enabled version of due diligence on the platform, you will be prompted to enter Stage 2 (Due Diligence Design).
  • If you have also elected to work offline, you will skip Stages 2 (Due Diligence Design) and 3 (Due Diligence in Progress), and jump straight to Stage 4 (Due Diligence Completed). Here you simply have an opportunity to upload whatever materials you have received, created or amended to provide you the basis of your decision-making around this investment.

Due Diligence Design: Stage 2

  • This step entails taking an in-depth look, if you are so inclined, at the substance of the due diligence that you will be applying to the SME that you would like to get to know better. What elements of diligence in the investment process are most important to you? Which modules within the comprehensive default due diligence template would you like to keep, which would you delete?

  • Each diligence module contains a series of sub-questions, leaving the investor in a design phase to consider questions like: is this process of appraisal and diligence too light, too onerous or just right? All module sub-questions may also be customized to user preference.

    You must finalize your due diligence design to make your way through Stage 2. This is a way of organizing and creating a clear structure for what you want to achieve by way of information gathering and synthesis. Fortunately, doing this once, if you so choose, is sufficient for supporting repeated use of the same saved template on future transactions. Investors may choose to apply the same or different due diligence processes every time, on a case by case basis.

    • If in Step 1 above in the Setup phase you elected to work in-house, your work in Stage 2 with the diligence design process is at this point complete, and you simply move through the system to Stage 3, where the substance and process of the information gathering is enabled.
    • If however in Step 1 above in the Setup phase you elected to tender the due diligence process through the Artha system, you have a number of further small steps to take before the beginning of your actual work on the diligence.

Stage 2 subset: Third party tender and bid process

  • Issuing a 'tender' or request for support in the process of an investment transaction requires the investor to specify broadly what he/she is looking for, followed by a selection of who should receive this 'request', which appears as an automated email notification in the email inboxes of those selected.

  • It is possible to select one, some or all of the third parties listed as per investor preference.

  • Once a tender has been submitted, the following pop up appears:

  • Third parties, upon receiving a notification prompting them to respond, will also see the number of tenders for which they are eligible to bid prominently displayed on their dashboard.

  • They may then view the bid request, by clicking on the following tab:

  • … and choose to reply at their prerogative. This is equivalent to the submission of a mini-proposal that contains basic standardized bid parameters (i.e., what we do, why pick us?, core competencies, proposed time frame, price and resources offered) for all bidding parties.

  • Third parties may submit a bid, and go back to amend it later on for re-submission if they wish. Amendments are possible until such time that a bid is accepted. All bids are decided upon by lead investors only.

  • Investors, simultaneous to the submission of a bid by a third party, receive in their inboxes a notification that someone has bid upon their tender, and are then tasked with the decision of selecting the one or multiple third parties they would like to contract with in the process of diligence.

  • As mentioned in the pop-up above, all contracting with such third parties and money transfers associated with this step must occur offline and outside of the Artha system.
  • More than one entity may be selected and contracted with on a single 'diligence' or investment appraisal process, and a single tender process can be expanded by clicking on the "INVITE OTHERS" tab if desired inputs are not received:

  • At the same time it is worth nothing that additional third parties may still be added to the the 'table' even after the formal process of the tender and the diligence has begun. Please note that one cannot run simultaneous third party service tenders in parallel on a single transaction, by clicking on the following button at the bottom of the main assignment page in Stage 3:

Stage 3: Due Diligence in Progress

  • Once the setup and design phases (including decisions around selection of third party service providers, if applicable) are complete, the Due diligence process is officially underway at Stage 3.

  • The Due Diligence in Progress screen is comprised of two key tabs:
    • Assignment: a shortlist of all stakeholders (may be comprised of a cross-section of different user types that will always include at least one investor and the enterprise itself), to which various diligence tasks (i.e., modules) may be assigned. From this page, additional third party service providers may be invited to the process as necessary. It is important to note that all due diligence elements need to be assigned in order for the fields in the due diligence form to be activated and ready to be completed.

      • The lead investor must assign Due Diligence modules and tasks to be allocated to the users involved on this deal. Modules must be assigned in order for them to be accessible for the due diligence process (note: for lead investors, this is true even for yourself).

      • When you see a module letter and a number next to it i.e. C(3), this refers to the specific Due Diligence module letter, followed by the number of questions each user is asked to address. Lead investors may review all Diligence categories and adjust/modify them by clicking on "Assign/Modify Permissions.

    • Due Diligence Form: the actual selected (possibly customized) diligence template around which the lead investor will be managing the appraisal process and workflow. The substance of diligence on any enterprise that is being examined through the system resides here.

  • From the Assignment page, an investor may click on 'message' to communicate directly with others at the 'deal table', and "ASSIGN PERMISSIONS" when they are ready to allocate specific modules to specific users. This can be done using the 'key' that helps remind one working on the screen which module letter stands for which due diligence topic area. Information 'assignments' are thus allocated by the investor to parties at the table, with options to turn specific questions and areas of research to the SME and specific questions to the contracted third parties involved.

  • From this point onwards, it is also possible to revert and MODIFY QUESTIONS, as deemed necessary through the course of the process. This allows access to documents uploaded on the due diligence process to designated parties through the PERMISSION button.

  • For all documents related to due diligence on an enterprise, please note that any files uploaded will be private and viewable only by the investor user, by default. Should one wish for fellow investors and third parties at the 'deal table' to have access to these uploads related to due diligence, click on PERMISSION and adjust access settings as per your preference.

Investor Prerogative: Switch Lead

A lead investor, through Stage 3, may choose to ‘switch lead’ and assign the task of leadership to a fellow co-investor who has also signaled interest in the SME, and who is seated at the virtual ‘deal table’.

Switch lead is triggered at any moment that an investor proactively seeks it out, but also at any point where a lead investor withdraws interest, cancels due diligence as a process, or backtracks significantly from progress made to date. In these instances, lead investors are always presented with the option to ‘pass the torch’ of leadership to one of the other co-investors in their midst. Plenty of messaging capability through and around the system allows users to make these determinations amongst themselves.

Stage 4: Due Diligence Completed

Just as one decides to close out Due diligence, the following pop up is one to consider:

  • Once the assigned modules for Due Diligence are completed by all the parties involved on the Due Diligence Form on the "In Progress" page, email and system notifications communicate this achievement to investors, and a lead investor is then prompted to confirm to everyone at the virtual deal table that diligence as a process is now complete. Please see the following graphic:

    This is further confirmed by the following, a visualization of the Due Diligence Process now at STAGE 4 on dashboards, as follows:

  • Investors then have a choice in terms of how they choose to signal their next steps to those at the table, and by extension to those who are in their contacts who can view the status of their active portfolio.
    • A symbolic 'investment commitment' is requested of the investor, with an indicative sum that can give the SME a sense of at what level this investor may commit.
    • Should an investor choose not to proceed, there is a field available to furnish a rationale or reason for this position, as a means of providing constructive feedback to the enterprise.
    • All actual investment transactions shall take place offline.

Automated email and system notifications are sent to let all parties at the table know the status of discussions at this and at every stage. It is possible to revert to previous phases or cancel action in the diligence process at any time.

All discussions around negotiation of the investment itself and its structure occur offline and outside of the Artha system. Thus, the signal of a commitment on the platform is purely indicative, and can happen whether before or after this negotiation has occurred, at the preference of the investor.

Stage 5: How to achieve investment completion

  • It is necessary for the enterprise on Artha to actually confirm that an investment has been completed, before such investment is shown as 'complete' on the system on the back of an investor's commitment. As co-investors follow suit and signal their respective decisions on an opportunity, again it is for the Enterprise to confirm receipt of funds on an independent (and not consolidated) basis in order to help shift the due diligence process through to its final stage.

  • When Stage 5 is achieved, the following graphic appears:

  • Once finalized, the Enterprise pipeline shows a fully completed due diligence and investment process symbol, and one has the option to (re)view these completed tasks at any time. Re-launching an SME back into the pipeline for a subsequent round of investment is possible, and is an option at the preference of the management of the enterprise.

Helpful Tips:

Registeration:

Q: I would like to join Artha. What should I do?
A: Artha is a by invite-only network designed to enable those who are dedicated to moving investment capital to small and medium sized enterprises in India. If you are interested in finding out more, please email info@arthaplatform.com with an introduction and executive summary indicating your identity and areas of interest. You will then be contacted to determine whether an invitation is appropriate.

Q: I have an invitation email, what next?
A: Your registration email contains the unique link you need to register. Click on the link and you will be taken to the registration page. Each registration page is generated uniquely for each User. Don't send it on as it won't work for anyone else.

Q: I think I have been sent an invitation, but I do not have it in my inbox.
A: It's possible that your invitation has been caught in your junk mail or spam folder, or you may have missed it. Do a search for an email titled "Artha invitation". If you don't have it, please contact us.

Registering as an Investor

Q: I would like to join Artha. What should I do?
A: Artha is a by invite-only network designed to enable those who are dedicated to moving investment capital to small and medium sized enterprises in India. If you are interested in finding out more, please email info@arthaplatform.com with an introduction and executive summary indicating your identity and areas of interest. You will then be contacted to determine whether an invitation is appropriate.

Q: I have an invitation email, what next?
A: Your registration email contains the unique link you need to register. Click on the link and you will be taken to the registration page. Each registration page is generated uniquely for each User. Don't send it on as it won't work for anyone else.

Q: I think I have been sent an invitation, but I do not have it in my inbox.
A: It's possible that your invitation has been caught in your junk mail or spam folder, or you may have missed it. Do a search for an email titled "Artha invitation". If you don't have it, please contact us.

Registering as a 3rd Party

Q: I would like to join Artha. What should I do?
A: Artha is a by invite-only network designed to enable those who are dedicated to moving investment capital to small and medium sized enterprises in India. If you are interested in finding out more, please email info@arthaplatform.com with an introduction and executive summary indicating your identity and areas of interest. You will then be contacted to determine whether an invitation is appropriate.

Q: I think I have been sent an invitation, but I do not have it in my inbox.
A: It's possible that your invitation has been caught in your junk mail or spam folder, or you may have missed it. Do a search for an email titled "Artha invitation". If you don't have it, please contact us.

Q: Someone sent me the registration link, but it doesn't work.
A: If you have received an invitation link from anyone other than the site administrator, it will not work. Each link is unique and only the correct invitation can be issued by the administrator. Please contact us to get your own link.

Q: I'm clicking on the link, but it doesn't take me to the registration page.
A: Some email clients, such as Outlook or Thunderbird do not correctly make the whole link a hyperlink. In this case, please copy and paste the entire link into your browser address bar and hit return.

Logging in

Q: I can't find the 'add contact' button?

A: Some users do not have privileges to add other users as a contact. In particular, system-wide access to investors is restricted. Once an investor does show interest and a willingness to initiate diligence on an opportunity, an automatic contact request is extended connecting investor and SME. One this occurs, the channel of communication is open. Before this, Enterprises are not able to make the first step, other than through the use of 'Live Pitch'. Users may add contacts on the Network tab.

Q: How do I access the Artha pipeline?
A: From your dashboard that is visible when you log in, click on "ENTERPRISE PIPELINE".

Q: What is 'Live Pitch'?
A: Artha provides the opportunity to 'pitch' oneself (not unlike launching an online advert) to investors in this closed, curated virtual setting. SME and Third Party users have the option to use this tool, which sits on user Dashboards, allowing both to create a short amount of content (including text and graphic) which is then featured in turn on the Dashboard of Investors in the network. The goal here is to provide more dynamism in the community.

Q: How does the Artha due diligence process work?
A: Please, see section entitled "How Artha' Shared Due Diligence Works"

Q: If I start a due diligence process, am I locked into any specific commitment?
A: Artha is designed for flexibility; all steps taken can be cancelled, although repercussions associated with entering a contact (offline) with a third party service provider, for example, are the kind of thing one should be careful about. IIC and Artha takes no responsibility for contracts closed or broken at any level of the due diligence / investment appraisal process.

Q: What if I can see myself on the platform as both an ESO and a Third Party?
A: There are no restrictions to establishing multiple user profiles on Artha, although it is not possible to tie two different user profiles to the same email account. Please contact us if you would like to discuss receiving more than one invitation link.

Q: How can I send messages?
A: Artha has a built-in message center allowing you to keep all of your correspondence in one place within the system. Once you are a contact with a user, you can navigate to your message center from your dashboard and compose messages. You can select any of your contacts to write to, and you may also write to groups.

Q: Who can see my profile?
A: If you are an investor, only other investors can connect with you, although your top level general profile is visible to other investors within Artha. If you are an enterprise support organization (ESO) or 3rd party service provider aiming to offer due diligence, capacity building or enterprise incubation services to the Artha community, your profile is open to all registrants in the network. If you are an SME entrepreneur, all other user types including investors can see your limited 'high level' user profile while other 'competing' enterprises and Artha investees cannot.

Uploading content

Q: How do I upload documents, videos and images?

A: Once logged in, click on Documents on your Dashboard. Then, select 'Upload Document' alongside the title for each of the media containers and enter the information requested.

Q: Who can see the documents I upload?
A: All documents uploaded to the platform are made private by default. Once uploaded, users may determine who can view the documents by clicking on the button "Permission" next to the user's name. The document will accordingly be made visible for access/download on the appropriate profile or project page.

Q: How long does it take to upload?
A: Uploading content depends on many factors such as the file type and size, your location and your Internet connection. As a general rule, please allow 1-5 minutes per MB, sometimes more if you have a slow Internet connection.

Q: What file type can I upload?
A: We accept many types of files. Some of the video files we accept are .mov, .avi, .mp4, .wmv, .flv. Image files are .jpg, .gif, .bmp. Document files accepted are .pdf, .doc, .xls, .ppt as well as .docx, .xlsx and .pptx.

Q: Are there any restrictions regarding the content of the uploaded files?
A: Yes. The content of the uploaded files must only contain information relevant for the due diligence process. For further information, please see our Terms & Conditions.

Q: My video doesn't play.
A: Once you have uploaded a video, it may take a few minutes for the video to finalize. We need to transcode it to a format usable on the Internet so please be patient. If it is still not working after 5 minutes, your upload may have had an error, such as a small loss of connection during upload. Please try again or contact us.