TECHNOLOGY DUE DILIGENCE
Eliminate assumptions. Ask the right questions. Test all theories.
Mergers & Acquisitions Due Diligence
A buyer of technology companies must ask hard questions to ensure the long-term success of the new relationship. Beyond the business questions of portfolio fit and co-marketing, there are many technical questions to consider. The acquisition target may use a very different technology stack implemented on a different platform provider, and even more importantly, may have a different software development culture. Is the code extensible, modular, and scalable? Is it easy to maintain? Well documented? Using licensed 3rd party software? Is it secure? Are there security threats posed by 3rd party software? The list of questions is long, and the answers are not easy to ascertain and communicate.
Investment Due Diligence
Startup investment, especially at the early stage, is less about the technology, and more about the business potential of the company. At the same time, the technology questions should not be ignored. Many startups, including some big names, like Netscape, have stumbled and failed due to technical issues. The wrong technical direction, poor technology culture, and an inadequate technical team can all spell disaster.
Hyperbole about technical capabilities is common for companies looking for capital, and investors can avoid losses by verifying these claims. Is that machine learning really there? Is it used strategically? Is it appropriate for the problem? We can help analyze the technology stack and explain our analysis to non-technical investors in a clear and concise way.
Senior executives and investors alike wonder about the health and technical debt of an engineering organization. At the same time, they might wonder if the internal team is able to see the situation in an objective way. Outside experts bring tremendous value by analyzing all existing systems, and also by comparing and contrasting them to those of other organizations — something that internal teams are unable to see.
Audits are also useful before starting a new development push, in order to take inventory of existing infrastructure and evaluate whether the current setup is the right one going forward. Our experts have experience at companies like Google, Facebook, Deloitte, and other leading institutions, and bring decades of experience to technology audit engagements.
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Machine Learning Diligence for Startup Acquisition
The maker of a large open-source CMS was considering acquiring an analytics platform and enlisted our help to conduct a thorough evaluation of the target’s technology stack. We analyzed the target’s machine learning stack to see what existing libraries and methodologies they make use of and what innovations were developed in-house. We looked for synergies between the two companies’ offerings and made recommendations on future machine learning applications and features. In addition, we analyzed the target’s open-source software exposure to copyleft licenses and cybersecurity vulnerability. We reviewed the software stack for scalability, extensibility, proper design principles, maintainability, evaluated their documentation and software development life cycle practices. The target was acquired shortly after we submitted our report.
Software Architecture Diligence for Acquisition
A large logistics marketplace was considering acquiring a startup in the less-than-full-truckload shared container orchestration space. The parties entrusted our team to be the trusted third party to examine the acquisition target’s technology, software architecture, and open-source exposure to licensing issues and cybersecurity threats. Based on our work, the acquisition closed soon after we submitted our report.
About Sidespin Group
Sidespin Group provides software experts for litigation support, technology commercialization, investment due diligence, technology strategy, and general software analysis services in a range of specializations, including in the areas of machine learning, telecommunications, and smartphones.