Today, in our interview session we have Francesco Caracuta from Imprima.
Francesco is the Commercial Director for Southern Europe at Imprima, the London-based international global SaaS provider for Due Diligence, Asset Management and Document Sharing.
We invite you all to read the interview, Francesco has given a lot of insights on how Imprima helps corporates with their privacy needs.
Hi Francesco, tell us something about you and about your professional experience
I have almost 20 years of experience in the Technology sector and in my career, I mainly worked for American companies. In 2002 I started to work for NETiQ a software company that supplied application management and security software, Progress Software managing the Southern Regions selling solution for Mainframes, Oracle where I worked for the Italian and UK market. Now, I oversee Sales for Southern European market at Imprima for the last five years. I am very passionate about technology in general and I am excited to learn about AI, machine learning and robotics’ trends which will reinvent our lives and jobs. I find very fascinating being able to live in an era that was unimaginable only 30 years ago, something that we would only read about in the fantasy books.
How would you describe Imprima to a kid?
If you need to sell your company or help others to sell theirs, you need a safe and secure place to show potential buyers what they are about to buy. It needs to be safe and secure because there will be lots of confidential information that potential buyers want to see. You will only want to share information about your company with certain people and you need complete control of how they see and use that information. Potential buyers want to know how a company is performing and what its potential is, so they can come up with the price they are prepared to pay.
Imprima builds and manages these safe spaces online, they are called virtual data rooms. Potential buyers, login into the virtual data room to review all confidential documents and ask questions about your business – that’s called due diligence, and it’s part of any merger or acquisition process.
Who is the intended audience of Imprima?
Of course, the end users of our services would be large and small corporates but also investment banks, legal advisors, real estate companies or anybody that has a huge amount of structured and unstructured data, would be in our audience.
What is a Virtual Data Room and how it works?
A virtual data room is a virtual space that helps to manage confidential data and documents during M&A transactions, IPOs, restructuring or asset management. Virtual data rooms contain up-to-date legal and financial information needed for due diligence. This information is crucial to potential buyers and bidders, who use the data room to access this confidential data fast and securely. For those who aren’t familiar with the process, virtual data rooms replace the old physical procedure when people involved in a M&A transaction for example, had to travel to see the company’s documents.
What are the main differences between UK and the Med countries for these types of services?
Despite the latest fear of Brexit, that in my opinion is an excuse to push the banking and financial systems’ reforms, UK economy is more dynamic than the rest of the European countries, except for Germany. A liberal approach to business and little Government’s involvement in the economy makes simpler for an investor buying and selling an asset in the UK than in any other European country. In the UK, as corporates are bigger and deals are larger and more structured, virtual data room is seen more as a commodity so we mainly interact with financial and legal advisors, while in Southern Europe is more about trust. We speak directly with the entrepreneurs as many of them have never used any virtual data rooms or they want to be on top of anything happen in the due diligence. I remember a time when an entrepreneur owning a multi billions of euro company wanted to be the only point of contact as he was worried of his employees’ reaction knowing that he was selling the company. In terms of technology, in UK as in USA, corporates and law firms are ready to deploy Artificial Intelligence while the rest of Europe is still too conservative about this new trend. The impact of AI on law firms, for example, will be immense. Personally, I don’t think AI will completely replace the role of a solicitor, I think instead their role will evolve and perhaps require some technical skills.
With whom would you like to build a partnership with?
Imprima has already several key strategic partnerships in place with investment banks, law firms, real estate advisors, universities & large corporations.
These partnerships range from R&D activities through to white label solutions – these relationships allow us to build and deliver bespoke and innovation solutions to our target markets.
Any insight on what you'll develop during 2019?
It’s not a news that technology is focusing on big data (structured and unstructured) machines learning and activities like analysis, data creation, capture, search, storage, sharing, visualization, transfer, query and information for privacy are a real challenge for all corporates. We’ve spent a long time exploring other ways that can ease and support due diligence processes in organisations. By supporting them we mean simplify and speed up what are historically painful or time-consuming processes that are a part of due diligence. A result of this development is new software we’ve built that’s fuelled by AI – Imprima AIR. Imprima AIR helps businesses find certain documentation very quickly, automatically categorises and stores documents effectively and makes redaction simple. In testing with clients we’ve seen due diligence tasks dramatically reduced in terms of time and money required. We are also working on another AI products that will soon be on the market but now it’s still top secret.
Thanks Francesco, cheers!