Private Project Companies
Facilitated by Ardent Partners
Where Ardent and/or any of its partners and/or associates become involved in the funding and/or providing of services to a project client, we are dedicated to its commercialised success as if the project was ours. We do not micro-manage our project clients or perform their projects “daily business operations”.
Within this website you will see a list of documents, criteria, a funding brief and further information on who we are, what we do and how we do it. It is absolutely critical that you’re prepared. This effectively means that you have on hand the documents we need in order to at least make an early assessment. An Executive Summary will be requested upfront. From this document we can specify whether we’re potentially interested in your project.
It is not enough to simply have an idea. We need to see that a credible team have conducted initial tests, gathered supporting evidence, have an idea who their target market is and have correctly correlated that data with a discount into a financial forecast. A project proposal for funding that is weak will indicate a lack of required skill within the project team.
If we accept your project, we commit a lot of time and expense to ensuring accuracy and success, therefore achieving acceptance is a significant achievement and means you have a high likelihood of receiving a funding contract upon completion. Please see the “Documents” section for more information.
- CAPITAL: Please present an accurate account of capital spent to date (on a monthly basis), per year in simple form with a sum total; and specify the parties that have provided that capital, the basis and the terms E.g. “Xname lent $X as a loan for two years at ten percent as of X date” or “Xname become a %X shareholder at $X p/share on X date”. This gives us an indication of your current ownership and debt position.
- ACHIEVEMENTS: Please specify what you have achieved to date in a milestone / timeline format; and reference (provide in addition copies) any relevant material I.e. news articles, agreements, photos. This gives us an indication of your progress to date.
- PLANS: Please begin with an Executive Summary. All further interaction, documentation etc. will follow per the below “Example Timeline” and information otherwise expressed in the “Documents” section of this website.
- INNOVATION: Your proposed project company must be innovative. We do not fund businesses who exist to produce another version of an existing product or perform services that are otherwise already provided by other companies unless a Client is engaging us for Project Management or general services only.
Equity Investment: Where we assess and contract, advise and support, introduce and promote your project amongst venture capital and private equity interests, beginning with our Associates and Partners. These types of deals represent 95% of our work. There are set standard terms and negotiable terms. In all cases, the investor will take an equity stake in the project. In most cases Ardent will be contracted to perform Project Management, although the project may otherwise employ this task directly. The investor and sometimes Ardent, as shareholders, will hold seats on the project company’s Board to assist in the direction and monitoring of the project and/or project company. This is added value in addition to the capital invested, where those parties involved contribute to the successful business long term.
Entrepreneurial Investment: (pending) Currently in concept, we’ve come to realise that sometimes it’s people we need to back, not just organisations. Sometimes it takes one person to assemble a team before there is a project to present or a project company to equity invest in. We are currently seeking opinions from various entrepreneurs and forming a path, the scope, a set of criteria and a set of terms that may facilitate a new way of thinking with respect to how we may make more meaningful investments with long term success in people. Naturally, this type of investment would present a variance of unchartered challenges to navigate.
Lending or Finance: We do not currently offer lending or finance options, we’re not licensed to lend money. This may become an option in the future. In the meantime, should any of our clients seek finance for a project, we are able to make referrals and/or suggest who they may enquire with to meet their needs.
With respect to “Project Funding” we’ve a list of industries that we will support. However, we’re open to projects in any industry providing they meet the overall criteria specified within this section. Therefore, we’ve taken an alternative approach here and have listed some project functions as may be applied to any industry.
- Environmental benefits: Clean, green, environmentally friendly, pollution reduction solutions.
- Technological benefits: R&D (results proven), biotech, biofuel, organics, health.
- Economic benefits: Local employment, job training, incentives, higher than industry index wages.
- Innovative: New methods, new solutions to existing problems, potential solutions to a foreseen future problem.
- Unique attributes: Features, functions and abilities. Otherwise, unique sales propositions (reasons to buy) and competitive analysis.
- Sustainability: The ability to build and maintain profit, and sustain market value. Note: “Value” tab elaborates.
- Supply chain: A focus on obtaining, manufacturing and/or delivering a quality product/result and effectively assessing risk.
- Intangible assets: Can the project brand be trademarked. Can the projects developments be patented.
Project Capital Requirements: We will look to support projects that seek anywhere from USD$1 million upwards. We are not the funder or the Fund. Ardent support a project for funding via two traditional means:
- Intermediary. We have a strong and reciprocal, contractual relationship with our Associates. One of our relationship responsibilities includes the assessment of projects for Aegis Porter (UAE). We are confident in achieving funding for the project clients we support.
- Introduction. We have relationships with parties that actively seek investment opportunities, whether as a Fund, a Venture Capital or Private Equity firm. In addition to this, parties may be individual or groups of angels or an association / network that is licensed to provide offers to their registered users.
Project Capital Outlook: All approved funding is arranged into “drawdown schedules” that enable us to monitor the project company’s use of funds in stages or phases. This is to ensure budgets are kept and maintained, the opportunity for misappropriation is minimised and the teams continue to communicate and work diligently to achieve results. The total agreed sum and the value of each tranche will depend on the projects financial forecast, all relevant documents and ongoing discussions; this is also where prudent shareholders Board seat arrangements and relationships can strengthen and advantage the project long term.
Valuations: Officially conducted annually in most cases, and combined with monthly plotting of key fiscal data, a projects trajectory can assist in estimating sustainability, market risks and opportunities. It also helps the funder to know when they may expect a dividend from profitability.
Research and Development: We do not currently fund R&D. There are typically a range of Government funding programs to support such ventures. See “Resources”.
Pre Start-up: We’re listening and conceptualising an Entrepreneurial investment program. It’s currently in development and not yet available.
Start-up, ready to pitch: We are happy to provide an initial assessment to determine whether your project meets our criteria, avoids any current project conflicts of interest and holds a level of potential (team, market, profitability, competitor analysis, risk analysis etc) required for funder interest. A client may otherwise contract us to assist them in becoming pitch ready; some projects would benefit from applied Project Management methodology i.e. in testing and recording bona fide results.
SME, operating, needs expansion: This category can be the most challenging, especially if a project company was kicked off without applying proper Project Management to its planning, execution, monitoring and controlling. Active businesses oftentimes need to continue operating whilst preparing to change direction. They may have a mix of suitable and less suitable staff. However, we’re happy to assess and look to identify and propose solutions to achieve expansion objectives.
Any size enterprise, operating, wants to launch a project: Such companies would ordinarily contract us to Project Manage the project. Although, as relevant to this section (funding) the project company may not have the necessary funds to launch and sustain the projects efforts over time. Normally the best avenue for this is finance. However, if the project company wishes to structure an equity position that may be approved by a funder, we may be able to assist and support the project.
There is a dedicated set of pages here concerning document requirements for project funding submissions. Please refer to them for specific details concerning each document, each requirement and applicable criteria. There are also downloadable templates.
Initial documents required: Executive Summary, Team bio/profile, Company information, Director identification, information on Company and project status.
Phased documents required: Business Plan (including Marketing Plan), Financial Projection, Any supporting test results (if applicable) and a Research /reference list.
All project companies are required to document projects, particularly with respect to project equity funding. Between the funder and Ardent, we must ensure that any compliance and/or regulatory requirement is satisfied. This is inclusive of appropriately knowing our client through to certifying funds are AML compliant (clean/clear).
The Project team is as vital as the project itself. We look closely at all team members past work history, personality traits, ethics, drivers, tendencies, health, hobbies and even affiliations. We implement and request many kinds of personnel assessment including psychometric evaluation. We support team building exercises and encourage teams to really understand and work together to identify both problems and solutions pragmatically.
A project that has not yet launched has potential value, not realised value. A projects success in the short term can be misplaced and lead to complacency that undermines a projects longer term potential. A long term success story is rarer to find. Overall success comes when the team communicates and performs through all problems with a positive attitude, within a supportive environment, and they amicably work solutions. There is a science in “who” can accomplish this.
Often great projects or project ideas will fail because of the team. A poor team construct lacking in adhesion is dangerous. Should the team also lack resources, appropriate qualifications, relevant experiences and a positive team attitude, failure is certain. A great team can make the worst of projects successful, the smallest of projects global and love every moment! This is why we place significant emphasis on a projects team, not just the project itself.
A sample of senior terms and policies in brief explanation format:
- Assets: Where options exist to purchase assets and lease them to the project and similar arrangements with respect to equipment.
- Liabilities: Is there any debt built into the budget. We prefer to exclude debt and contract preferential lending to avoid share dilution.
- Holding companies: Structure must be negotiated and agreed prior to funding. Impacts physical and intangible asset, business value and risk.
- Disclosure: Full disclosure inclusive of legally enforceable declarations are required. I.e. personal and corporate history, physical and financial health etc.
- Management: Suitably experienced general management and team leader personnel are critical to capturing the projects projected potential.
- Projects: All projects and phases therein executed by the project company must be properly project managed, documented and reported.
- Accounting: All transactions, cash or digital or otherwise, must be entered into an accounting system as subject to monitoring and audits.
- Budgets: All planned spending should be within a formal budget and unplanned spending should have a process of validation and/or approval.
- Spending: Amounts in excess of $X as set by the Board shall require Board approval before orders are committed and payment transacted.
With relevance to “Example Timeline” below.
Timeframes are entirely dependant on a number of factors inclusive of the size of project, the stage of project, the calibre of the project team, the required capital value, the financial forecasts modelled cash requirements over time, the project company’s past history, its intended marketing strategy and any research including competitive and risk analysis that support an application for funding.
A project could be funded anywhere between two months and two years. The example Timeline below is for average parameters.
Specifically – Sample senior terms and requirements when contracted equity “funding” is approved from our partner: Aegis Porter.
- Equity. Aegis do not provide loans. When a project is approved for funding after significant due diligence, the rewards and risks will be shared.
- Project Management. Most times, Ardent will be awarded the contract to ensure the project is managed and executed appropriately.
- General Management. Neither Ardent or Aegis are interested in micro level management. We expect the project team to effectively run the business.
- Board Management. Aegis request a majority board seat value. May be achieved by having one Ardent seat in excess of an equal partnership shareholding.
- Exit Strategy. Typically long term 5-50 years, no set policy governs this. No IPO requirement. No pressure to ‘buy-back’ shares. Not a priority term.
- Appropriation. Funds drawn into a project per a funding agreement must be spent as budgeted. Funds misappropriation may invoke a control mechanism.
- Limits. The Board shall instate operational business spending limits, where Board sign-off shall be required. This assists to protect against misappropriation.
- Assets. All purchases made with company capital shall remain the property of the company until sold, and at fair market prices unless compelled by law.
- Intellectual Property. All IP shall be appropriately structured with full Board knowledge. No IP shall be registered to any third party or private/family entities.
- Debt. The project company shall not engage any external financier for any loans. Aegis shall have first right of refusal for the injection of additional capital.
- Policies. The project company shall implement senior portfolio policies as directed by Aegis and/or Ardent. E.g. Human Resources, employment policies.
- Banks. The Board must approve any/all applications to any banks for accounts, inclusive of applications at current banks for additional accounts.
- Partners. The project company is its own entity as governed by its own Board constitution. It may enter into its own partnerships without Ardent or Aegis.
Deal parameters. This tabbed section is specifically about funding amounts.
- To date, 100% of our successful Private Company funding contracts have been for equity.
- The capital has ranged from USD 5m to 51m and the equity has ranged from 25-49%.
- The average time to make an initial assessment has been three (3) months.
- The time to complete a successful funding contract has not exceeded 12 months.
- For the projects we initially accept, our success rate for fund contracting is above 50%.
We’re capable of funding projects between USD$1 million and USD$200 million via our associates or strategic partners that include investment Funds (venture capital and private equity), incubators and angel investment network participants internationally (some of which are not publicly visible online).
A project will be assessed on many factors that account for current and future potential. Each funder has their own criteria and process. However, the details provided for within this website cover all general requirements. Our recommendation carries weight with the parties that we are aligned with.
Funds will most likely follow a tranche schedule and be paid over a period of time in increments and may include terms that require certain milestones are achieved prior to disbursements. The schedule will typically follow the financial projections supplied and agreed, in exchange for the equity as agreed.
Example: A USD$20 million dollar funding contract may span three (3) years, be drawn down quarterly, be of varying amounts and utilise our PMO (Project Management Office) and therefore not require validation of milestone progress prior to the next quarter.
A PPP operates differently to a Private Company, sole project company, sole project initiation process. A PPP is essentially a Joint Venture “Project Management Office” and formal “Fund” that look to approve a varied criteria, variable amounts and custom scheduling that all relate to the performance of that Fund and the decisions of the PPP-JV Board.
A typical PPP with a static USD$500 million is capable of funding projects between USD$1 million and USD$200 million without any external third party financing. It would have a budget of about USD$500 million per annum for which (a minimum) 80% must be attributed to qualifying projects, with the remaining (maximum) 20% cash facility utilised as an operational expenses budget.
Enquiries should request one of the two CEO’s or a senior relationship manager. Our general enquiry forms are confidential and administered by an internal secretary who will ensure the right staff member receives your enquiry.
Our apologies. At present, we do not offer any financing options.
NOTE: Tables, some images and other data has been responsively turned off for site access via mobiles. Full site data is available via computer access only.
Fair Estimate Scenarios
It’s common for prospective project clients (who seek funding) to ask us a variety of questions with respect to how detailed their documents need to be, how long phases will take to assess, agree on funding parameters and execute a deal. This example table is indicative of some parameters to fairly present estimates in scenario format.
- “Stage” refers to how mature (developed, ready) the project is. Range is from “idea” through to “shovel ready”.
- “Investment” refers to shareholders money, otherwise coined “skin in the game”. Pure risk capital. Not a loan, no repayment.
- “Debt / Loan” refers to money in USD lent to a project with an expectation of repayment, with or without interest, guarantees or collateral.
- “Doc’s Complete” refers to time in weeks between initial submission and acceptance of final draft after assessment.
- “Assessment” refers to a grade. The better the grade, the higher the likelihood of funding approval.
- “Negotiation” refers to the stage when an interested investor (reviewed doc’s) requests to negotiate funding terms.
- “Funded” is a simple yes-tick or no-cross icon with a value in USD. Values applied for, accepted or rejected are noted.
- “Terms” is expressed in a percentage for equity deals or a number of months for finance. All funded deals have terms.
- “Time” is the total time from submission to mutual execution of a funding contract in months. Rounded up to the nearest month.
|Stage||Investment||Debt / Loan||Doc's Complete||Assessment||Negotiation||Funded||Time|
|Idea||10,000||10,000||Very limited||Too early and too disorganised to fund||60%||$10m||1 month|
|Early||40,000||10,000||Good. Two years with prototype||Needed expert validation. Founders too unrealistic||50%||$3.5m||4 months|
|Funding||50,000||30,000||Excellent. Project and team||Prepared. Experienced. Qualified. Diligent. Impressive||44%||$8.2m||6 months|
|Funding||20,000||120,000||Average. Three years development||Prepared. Medium skills. Competitors. Average interest||65%||$4.8m||3 months|
|Funding||4.4m||1-2m||Excellent. Unique. Ready market||Prepared. Brilliant team. Great products. High interest||39%||$39m||9 months|
|Expansion||6.8m||460,000||Excellent. Ready market. Innovative||Quickly prepared. Large team. Profitable. High interest||25%||5.1m||7 months|
|Expansion||56m||<1m||Complacent. Active market. Brand||Average standard. Average team. Profitable. Med interest||20%||$6.5m||8 months|
|Diversify||88m||<1m||100% committed. Great potential||Prepared. Brilliant team. Validated ideas. High interest||28%||26.5m||5 months|
|Diversify||33m||4-5m||Good team. Expanding too fast||Quickly prepared. Small team. Break even. Low interest||45%||12m||2 months|
|Unicorn||1m||30,000||Perfection. Validated. Expert. 10/10||Shovel ready. Pre-organised to go now. High interest||49%||55m||9 months|
|Unicorn||2.5m||0||Ticked all boxes. Brilliant 10/10||Unique. Brilliant. Global. Huge potential. High interest||40%||46m||10 months|
EXAMPLE CASE PARAMETERS: A complete, documented project written by a suitably qualified and experienced team required USD$10 million to create and launch a new product. The target market was an active demographic spanning all of Asia and the Pacific with potential reach into and beyond the US. It expected revenues of YR1 $30m, YR2$70m, YR3 $120m with a projected net profit of YR1 $8m, YR2 $22m, YR3 $38m. Aegis funded the project for USD$14m after two months of consultation and negotiation. The parties accepted a 48% equal vote shareholding with 01% held by Ardent, 01% held by the project company’s lawyer, 01% held by the company’s accountant and 01% held by the project company’s Chairperson. The project company’s team and personnel from Aegis and Ardent enjoyed the developing relationship and built rapport and trust quickly. The initial approach was via a web form. The teams were located in different regions of New Zealand, the same country. The deal took approximately six months to conclude with the first of sixteen tranches for USD$2 million transacted two weeks after both parties signed the funding contract. Ardent was contracted as the projects Project Manager for three years pending completion of “the Project”.
Client submits webform
Within 72 hours Ardent responded, having reviewed the Executive Summary that was attached to the form. Ardent believed Aegis would fund this project if the documents, team and terms could be agreed.
Phase one started
After a teleconference between two Ardent relationship managers and the three senior management for the project company, an NCNDA was signed and the client sent all prepared documents.
After reading all supplied documentation and fact checking some of the resources and references used, the Ardent team compiled a list of questions and requested a physical meeting with the client.
After two weeks of phone and email discussion, it was decided that a site visit by Ardent would be most beneficial. The Client arranged hotel accommodation for four guests / four nights. Feb 11th-15th.
February 17 - April 17
The project business was refined
After many conference calls and physical meetings (shared travel), the two teams had refined the documents to satisfaction. The terms were agreed in principal for $4m more than initially requested.
Ardent engaged Aegis to negotiate terms for the funding of this project company. This process includes a full report along with all finalised copies of project documentation and a proposal.
Aegis agreed to fund project
Aegis presented a fund contract to the client via Ardent. They had agreed to all terms, exactly as they were proposed by Ardent. USD$14m quarterly over four years for 48% equity.
First project tranche received
After a process that included lawyers, contracts, equity transfers and shareholders resolutions being passed, the project company received USD$2m to begin the project as prescribed.