For In Extenso, digitalization is becoming a criterion for firm valuation

June 28, 2021

In Extenso Finance & Transmission Founding Partner and Managing Director Marc Sabaté bases his action on two key approaches: a technical, and a human one. In this article, he discusses the central role of digital tools in his SMEs support activity, when being present during quintessential times of a company’s life is everything.

In 2011 you co-founded In Extenso Finance & Transmission. What were your main drivers and ambitions?

I founded In Extenso Finance & Transmission along with Christophe Estivin after acquiring a company in 2011. Then we joined the In Extenso group in 2013. At the very beginning of our adventure in 2011, we generated a turnover of € 600,000. Last year, we reached €7 million. The driving force behind our vision was the need to rethink the investment banking model. Our project consisted of setting up a 360° financial consulting activity on a local scale for SMEs, at the core of the French economy. The driving force behind our vision was the need to rethink the investment banking model for SMEs. Our project consisted in setting up a proximity 360° financial consulting of these companies, the consulting services they no longer had access to from the banks.

Our idea was to be at their side in all the key operations of a company’s life: purchase, sale, external growth, transmission, etc. These turning points must be met with special support. Along with our public accounting offer, In Extenso offered a very relevant continuum with offers we were developing.

What was the impact of digital in the success of your company?

Our business is very technical as it is based on financial engineering, yet it is also very much human-centered. We rely on four technical expertise platforms spread across France (Villeurbanne, Boulogne, Angers, and Montpellier) and on our local offices. Digitalization is at the heart of our system. In the M&A sector, data is our source material. It is a most valuable resource that must be refined to understand and analyze a situation and an ecosystem ever more quickly. It also allows us to detect opportunities, create synergies, and operate potential optimization… 

Going forward or not with digitalization is no longer a topic for discussion, as it is the indispensable ground for archiving, transmitting, optimizing, and processing data.

Because our business requires us to be pragmatic and efficient, we are always looking for ways to improve our information processing. And we are naturally moving towards higher levels of digitalization. We make sure to remain agile, we make tests, and we adopt a laboratory-based approach to detect solutions allowing  our teams to be ever more efficient.

Do you think digitalization is important for companies’ business valuation?

It’s a sure thing. The year 2020 has highlighted that the value of a company lies in its ability to withstand hard times. Digital tools have played a major role in companies being flexible at the height of the pandemic. Ensuring business continuity when everything is called into question is a strength. For example, our 5,000 employees switched to working remotely within 24 hours to guarantee customer proximity under any circumstances. While economic recovery will be the number #1 priority, most digitally advanced companies will hold a significant advantage and will prove themselves to be all the more attractive.

Digitalization of financial processes – Approaches & needs by the end of 2022