Case Study


Transforming a Tech-enabled Services Business into a Robust SaaS Company

"For six years, our company successfully served a need in the financial services industry. By partnering with Mainsail we were able to expand our offering and the market opportunity through a combination of acquisitions, product development and more innovative go-to-market strategies."
– Michael Berman, Ncontracts CEO

At a Glance

  • Recruited executive management team (CFO, CTO, CMO) and independent board member
  • Sourced and executed three add-on acquisitions that evolved the company from a tech-enabled service to a predominantly SaaS platform
  • Launched inside sales team that reduced payback period and improved LTV:CAC ratio
  • Reduced churn and executed cross-sell, upsell campaigns to improve NRR
  • Increased employee growth by more than 2.5x

The Company

Ncontracts is a suite of risk management software solutions for the financial industry in the United States. The company’s proprietary platform helps its clients manage vendors, contracts and compliance. Together, these features enable clients to remain current to regulatory standards while managing risk, improving efficiencies and lowering the cost of compliance for increased ROI.

The Story

Prior to starting Ncontracts in 2009, Founder and CEO Michael Berman worked as an attorney for several years, helping large and small companies manage agreements, vendors, compliance and risks. He witnessed firsthand the inefficient and fractured nature of risk and compliance management in the financial services industry and started Ncontracts to fill that gap.  Eventually recognized he needed help to realize the full potential for Ncontracts and brought on Mainsail as his investment partner.

Mainsail’s Value

Management Team Recruitment: At the time of investment, Ncontracts had a CEO, Michael Berman, and an EVP of Client Success. Knowing that the company needed a team of strong leaders to support future growth, Mainsail’s first focus was working with Michael to recruit an executive team. Drawing from Mainsail’s network of thousands of SaaS industry leaders, Ncontracts identified and hired a CFO, CTO, Chief Sales Officer, CMO and Director of HR. In addition, Mainsail helped to recruit Rahul Gupta to Ncontract’s Board of Directors, who brought with him 30+ years of industry leadership.

Add-On Acquisitions: At the time of investment (April 2015), Ncontracts was a tech-enabled service offering to support vendor management. Over three years, Mainsail helped Ncontracts source and acquire three additional companies that expanded the company’s offering to become a robust software solution and expand wallet share within the target market.

Sales Acceleration: When Mainsail invested in Ncontracts, the sales team consisted of five outside sales reps. Early analysis identified an opportunity to more efficiently capture a large segment of the lower end of the market by utilizing an inside-sales team. On Mainsail’s recommendation, Ncontracts hired an inside sales manager and two inside-sales reps to kick-start this team. In just two years, the inside sales team grew to comprise 50% of the sales organization. This team helped Ncontracts reduce its payback period while substantially improving LTV:CAC.

To help drive sales acceleration, Ncontracts leveraged the expertise of Tom Black, a Board member who is an experienced sales consultant.

Customer Success: Mainsail wanted to help Ncontracts’ client-facing team grow from a reactive customer service organization to a proactive customer success team. To do so, the company started tracking NPS for the customer base, including a breakdown of NPS for onboarding and NPS for customer service response tickets. They also tracked customer health scorecards for all clients and used the insights to tier the client base.

By leveraging data from the health and satisfaction of the customer base, the customer success team was able to prioritize its outreach for the highest-tiered clients. Additionally, Mainsail helped identify and hire an EVP of Customer Success. Ultimately, these efforts helped Ncontracts improve its churn and its NRR.

Product Development: At the time of investment, Ncontracts was outsourcing all product development. When Mainsail identified the opportunity to accelerate product development by bringing the function in-house, Ncontracts began to build out that team. At the time of Mainsail’s exit, Ncontracts’ product team comprised of a CTO and more than 20 full-time product developers.

Strategic Market Expansion: When Ncontracts was considering expanding into a new market, Mainsail helped the company conduct research and analysis by building out a database of the entire prospective market. This analysis concluded that rather than enter a new market, Ncontracts should focus on its highest-value market segment within its core banking business and identify additional adjacent market opportunities for expansion. This strategy allowed Ncontracts to leverage its already-existing marketing engine and product offerings to increase its TAM without taxing its team to establish entirely new GTM strategy.

Compliance Software Services for Finance
  • LOCATION: Brentwood, TN
  • SECTOR: Technology Enabled Services
  • CEO: Michael Berman
  • FOUNDED: 2009
  • INVESTED IN: 2015
  • STATUS: Acquired