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Investment Management Platform

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Technologies

A private investor portal equipped with an automated aggregation of financial data and visualization tools, designed to provide a full overview of an investment portfolio, generate mid-year and year-end reports, and support secure integration with file hosting and reporting services.

Industry

Fintech

Solution

Private investor portal

Engagement model

T&M

Effort & Duration

Ongoing, since December 2018

Technologies

Ruby on Rails, Angular, Backstop Service

Project Team

1 Full-stack Web Developer, 1 Technical Lead, 1 BA, 1 QA manager, 1 PM

Project’s Background

Our client, an established investment firm based in Atlanta (GA), won the trust of seasoned investors from the Fortune 500 companies and independent experts with its platform. Private investors, corporate clients, and trust funds join our client to invest in selected pre-IPO projects through direct co-investing and funds.  

Our client is an early-stage venture firm that offers investors a diversified portfolio of early stage technology startups, and entrepreneurs who have a valuation under $2 million. Private investors, corporate clients, and trust funds join our client to co-invest on a deal-by-deal basis, and for the opportunity to work with entrepreneurs.

The company turned to Itexus with a prioritized wish-list of the portal changes. The primary goal was to revise the data reporting structure, address financial reporting errors, and provide flexibility in the regular data synchronization with external web services. On top of that, the client wanted to empower the existing solution with additional functionality, upgrade the platform’s back-end, address suboptimal app response latency, and add an intuitive customer-centric front-end interface. 

Functionality Overview

At the start of our work, the solution, a cloud-based SaaS platform, comprised of: 

  • Back-end, built on the Ruby on Rails framework. The database aggregates financial data from several sources, and serves as a centralised source of data for further visualization and analysis. As the volume of data was growing, the app response latency turned into a real bottleneck. The solution could no longer promptly process the data, which accentuated the need for the system’s profiling and performance analysis.
  • Front-end, based on Angular. The front-end was failing to provide investors with timely, comprehensive, and reliable information.  

Itexus’s task was to upgrade the back-end stack and the employed libraries, address dynamic content issues, make the user interface more user-friendly, and broaden the system’s functionality via new integrations.

Back-end Upgrade

Our back-end team of Ruby on Rails experts assessed the system’s integration with Backstop – a third-party service, used by the outsourced accounting company. The company maintains investment-associated data and derived indices (e.g. TVPI, DPI, FMV, etc.) up-to-date and accessible to private investors through their portal accounts.

We discovered that the platform relied on a deprecating version of the Backstop API, which lacked certain interaction endpoints. We updated the system to the latest API version and rescheduled a daily data sync to small hours to make the portal accessible over daytime.

Integration with Dropbox

To provide valuable and reliable information, the portal needs to accommodate data from multiple sources: partner capital and K-1 tax reports, contracts, invested holding and limited partners funds’ reports, and so on. This data must be securely stored and easily accessed by end users.   

The client offered to use Dropbox file hosting service. Itexus team has researched this and other options and finally Dropbox was chosen as a safe and extremely scalable solution. To cut down on the laborious routine of multiple files’ uploads into the portal, the team implemented a Dropbox bulk file upload tool. Each file is hosted on Amazon S3, from where it is routed to the relevant investor portal account. 

At the start of our work, files and folders were disorganized. The implementation of the bulk file uploader resulted in substantially reduced labor involvement and enabled investor portal’s users to access their files by pre-set categories.

Front-end & Visualization of Imported Data

The platform provides investors with the data critical for decision making, like a holding company’s brief description, financial reports, mid year/end year updates, schedule of investments, investment related write-offs, tax reports, and so on. But the existing Angular-based interface didn’t display it correctly.

We upgraded the front-end solution and created a system capable of comprehensive visualization of  financial information from multiple data sources. The visualised data in the form of tables, images, and reports is available in the investor’s private account.

Our team of front-end developers and testers ensured adaptive UI design: the platform has a native look and feel on mobile devices running on any OS. 

Custom CMS from Scratch

Our developers equipped the portal’s admin panel with a custom Report Builder. It compiles data from Backstop and aggregates information inserted manually, parses the collected information, and generates data-based reports. The tool-generated report is published in the .pdf and html formats on the portal.

Results & Future Plans

The platform provides investors with well-organized and visualised summary of the performance of the chosen pre-IPO companies at the seed and early stages. The solution has complex business logic, which provides importing, aggregating, and visualising the content from the custom CMS and third-party services like Backstop and Dropbox.

Itexus team delivered the investment platform development within the predefined requirements and and in full compliance with the customer’s expectations. 

Now the client is planning to engage our team into further development of the platform, namely a custom invoicing tool. 

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