Thought Leadership

What is SMART dealmaking?

12th January 2018

By Hazel Moore

There’s a generally accepted wisdom that around 50% of M&A deals fail to deliver value. However our track record of win-win deals proves that this does not have to be the case. FirstCapital is changing the way buyers and sellers approach tech M&A – and our SMART Dealmaking Framework is the driving force.

The SMART Dealmaking Framework articulates a process that enables FirstCapital to help clients extract greater value from deals. It helps surface and evaluate strategic drivers for a deal, often from unexpected angles and builds on insight gained from our constant dialogue with decision makers on a global basis in the leading tech investor and corporate buyer groups. We understand technology market needs and deal drivers. We understand the importance of timing in any deal.

Over the next twelve months, our content will outline how deals using the SMART framework deliver better results and more valuable transactions. We’ll also set about debunking M&A, delving into jargon, deal structures and techniques to ensure success for all.

We’d like your input too. Let us know if there’s anything you’d like us to explore or explain. For now, we’ll leave you with a reminder of the five key stages of FirstCapital’s SMART Dealmaking Framework:

Strategic Insight 

Market insight, paired with up to date knowledge of buyer priorities is essential in understanding where value lies. This ensures seller strategy aligns with market requirements from day one.


Communicating the opportunity of a deal is key. This needs to be done with clarity and an insider understanding. Successful marketing should ensure all angles for value are covered, and that messaging is compelling, speaking to the needs of the other side in the deal.


Getting in front of the key decision makers at the right time in the right organisations is imperative. Smart connections are critical.

Rigorous Negotiation

Negotiating the best deal is a complex process, requiring experience, patience, tenacity and creativity, to ensure all elements of the deal structure combine in a winning combination for both sides. 

Transaction close 

Once a deal is agreed, it still needs to be closed. In this stage of the SMART process we project manage to keeping the transaction on track, focusing stakeholders on the key issues, liaising frequently with all parties and guiding the deal through to a timely close.

Everybody’s got to gain out of a deal; smarter dealmaking means there is something in it for everybody all the way through and everybody walks away from it thinking they’ve won.