European Private Equity Firm:

Supporting Portfolio Companies

A new enterprise social network to improve internal knowledge sharing


Our team devised and built an enterprise social network for a leading European private equity firm, joining staff and investors with portfolio companies, to increase the value of their investments by enabling them to network, share knowledge and discover commercial opportunities in a safe environment.

By placing individuals and their activities at the centre of the platform design, the firm could support its internal ideas exchange market and commercial opportunities – all the while ensuring compatibility with existing infrastructure.




Using Ruby on Rails, we created a bespoke prototype platform to encourage collaboration, sharing of best practice and the development of partnerships and networks among portfolio companies. After testing the new collaboration approach for over a year, we also advised this firm on procuring a permanent platform solution from a leading ESN supplier and supported its initial roll-out.

By enabling users to share bookmarks, start and join interest groups or event groups, create discussions, add resources, follow other people and subscribe to company-related news feeds, the platform improved the informal communication channels between companies.



The effective flows of formal and informal knowledge and information empowered the investment firm’s employees to interact at multiple levels with the senior managers of the firm’s investee companies.

By improving cross-border communication, and supporting the ‘one firm’ business culture, we tested and documented new, shared ways of working which enabled the firm to make enterprise social networking a key element of its internal communications strategy.



Building resilient portfolio networks


Access to shared resources

The platform helped to deliver on the firm’s promise to provide portfolio companies with better access to shared business resources.

Early iterative prototyping

Lightweight social tech enabled the prototype to undergo multiple iterations, based on user testing and feedback, thus maximising uptake.

Real-world actions at the centre

User needs were central to both planning and development, ensuring that each business workflow was highly relevant and useful.

private equity

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