Customer Success Story: Willow Biosciences
Willow Biosciences is a biotechnology company based in Vancouver BC. Their primary focus is manufacturing active pharmaceutical ingredients and other high-value products that have traditionally been derived from plants. We spoke to Troy Talkkari, VP Corporate Development, to understand how Willow Biosciences is using Irwin to manage investor relations.
Troy joined Willow as they went public in 2019, and was tasked with the responsibility of understanding the current shareholder base and expanding into new pools of capital. With investors both in the institutional and retail spheres, Troy needed a solution that would help him manage both types of investors and track the flow of capital. Additionally, he also needed a tool that would help him target new investors.
Benefits of Irwin
Willow Biosciences’ investor pool has a significant segment of retail investors. As such, Troy needed a solution that would help him understand the demographics of shareholders and help with marketing.
Troy had previously ordered NOBO lists as a requirement to get listed on the TSX, however he found that the information he got was not usable without being cleaned up in Excel. Ordering NOBO lists manually would not be an option given the cumbersome data cleansing process.
Troy uses Irwin to get his NOBO lists updated and incorporated into his investor management database without having to parse through Excel manually.
"Irwin allows me understand where I'm effective with certain segments of shareholders, because you can ultimately see them turn up as buyers. It gives me near real time feedback who's actually reacting positively to the marketing that we're doing."
As a growing company, one of the key functions of Investor Relations is to identify new sources of capital. In addition to using NOBO and investor surveillance data to uncover relevant shareholder demographics, Willow Biosciences also uses Irwin to search for investors. Troy uses Irwin’s database to identify investors and institutions with holdings in companies similar to Willow Biosciences.
"The search function is great. Being able to punch a name in or a fund in and get an instantaneous detailed synopsis is valuable."
As a newly public company, it is important for Troy to understand the movement of capital. Knowing where Willow Biosciences is trading and understanding the flows of equity allows Troy to better understand the machinations of the buy-side and discover new viable sources of capital. Since Willow Biosciences is still scaling up, this information is invaluable as they hone in on their market.
"It’s important to have a program that provides up-to-date info of where various institutional and other pools of capital and players sit - understanding the flows of equity and where money is going is relevant. There's a lot of movement on the buy side, so being able to stay up to speed on that is useful. It helps us understand who to target as we grow as an organization and reach certain thresholds and milestones. We know that with each milestone, new potential pools of capital could open up to us."
"Irwin allows you to see the most recent flows into and out of our stock of capital. It tells us which pockets of capital markets are both buyers and sellers of our story. And that's relevant real-time data that is useful for us as a small micro cap story."
Troy uses Irwin to get real-time insights into the investor base and implications of their marketing strategy. Not only does Troy use the information to identify what’s effective in their marketing strategy, he is also able to scope out potential new investors and proactively reach into new pools of capital.
I would say that for the cost of getting an annual subscription, you'll receive multiples more on your investment for the real-time information that Irwin gives you. It definitely gives you a leg up and an advantage - put together in a very comprehensive overall IR solution.