SQLI Background Gradient 5

Digital Due Diligence | Darwin

Digital assessment of target companies for private equity and venture capital firms.

The Situation

You have found a target company that you’re interested in, but you’re not sure how strong and future-proof the digital business of the target is? We’ve got you covered. Our digital due diligence service gives you an objective third party assessment of the digital maturity of your potential investment. We help you identify risks and possibilities for optimization and make sure the difference between both is clear, so you can prepare a realistic integration plan, including an estimate of the required investments.

Our 5-Step Process

In 5 steps , we complete an inside-out and outside-in check of your target investment, and wrap everything up in a clear and comprehensive due diligence report.

Step 1: INTAKE

The first step of our process is an intake with key people in the target organization, to determine their view on digital, the place of digital in their overall strategy and their high-level digital roadmap for the next 3 to 5 years. 

This step will not only help us assess the digital maturity of the company itself, but also the attitude of the people themselves towards digital.


The next step is to take a deep-dive into the building blocks of the organization, to determine what your digital value proposition will look like and what will be needed to reach the proposed ambition. Some common building blocks are the following:

  • Business model & the place of digital in the financials
  • Products and/or services
  • Customer experience
  • Marketing & CRM
  • Operations
  • Technology, tools & data/data quality
  • Organization

Depending on the nature of your company, some of the building blocks can get more or less focus or other blocks may be added. For example, in a B2B environment, a review of the sales process might be included. Or perhaps the company manufactures its own products and we can evaluate potential digitization in that area.


Of course, any company looking to sell, will try to present the most advantageous story possible. That is why we also include a mystery shopping-style review, to experience the client-side of the story. We anonymously approach the company and go as far down the sales funnel as possible. For B2C, this often includes actual purchases and even return or complaint scenarios.

This step also includes a check of publicly available customer discourse, brand search volumes, reviews and ratings of the company, to see if any positive or negative patterns can be found there.


Finally, no due diligence report would be complete without a view on the market of your potential investment. If you specifically target a certain sector, you may already have a good insight into the market as a whole. But do you have an equally deep knowledge on the digital maturity of the sector and digital initiatives by competitors? If not, this section can be included to put the performance of the company in a broader perspective: is it on par, behind or ahead of the competition?


At the end of our review, we present our conclusions in a due diligence report, that includes all of the above information.

A report is always custom-made, but typically includes a SWOT-style overview and a deeper dive into the items in the SWOT.


Investment Estimates

If necessary, we can add more depth to our review, by adding our estimates of the investments necessary to bring the companies digital business up to par or ahead of the competition. Depending on the available time and required detail, this can be a high-level budget range, all the way to a full business case.

Digital Integration Plan

Your integration plan will undoubtedly include several digital elements. Darwin can advise and help create a roadmap for the integration of IT infrastructure, data & reporting tools, digital processes…

What to Expect

Based on the assessment done with the DARWIN PERFORMANCE MODEL®️ , we will together uncover the real state the business you want to acquire is in. Some topics we would for example assess are: are you lacking an appropriate response to new competition or is your business model under pressure? This will give us the insights to kickstart the Full Digital Roadmap with the right approach.

  • A network of best in class, renowned specialists picked based on your challenge
  • An approach based on proven successes with companies like Action or LVMH 
  • Focus on strategy, decision making and organization enablement
  • Quick wins implementation to get momentum and create value

Reach out to our Darwin Experts

Let's discuss how the Digital Due Diligence model can work for your objectives.

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