Snowflake Ventures invests in Omni | Learn more

PrimaryBid case study

How PrimaryBid built a modern data product in under a week

Case Study - PrimaryBid

Despite the name, investing in public markets isn’t always easy for the public. PrimaryBid set out to change that. PrimaryBid’s infrastructure makes it possible for everyone to participate in IPOs and public company fundraises at the same time and price as institutional investors — without creating complexity for companies, financial institutions, or brokers.

Since its inception, the London-based company has powered over 300 IPOs, follow-ons, blocks, and debt raises in the UK, representing more than 10 billion in total shares settled, and has partnered with the London Stock Exchange, Goldman Sachs, Blackstone, Euronext, and Deliveroo.

Now, PrimaryBid is expanding its suite of software solutions and its global footprint, starting with corporate issuers, advisors, and financial institutions in the United States and elsewhere. In a world where access to reliable, real-time fundraising data is rare, analytics is a competitive advantage for PrimaryBid and its customers.

"Our external analytics users are as important to us as internal ones. An IPO is a big, important moment in a company's story, so we want to quickly personalize reports and dashboards for each customer in order to improve their deal outcomes and leave a lasting positive impression. That's something we just couldn't do with generic analytics." Andy Turner, Director of Data and AI

By switching to Omni’s platform for business intelligence and embedded analytics, PrimaryBid has been able to:

  • Quickly build a governed, secure external analytics product: In under a week, five team members at PrimaryBid created a feature that gives customers access to real-time data on in-progress fundraises.
  • Create a competitive advantage with a modern customer experience: Companies using PrimaryBid can view and explore fast, personalized, and on-brand dashboards to improve decision-making and deal outcomes.
  • Increase internal data access company-wide: PrimaryBid employees across teams can analyze data confidently using Omni’s point-and-click UI and Excel-style Calculations or by interacting with standardized KPI dashboards.
  • Key elements of PrimaryBid’s data stack include BigQuery, dbt, Monte Carlo, and Omni.

PrimaryBid’s search for modern analytics

When the PrimaryBid team decided to build a data product for its platform, they initially evaluated Looker, which they were already using for internal BI. “We liked Looker because of its governance and security, but when we tried their embedded analytics product, the look and feel and performance just didn't align with our vision for our product,” says Jonny Dungay, Analytics and BI Lead at PrimaryBid.

"We wanted to give our customers a truly modern analytics experience without needing to invest significant front-end engineering resources to build it. Of the many embedded analytics products we evaluated, Omni was the only one that would make it possible for us to achieve that goal." Jonny Dungay, Analytics and BI Lead

Having ruled out Looker, the team started vetting other options including Domo, Tableau, and Thoughtspot. Out of the three, Thoughtspot seemed the most promising, but it still didn’t meet PrimaryBid’s core requirements. “One of the main value propositions was natural language generation but that wasn’t relevant for our use case,” explains Andy Turner, PrimaryBid’s Director of Data and AI.

Undeterred, the PrimaryBid team continued searching for a platform that could serve both their use cases, and eventually decided to look into Omni. “Omni had a lot of things we were looking for: a platform for performant internal and embedded analytics, the flexibility to easily build and customize visualizations inside our product, and a pricing model that could scale with us,” says Jonny.

"When testing Omni, I tried doing many of the things that I typically did in Looker, and I found that it was incredibly easy to get up to speed. I could model data, explore data, and build dashboards within 30 minutes of getting started. When I had questions or feedback, the level of responsiveness from the team made us feel super valued and confident that we could partner with Omni to build something great." Jonny Dungay, Analytics and BI Lead

Creating an exceptional analytics product for customers

After the trial, the PrimaryBid team was able to build the first iteration of their external analytics product in just under one week. “The goal for the MVP was to create a portal for customers to log into where they could view dashboards customized to their business and use case,” explains Jonny.

“We had two people working full-time on our analytics feature with some input from the Design team and one or two engineers building the front-end portal to embed the iframes,” recalls Jonny. “Overall, it was incredibly fast to get up and running, and that gave us time to finesse the experience and make sure it was really exceptional for our customers.”

The core users of PrimaryBid’s analytics product are companies running an IPO — a high-stakes moment when teams are incredibly busy and data is absolutely essential to success. Many of these companies have large, active global communities that they want to include in their IPO, which means they also need a scalable, seamless data solution to provide access on these communities and their participation during the fundraising process. “We needed to provide something that’s super powerful, super accurate, and super easy to use,” says Jonny.

"The process of an IPO is often both exciting and stressful. You're exposing your company to the public market for the very first time and seeing how it responds. Having access to data that shows you your company's performance in real-time is a strategic advantage for our customers." Andy Turner, Director of Data and AI

Customers of PrimaryBid need to be able to quickly understand overall performance including demand, community involvement, and allocation. “We want to provide a slick, real-time, and digestible overview of a given deal’s performance — a dashboard that teams could not only look at during the IPO, but also reference as a summary of the deal for years afterward,” explains Jonny.

PrimaryBid’s standard central model shows key metrics such as the number of retail investors who have registered and the amount that they’ve requested. In addition to this core offering, Omni’s embedded analytics gives PrimaryBid the flexibility to provide a more bespoke experience to customers who want to do a deeper analysis of the data or see a wider range of metrics.

“Some of the bigger companies that we work with often want to incorporate other metrics into the model that will help them determine who to allocate shares to first. To give a hypothetical example, when Reddit had their IPO, they may have wanted to be able to see attributes about participating users like: ‘Of the 10,000 community members registered, how many are moderators, and how much have they contributed in total?’”

Giving customers a great experience viewing data is just one of PrimaryBid’s goals for this feature. The other is to provide insights that can actually help teams improve the performance of a deal as it’s in progress.

“Analytics not only give customers an understanding of performance but control over it,” explains Andy. “We want companies to be able to use the data to identify the best levers at their disposal — from marketing initiatives to audience pivots — so they can get the best possible outcome for their fundraise.”

The fastest solution for internal and embedded analytics

Jonny and his team were able to set up their Omni instance for internal analytics within a matter of days. “Very few of our team members had to work on the implementation. Omni takes easy but long-winded tasks and makes them much quicker. Within the first 30 minutes, I had something I could use,” recalls Jonny.

Whenever the PrimaryBid team did have a question, they could just message the Omni team. “Mark and Liam were incredibly helpful. There was also a Slack channel where others at Omni were helping us. It was nice to discover that so many people were happy to answer our questions and respond to our feedback.”

"When you test a SaaS product, the question is always: 'This vendor is being very helpful right now, but what will happen once I put pen to paper on the contract?' With Omni, the level of support and investment in PrimaryBid's success hasn't changed at all from our trial to now." Jonny Dungay, Analytics and BI Lead

During the implementation, the team discovered additional features that hadn’t been part of their original selection criteria but ended up making Omni much easier to use than Looker. “You could tell that someone who really understood the pain points of BI had built Omni. We were pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to create new fields within the UI, the Calculations feature and tactical use of AI, and just the general flexibility of the tool.”

Delivering answers to internal stakeholders

In addition to using Omni’s embedded analytics to build their customer-facing data product, PrimaryBid is also using Omni for internal BI to deliver answers to their internal stakeholders.

“Our aim is to be a data-first tech company. We want everyone on the team to be really data literate and get them looking at and using data every day. That’s really our long-term goal and focus,” says Jonny.

The first step is making sure that everyone can see business performance in real-time. “Our leadership and management teams need a place where they can ask questions of the data and view key metrics — especially as PrimaryBid’s business pivots and the metrics that are critical for decision-making change.”

For the Go-To-Market team, PrimaryBid plans to centralize CRM and email data to help sales, business development, and marketing optimize their pipeline and identify the best prospective customers to focus on. The Data team is also building out classic funnel analytics to get more insights on activation, usage, and drop-off that can inform product development.

This is just the start. As PrimaryBid and Omni continue to grow, the use cases for data across PrimaryBid’s organization and product will naturally expand too. “It’s really exciting watching Omni grow before our eyes. One of our favorite things is watching the weekly demo videos. It’s amazing to see what — and how much — has been built. It’s also been nice that we still feel like we have input on the prioritization process. It’s clear that customer feedback is central to what Omni is doing and it’s an exciting time to be part of a joint partnership.”