Increased business process execution by 40% via workflows and communications centralized in Asana
Reduced busy work by 35% and increased strategic work by 80% by automating administrative tasks
Reduced time spent on email by 35%
Four billion people around the world have snacked on goods produced by Yıldız Holding, the largest food manufacturer in Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (CEEMEA). Established in 1944, Yıldız Holding owns over 300 food brands distributed in more than 150 countries, including Godiva, United Biscuits, and McVitie’s.
The holding company’s venture capital arm is Yıldız Ventures, which also incubates disruptive intrapreneurship projects under its corporate venture capital structure and runs startup accelerator programs. Its CEO, Yahya Ülker, incorporates cutting-edge technologies and practices to help Yıldız Ventures enrich its startup ecosystem and move faster when evaluating investments.
Yahya saw an opportunity to increase his organization’s productivity by centralizing their work onto one platform. Before using Asana, the 300-person team used a mixture of tools, including email, chat, spreadsheets, and a variety of apps. With no way to track all projects and communications across the organization, the team couldn’t take advantage of efficiencies from standard processes:
Yıldız Ventures receives hundreds of startup pitches and funding applications per year and managing them on email was difficult to scale and required lengthy email chains.
Internal processes, like requesting headcount or IT needs, were slow to fulfill over email.
A high volume of communications came in from vendors, startups, and external collaborators via different, disconnected channels, which delayed response times and required extra meetings.
Yahya’s vision was to streamline collaboration in Asana to make processes smoother and quicker — even automating them — and to improve the experience of anyone who reached out to Yıldız Ventures for partnership or funding.
When he stepped into his role as Yıldız Ventures CEO in 2019, Yahya searched for a work management platform with more capabilities than the individual task managers he had used in the past. He evaluated over 10 tools and chose Asana for its ability to support collaboration across an entire organization.
Yahya and several teammates began using Asana to manage their work. In 2021, Yıldız Ventures brought in Omtera, a work management consultancy and Asana partner, to accelerate adoption and optimize usage.
Omtera and Yıldız Ventures knew that if they tightened up company processes, they could increase the organization’s capacity and convert wasted time into strategic pursuits. The Anatomy of Work Global Index reports that knowledge workers are losing an average of nearly three hours per week on unnecessary meetings, and workers estimate that 4-6 hours would be saved each week if processes were improved.
Omtera tackled this head-on and built the scaffolding for an efficient, strategy-focused organization.
With Omtera, Yıldız Ventures grew its Asana adoption from 20% of employees to 95%. Murat Yılmaz, Partner, Head of Sales and Customer Success at Omtera, led the implementation.
Omtera began by meeting with each team to understand their workflows and pain points, then helped build those workflows in Asana. They brought in processes that were previously offline or managed in other tools, connected processes between teams, and made sure teams were using features like forms, automation, and integrations. They also ran tailored Asana training for teams and seniority levels, from entry level to executives. Now that most of Yıldız Ventures is using Asana for their core workflows, they share an Asana project with Omtera that tracks ongoing implementation work, like upcoming Asana features, training, and status updates on new workflows being built.
Today, all teams at Yıldız Ventures use processes in Asana to make faster, smarter decisions. They report that they are now able to:
Execute business processes 40% faster
Reduce busy work by 35% and increase strategic work by 80%
Spend 35% less time on email and 55% less time searching for information
Yıldız Ventures has supercharged their workflows across the organization.
Yıldız Ventures uses Asana goals to track OKRs and report on progress quarterly. Each team member has five goals — such as a target number of fintech startups to source — which roll up into a main objective. Asana automatically shows the percentage of progress to completion.
The Investment Operations team uses Asana as a CRM to track deal flow and evaluate investments up to 50% faster. Here’s how it works.
(1) Accepting applications for funding
Yıldız Ventures has tracked +1,000 deals through Asana since 2020, for evaluating direct and fund investments. Any start-up or organization that would need funding or access Yıldız Ventures fill out an Asana form, which is available on their website. Yıldız Ventures has received +700 applications for funding through these forms which are automatically added to Asana as tasks. Asana rules automatically assign the task to the appropriate person to review based on sector allocations, setting off a chain of evaluation steps — no email required.
Previously, applications came in via email. There was no way to track which phase each application was in, who should look at it next, and who had what information.
(2) Managing deal flow
Yıldız Ventures uses Asana as an automated CRM to manage funding requests. Each application goes through a series of phases where a team member reviews and makes a yes/no decision. Then rules route the application to the next reviewer up the chain.
The team can now track the application’s stage as it travels through sourcing, preliminary assessment, detailed assessment, due diligence, and the investment committee. The applicant’s Asana task records all notes and conversations in one place, so when the final decision maker needs to review the application, everything they need to know is right in front of them.
If a company isn’t ready for investment, their Asana task goes into a backlog project so that Yıldız Ventures can follow up with the company in a year — even with their rapid growth, they never lose an application.
(3) Tracking ongoing investments
Once Yıldız Ventures invests, the team tracks the ongoing relationship through Asana. Yahya says, “We use Asana to keep a log of any intelligence and updates related to the investments – drawdowns, annual meetings, contacts, and more.”
Custom fields within the task indicate data like the company’s sector, deal size, and currency, which acts as a source of truth and helps Yıldız Ventures analyze trends across their investment portfolio.
Yıldız Ventures also uses Asana reporting to track investment cycles, performance, and operations. Dashboards pull from custom field data to report on how many applications they received each month, how many they said yes to, and how much money was invested. Custom fields also capture distributions and return analysis.
With Asana, the HR team spends 50% less time managing requests, recruiting, and onboarding new hires.
Previously, email was used for HR requests such as approval for more headcount on a team. Omtera moved this process into Asana, where a form captures the request and rules assign tasks to the right HR decision maker. Once headcount is approved, acandidate’s journey is tracked via a task, and they are onboarded via an Asana project template once they’re hired.
Murat from Omtera says, “Asana is the primary recruitment tool that boosts Yıldız Ventures’ HR processes and enables fast approvals. In Asana, they can share comments from interviews, use templates to follow up on vacant positions, and mark tasks for approval, so everyone knows the next steps to get to an offer.”
IT: Requests for IT needs now come through Asana forms.
Product: The product team uses the Asana for Jira integration to manage active sprints and product roadmaps.
Legal: Yıldız Ventures manages hundreds of legal agreements in Asana.
Supplier management: Vendors submit applications via an Asana form, which turn into tasks in an Asana workflow so departments can assess and select suppliers.
Internal coordination: Teams use Asana to capture meeting notes, manage the Yıldız Ventures content calendar, collaborate with teams in Yıldız Holding, and eliminate internal emails by using Asana comments and updates. They integrate Asana with tools they use daily, like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, and Workplace.
With workflows in Asana, Yıldız Ventures can react faster to opportunities in their market.
Yıldız Ventures plans to continue improving their Asana implementation, and Omtera is right there beside them, optimizing processes and keeping them up to date on Asana’s newest features. Murat says, “We share what’s coming next in Asana’s roadmap so that Yıldız Ventures can plan for it and avoid investing in redundant tools.”
After experiencing so many operational benefits from Asana, Yıldız Ventures is supporting their portfolio startups in adopting Asana too. For example, they helped the online supermarket istegelsin.com improve their vendor and request management processes by moving these workflows into Asana.
As Yıldız Ventures steps into the future of work, they invite their startup ecosystem to come along.
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