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Tips for managing your FounderCatalyst documents

Written by
Sam Simpson
Last updated
23rd October 2020

The documents produced on your platform are, in the main, in PDF format. In this blog post we describe some 'best practices' and hints and tips with working with and comparing documents in your Intelligent Data Room.

Tip 1: Use the current document

Whenever you wish to review a document, please check that the version you have is current. Each document produced has a timestamp on every page. You should confirm that any local version you are reviewing has the same timestamp as the document in your online Intelligent Data Room.

Tip 2: Check the 'to be signed' version

When you are asked to sign documents on the platform at the end of a funding round, you should ensure that it is identical to the version that you have reviewed. The document you have reviewed should have the same date/time stamp as shown on the signing page. If the date has changed on the signing page, then the document has changed and you should review the latest document, before signing.

Tip 3: Comparing document revisions the easy way

As both a founder and an investor, , it is sometimes useful to compare versions of documents produced by the platform to identify any changes and if so, what. The alternative is re-checking the document set line by line, which is a thankless task!

One quick way to check if two documents are identical is to review the checksum in the footer of the document - where the document states 'Version: xxxxxxxx'. If your two downloaded versions have the same checksum then they should be identical. In theory though, there is nothing to prevent a very determined person from editing the PDF file and amending the content and leaving the version 'as is' so it’s not a failsafe way of checking a document.

Tip 4: Comparing document revisions the hard way

It is worth stating up front that comparing two versions of a PDF implies that you have two versions to compare. Whenever you review a copy of a PDF, it is best practice to save a copy locally on your machine in case you subsequently need to compare it with a later issue. Note: Previous issues of documents are not available from the FounderCatalyst platform.

When you have two documents that you want to compare for changes there are a few options:

  1. Use Adobe Acrobat DC. Whilst this is a 'paid for' product, a free trial is available.
  2. There is a free web based platform from Draftable.
  3. You can undertake the comparison in Microsoft Word. First you need to open both documents in turn in Word and save the files as Word documents (.docx). Then (on a Mac) choose menu item Tools -> Track Changes -> Compare Documents... On a Windows machine click on the Review tab and choose Compare. You then point Word at the 2x .docx files you've created from the PDFs.

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