“I and love and you®” (ILY)

Premium pet food company expedites finding a perfect investment partner with Intralinks


When you’re a premium pet food company looking to play in the big leagues, you need lots of working capital. “I and love and you” (ILY), a small high-end pet food company, wanted to grow from $20 million to $100 million. So it needed to find an investor willing to finance that vision.

The Boulder, Colorado-based company wanted to partner with a single investor with deep pockets, rather than raise funds from multiple private equity firms. Finding the right one meant sharing thousands of financial, legal and operations documents with a dozen prospective investors. Such an effort would be logistically complex and severely strain ILY’s small staff. ILY needed to expedite the funding process while staying focused on expanding its premium brand nationwide.


ILY turned to Houlihan Lokey, a global investment bank, for expert advice on how to raise the money quickly. Houlihan Lokey identified 10 private equity firms that met ILY’s criteria: significant funding resources, familiarity with brand building and experience in the pet food space.

Tom Spielberger, ILY’s CFO, recalls, “Houlihan Lokey recommended we set up an Intralinks virtual data room (VDR) to share documents with prospective investors. This would end up including our financials, organization charts, market studies, five-year growth projections – anything and everything a potential investor would want to know.”

ILY used an Intralinks VDR to store 5,000 pages of company information. Approximately 50 users from ILY, Houlihan Lokey and the contending equity firms received access privileges to the VDR.


ILY expected securing the right investor would take four months or more. With the efficiency of the Intralinks VDR, ILY completed due diligence and secured funding from L Catterton, the world’s largest consumer-focused equity firm, in less than 12 weeks.

‘Without Intralinks, we would have needed to hire an additional 10 people and buy 10 scanners to manually reproduce documents for review by prospective firms in our offices,’ states Spielberger. ‘It would have been crazy.’

Intralinks’ user engagement reports and data analytics helped ILY gauge each equity firm’s level of interest by documenting how often they logged into the VDR, how long they stayed and what files they reviewed.

Spielberger explains, ‘With Intralinks’ multiple security levels, we could limit access to specific proprietary documents until we were sure that the equity firm showed serious interest.’

The new Intralinks interface also proved to be valuable, according to Spielberger. “The Intralinks virtual data room was easy to use and well laid out,” he says. “We also liked how fast it was when pulling up documents.”

ILY is wasting no time executing on its strategic growth goals now that the L Catterton capital infusion is in place.

‘Intralinks gave us a competitive edge by cutting the time to secure funding nearly in half,’ remarks Spielberger. ‘We’re now able to start marketing our premium pet foods brand on a national scale and move toward achieving our next phase of growth.’