Deal origination services refer to specialized services provided by companies to help identify and generate potential investment opportunities or business deals for their clients. These services are commonly utilized by investment banks, private equity firms, venture capital firms, and other investors. Alternatively, companies can use AI powered deal origination softwares that are revolutionizing the way to get company data to detect the most potential acquisition targets. 

What are deal origination services?

Deal origination services are offerings provided by financial institutions, intermediaries or specialized companies to identify and source potential investment opportunities for clients. These services include utilizing comprehensive market research and industry networks to find acquisition targets that support the client’s investment goals.

Deal origination services involve the systematic identification, sourcing and evaluation of potential deals. Investment banks may maintain an in-house team dedicated to deal origination and buy-side operations, or they can outsource this to a deal origination company with a team of dedicated analysts and software.

How deal origination services work?

The advisory team works closely with clients to understand their acquisition strategy objectives. They leverage their industry knowledge, networks, and research capabilities to identify and present opportunities that align with their clients' investment criteria.

Deal origination companies may employ various methods, such as market research, industry analysis, networking events, proprietary databases, and proprietary algorithms, to uncover potential targets or investment opportunities.

Once potential deals are identified, deal origination service providers typically perform an initial assessment and screening to determine the viability and attractiveness of the opportunity. This assessment involves evaluating financial performance, growth prospects, competitive landscape, market trends, and other relevant factors.

Ultimately, the goal of deal origination services is to deliver a pipeline of high-quality investment or business opportunities to their clients. By outsourcing the deal sourcing process to specialized firms, investors can save time and resources while accessing a broader range of potential deals. This allows them to focus on their core competencies, investment analysis, and decision-making processes to pursue the most promising opportunities.

Top 13 deal origination services

Here are listed the top thirteen deal origination firms that will deliver their professional acquirers quality flow of investment targets. 

Harvey & Company 

Harvey & Company is a leading buy-side acquisition search and principal investment firm, established in 1998. They have industry-focused teams which act as partners to private equity funds and corporations. Harvey & Company generates a steady flow of new deals and investments for their customers, pairing it with buy-and-build strategies. 

Some of the business sectors Harvey & Company covers are industrial, business, financial, healthcare, consumer and technology. 

Harvey & Company is based in Newport Beach, California, US.

Outflow Agency

Outflow Agency is a deal origination partner. They support their customers in defining and mapping out their deal sourcing strategy, find prospects, make contacts, and secure meetings with qualifying target companies. Their customers include investment banks, M&A advisors, family offices, brokers and private equity. 

Outflow has a database platform of around 2 million verified private company records with tracking and dashboards. 

Outflow Agency is based in Boise, Idaho, US.

Gateway Partners

GPI searches strategic acquisition targets for public and private acquirers. GPI conducts primary research and has a strategy to systematically approach target shareholders to find owners open to sell. Additionally, GPI has a platform for private equity groups to search potential target companies.

Their Buy-side M&A advisory service teams support or lead the steps in the process from acquisition criteria development through closing. GPI can become a part of their clients' M&A teams, supporting management teams in acquisition activities. Furthermore, GPI has experience from capitalizations, management buyouts and financing rounds.

Gateway Partners Inc. is based in San Diego, California, US.

Genz & Associates

Genz & Associates is a buy-side M&A advisory firm. Genz & Associates has a systematic investment origination process for finding their customers industry-specific platform investments, add-on/strategic acquisitions, and buy-and-build targets. Genz & Associates supports their investor customers in building acquisition strategies, gathering information to determine companies’ interest, directly engaging with the companies, and providing companies ongoing support towards a successful closing.

Gez & Associates has a specialized internal research team which utilizes proprietary, public and private databases, along with industry associations and trade shows to identify the potential target companies.

Genz & Associates is based in Austin, Texas, US.


Captarget offers private equity deal origination service for all sizes and types of investors. They have an analyst-driven, “hands-on” approach to reach direct-to-business-owner opportunities. 

Captarget positions their cost-effective sourcing service as an alternative to middle market investors’ internal origination team. They take on target list development, outreach and lead qualification, and manage relationships with sell side advisors and brokers to minimize investors’ efforts.

Captarget is based in San Diego, California, US.

Basin Lake Capital

Basin Lake Capital is a buy-side origination services platform that assists private equity firms, venture capitalists, corporate buyers and family offices. They offer a view of the investment landscape alongside client-specific opportunities and data-driven insights. 

Clients can benefit from Basin Lake Capital’s strategic connections to reach faster capital deployment through a steady flow of investment opportunities. Basin Lake Capital has a platform for sourcing and connecting buyers with founders, shareholders, management teams and their advisors. 

Basin Lake Capital is based in Reno, Nevada, US.


Trusight has services for broadening and accelerating middle market mergers and acquisitions. Their customer base includes private equity firms, investment banks, family offices, intermediaries and company owners. 

Trusight has a partnership philosophy in which they can function as an extension to their partner clients’ M&A team. Their process and technology are built on a resourceful network of professionals, business intelligence and data science derived insights. 

Trusight is based in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, US.


SourceCo is a technology-enabled investment bank that specializes in generating off-market opportunities. SourceCo has a software that’s driven by machine learning to produce on-demand deal flow. 

SourceCo builds a custom qualifying process with specified target criteria to support their clients’ growth strategy. They also dedicate a professional team to each client to drive their deal origination process. 

SourceCo is based in Miami, US. 

Spearhead Corporate Development

Spearhead Corporate Development supports buy-side investment teams in finding specific opportunities across a wide range of industries with an analyst-driven approach.

Spearhead Corporate Development serves sector consolidators and investors with a Corporate Development as a Service (CDaaS) model. Strategic acquirers can outsource their top‑of‑the‑deal‑funnel to Spearhead Corporate Development, expanding their coverage in the early stages of deal-making. They also advise clients on transactions.

Spearhead Corporate Development is based in Toronto, Canada; Johannesburg, South Africa; and Bengaluru, India. 


Equinot offers tailored solutions for M&A needs, including research, M&A strategy consulting, and deal origination. They focus on reaching small and mid-market companies. Equinot provides complete M&A advisory to the pre-acquisition process from screening to valuation and drafting the LOI. They utilize a mixture of hand curated data and business intelligence collection techniques, to synthesize information about the client’s target list. 

Equinot is based in Strasbourg, France.  


iMergeAdvisors is a sell-side boutique M&A advisory firm. Their special experience is in the small to mid-cap software and technology sector. They provide their customers assistance with the valuation of their company’s performance and presentation to potential buyers. 

iMerge Advisors uses their knowledge of the diverse technology and software industry to facilitate the merger and acquisition process through the transaction.  

iMerge Advisors is based in Seattle, Washington, US.

GaP Advisors 

Gilbert & Pardue Transaction Advisors (GaP) is a M&A transaction boutique firm. Their focus customers include lower middle market and middle market business owners. GaP Advisors develops each customer a core team with strategists and partners with personal experience of exits of multiple businesses. 

GaP Advisors position themselves more like a partner than a broker for their clients. GaP utilizes their competence to find qualified buyers, showcase their clients’ company value to and meet the business owners’ goals. GaP cultivates ongoing relationships with buyers to be able to pursue the deals also privately. 

GaP Advisors is based in Houston, Texas, US.


IndustryPro delivers services for sell-side investment banking and targeted deal origination service. IndustryPro facilitates acquisitions, divestitures, management buy-outs and recapitalizations of privately-held midsize companies. Their merger and acquisition advisors find business owners debt or equity investors from the target industries.

Additionally, IndustryPro also works with private equity groups and strategic buyers to source investment and acquisition opportunities.

IndustryPro is based in Atlanta, Georgia, and Phoenix, Arizona, US. 

Big four’s services in deal origination

Worth their own mention are also the Big Four companies. The four largest accounting firms in the world, Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Ernst & Young (EY), and KPMG also provide deal origination as a service. 

Big Four companies have specialized divisions that assist clients with other parts of the process, including industry and market research, strategic advice, due diligence, and valuation. They have vast capabilities, networks and relationships with key industry players, which they utilize in the origination process. 

How AI supports traditional deal origination services

Deal origination service firms traditionally utilize a combination of business intelligence, strategic advisory teams, and their extensive networks to find suitable deals. 

AI is revolutionizing deal origination services by expanding the potential investment landscape, and accuracy of search. AI provides extensive data processing capabilities, which reduce a vast amount of manual work from the laborious market research and data collection stage. 

Therefore AI expands the pool of companies that become screened and eventually analyzed. AI deal origination softwares are exceptionally efficient when they learn to make accurate suggestions to match the analysts’ earlier preferences. 

Inven’s clients have access to the next generation of market intelligence and buy side software for deal origination. Inven is powered by the latest advancements in AI and NLP, and combines millions of data points from public and private sources. For example, Inven has 15 M+ companies in its database and each company is enriched with relevant data points such as headcount, ownership and decision-makers’ contact information. Having access to this data significantly improves reaching and finding all relevant targets. 

Thus, Inven essentially enables investors to scale deal flow and get access to more company owners, and consequently the ones ready to sell.

AI solutions can support outsourced deal origination services or work as an additional channel for getting access to all the company information that would otherwise be missed. Both services undoubtedly have their benefits to M&A professionals. 

All in all, AI deal origination platforms can save M&A professionals a lot of their valuable time. This will eventually result in more lucrative investments.