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Published on: Nov. 28, 2021, 8:34 p.m.
How Tracxn accelerates innovation
  • Neha and Goyal: Our job is to facilitate investors to make informed decisions

By Lancelot Joseph. Executive Editor, Business India

Data is fuel and two IITians who got together to fuel the business intelligence industry have already emerged among the global top 5. This is the story of 36-year-old Neha Singh and 40-year-old Abhishek Goyal who kicked their jobs to set up Tracxn Technologies Limited (TTL) as a private market intelligence platform. “Private companies have always been a backbone of global economic growth and continue to contribute to the positive business environment,” says Neha, an IIT-Bombay alumnus. “The rate of creation of companies has increased exponentially, while companies are remaining private for longer,” says Goyal, an IIT-Kanpur product, and quoting a Frost & Sullivan Analysis.

On the idea behind Tracxn, Neha recalls that there are many platforms for public companies, but the private ones were doing tracking data manually. “That’s where we thought of this platform and we launched it in the US,” she says. Today, Tracxn is 900-customer strong across the globe. “Our job is to facilitate investors to make informed decisions,” says Goyal, Vice Chairman and ED, explaining: “They track for hundreds of key data points and we provide all those”. The firm offers customers private company data for deal sourcing, identifying M&A targets, deal diligence, analysis and tracking emerging themes across industries and markets, among others. “In short,” says Neha, “we want to accelerate innovation globally in the private space as investors look for opportunities and start-ups aspire for funds.”

“While we are an Indian SaaS (Software As a Service) company, our platform Tracxn serves customers globally,” explains Goyal. “Our ability to develop and deploy the platform in India provides us with significant cost advantages. Service providers, especially those operating out of regions like India, have cost advantage as their pricing is much more competitive than their global competitors. Our business is technology driven, asset light and scalable,” he adds.

As per estimates, there are around 190 million to 200 million private companies worldwide. Private companies have shown continuous signs of growth and with globalisation and the emergence of favourable business environments across most countries globally, private sector companies are expected to further push for growth. The increasing private market is becoming more and more relevant and private market AUM stood at around $6 trillion in 2019 and is expected to reach around $8.45 trillion by 2025. Growth in AUM will mostly be driven by private equity firms and venture capital firms who will look to focus more on shifting their investments from public equity funds to private equity markets.

Private equity firms have been faring well in the global markets. These companies have witnessed increased investments, strong exits and attractive returns. Due to these increased activities among the PE firms, the global economies have seen robust growth and this has resulted in the increased fund-raising activities among the private sector companies. Private companies have been successful in raising close to $3 to $3.5 trillion in the past five years.

The global economic slowdown affecting geo-politics and the ongoing health emergency across the globe is seriously challenging the way businesses function today. “In these volatile times, having the means that can help organisations to make informed decisions on where to invest, how to invest and how much to invest, can prove handy. The demand for this type of business intelligence is growing and is expected to further intensify in these testing times,” says Goyal.

  • Tracxn attracts funds from marquee investors such as Ratan Tata

On the impact of the Covid-triggered lockdown, Neha says: “We had to continue business as usual and at the same time ensure the safety of our employees. We took a number of steps to facilitate a smooth transition of nearly all employees to a work from home setup, and have been taking measures since then. Given the business model of our company, we did not see any significant impact. It has been business as usual and our total active customer accounts have increased by around 33 per cent in the period between March 2020-21.”

“At Tracxn, we are customer-obsessed,” says Bhaskar Sharma, Chief Product Officer – Tracxn. “Both Abhishek and Neha, who have an investment background, have given a lot of thought to how the investment process actually works.”

“One of the core problems we solve for our customers is finding relevant companies from a sea of information, especially when a private company can be anything from a one-person operation to a 10,000-employee behemoth,” says Neeraj Chopra, Chief Technology Officer – Tracxn. “We use technology as a key pillar in tracking over 550 million web domains at the backend and using big data and machine learning to identify relevant profiles for curation.”

Tracxn built an extensive global database coupled with customised solutions and features that allow customers to source and track companies across sectors and geographies to address their requirements. “Our platform offers detailed coverage of company information that includes company profiles, funding rounds, capitalisation tables, financials and valuation, news, team size and trends, competition mapping and information about founders to the extent available publicly,” explains Neha. The number of entities on the platform has increased at a CAGR of 56.85 per cent, from over 540,000 as of 31 March, 2019 to over 1.30 million, as of 31 March, 2021.

“We have been able to consistently grow our customer accounts over the last three fiscals from 471 in 2019 to 855 as of 31 March, 2021. Private equity firms, venture capital firms and investment banking companies have been the biggest adopters of private market data services,” says Goyal.

With their experience in the software and technology sectors and association with venture capital firms such as Accel Partners and Sequoia Capital, the duo has been able to leverage their technology and venture capital experience to develop the Tracxn platform, industry watchers say.

Tracxn has done upfront investment in technology and in building a global coverage of private companies. For this it had also raised venture capital from marquee institutional and angel investors. It has been able to reduce its losses fairly quickly – from Rs18 crore in 2018-19 to Rs15.81 crore as on 31 March, 2021, and the company hopes to move towards profitability. Another key aspect is that Tracxn has negative working capital as it collects a subscription amount from customers ahead of subscription.

Tracxn, says Neha, has been lucky to attract funds from marquee investors such as Ratan Tata. So far, Tracxn has raised Rs113 crores through institutional and angel investors. Ratan Tata had invested Rs1.3 crore in Series A2 round in February 2016. Nandan Nilekani invested via NRJN Family Trust, Mohandas Pai via 3ONE4 Capital Fund – Scheme I. Girish Mathrubootham had also invested, among others.

  • While we are an Indian SaaS (Software As a Service) company, our platform Tracxn serves customers globally

Sudhir Rao, Managing Partner – WRVI Capital says: “Comprehensive information and easy navigation around key data sets are two major factors that have helped us while we look for companies to invest. An accurate competitive landscape around our portfolio and leads has helped us a great bit in making investment decisions. To summarise – the design that allows taking both quick glances and a deep dive will be a great asset for VCs at various stages of investment decisions.”

The success of the enterprise can be gauged from the data of the data company itself. As of 31 May, 2021, the number of entities Tracxn profiled were over 1.40 million. In fiscal 2021, information of approximately 1,624 new entities across various sectors was added to the platform on a daily basis.

Amit Agarwal, Chief Operating Officer - Tracxn, explains that with a 35 per cent CAGR in customer accounts, that also includes several Fortune 500 companies, Tracxn's business metrics from 2019 till now have been on an uptrend. “This has been driven by continuous improvement in product features supported by improvement in data coverage, quality and our focus on customers. Around 70 per cent of the customers are based outside India but are supported by teams based out of our headquarters in Bangalore – working in client time zones," Agarwal says. He specifically mentions the “human side of things”. "They (Neha and Abhishek) are always there to mentor, guide and help you learn – from mistakes or otherwise – so that you improve as a business leader,” he says.

Anuvrat Jain, Associate - ChrysCapital, says: “They cover trending start-ups and emerging technologies better than others. Tracxn's reports and marking emerging start-ups such as soon to be unicorn companies helped streamlined my investment. The extra efforts put by the analyst team to provide me data in ready-to-use format has saved a significant amount of time.”

“We profiled over 17,000 entities that, based on our internal assessment, will be ‘Soonicorns’ or companies with high valuations that are expected to become unicorns in the near future and ‘Minicorns’ or companies, which in our assessment are early-stage companies which we believe have a potential to become unicorns,” says Goyal.

“For early-stage investors like us, gathering the right information from public forum is difficult,” says Pearl Agarwal, Founder – Eximius Ventures.  “But after Tracxn, we are able to gather all the information quickly and easily with a single touchpoint.”

Tracxn is now going public with an Offer for Sale of 38,672,208 equity shares by the company's promoters and investors. The company will not receive any IPO proceeds.

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