2016 the year that was
As they say, “a peek into the past can reveal quite a bit about the future”; the year end perhaps presents an ideal time to reflect on the year gone by, its learnings and plan for the coming year.
At DataWeave, 2016 has been quite an eventful year. A few wins here and a few losses there but in the end we have emerged stronger. As we head into 2017, we are super excited about the opportunities in front of us and believe this is going to be a defining year for us. A few highlights on the year gone by and what’s in store:
Customers won and lessons learnt
We faced a slowdown in the SEA region during the first half of 2016. The period felt like we were running on a treadmill. Though we ran fast, it felt like we were at the same place. During this time, the team worked hard to ensure that other geographies made up for this slowdown. Though growth took a hit, we discovered new geographies and verticals. Some key milestones:
· Verticals: Competitive Intelligence in Retail, Travel and Alternative data for financial investment analysis & guidance using data on the Web.
· We now have all the online retail marketplaces in India as our customers.
· We are now a globally recognized vendor for Bain Consulting.
· Key customer wins in the US market. We expected more growth in the US market. The growth has been slower but firmer.
· Announced our partnership with Capillary Technologies
· Large FMCG brands, Electronics Manufacturers use us to increase revenues from their online channels. Some of them being Adidas, Netgear, Unilever.
Prominent geographies: India, US, Japan, Germany, UAE, Turkey, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan, Philippines and more …
The case for “Alternative Data”
Alternative Data refers to the use of non-traditional data that is used to aid decision making in investment processes. The Web presents the largest source of alternative data. Businesses embracing digitization has led to a lot of data being generated. These digital breadcrumbs leave a data trail that can be used to mine information about various entities.
Our platform is now being used by large PE/VC firms, Banks, Asset Managers and other Fintech companies for their alternative data needs. The need to look at non-traditional, edge-worthy data to aid decision making in investment processes and monitor existing investments on an ongoing basis is increasing leaps and bounds. The Web presents the largest source of alternative data with identified usage across 20+ categories.
We have been able to scale the DataWeave platform to handle aggregation & analysis of data across geographies & languages at scale while ensuring high levels of accuracy and consistency. We are uniquely positioned to help mine signals about companies by scoring through heaps of noisy data. Some interesting use cases that we are serving include:
• Analyze performance and efficiency of leading taxi aggregators.
• Analyze strengths and weaknesses of various companies in the above industries in terms of inventory size, rate-of-change, price leadership & promotions.
• Rate of change of inventory and customer engagement for a large publicly traded online travel aggregator.
This has been by far the most important learning and eye opening use case for us.
We love solving problems, HARD DATA PROBLEMS. @DataWeave, we have a passionate team that is crazy about solving these problems. We are now a 60 member team spread across Bangalore & Delhi in India and Seattle in the US.
The DataWeave team has been unwavering in its execution inspite of slowdown in our core industry i.e Retail. This work shows up in our customer signups, upsells and new verticals in the 2nd half of 2016. As we go into 2017, we have the right team in place to take us onto the next growth stage.
New website launched and inbound lead generation
We launched a new version of our website. The focus was on messaging what we enable our customers to achieve than on what our capabilities are. Inbound leads have substantially increased. Some of our largest customers have all been inbound leads.
Letting our prospective customers experience our product in a self-service fashion is going to be key going forward.
Moving from a data products that are descriptive in nature to ones that are prescriptive is going to be a key part of our strategy.
Tying insights to decisions to RoI is going to be critical. Every business consumes data in a unique fashion. Letting these businesses consume insights through multiple data delivery platforms: Customisable dashboards, Deeper API integrations and customized reports across verticals.
Our focus on analysing data that is textual & imagery is going to increase and scale.
Oh! Yes … We raised a round of funding as well
Given the investment mood at the beginning of 2016, its been truly a humbling experience to manage to close a round of funding. A very special mention to the Blume Ventures team for all their belief and support in helping us through this round. To have the backing of folks like Vestech Partners, NB Ventures, Waterbridge Ventures, Arpan Sheth , Chow Boon Tan of Credence Partners and Rakesh Thaploo of Sogeti. Existing investors like Blume, TIL, Hiro Mashita participating in this round has been critical.