Investment Portfolio Engineering and Risk Analytics from Startup, Valuefy

28th Sep 2012
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Started as a Portfolio Management Solutions provider, Valuefy helps fund managers deliver better returns. Expanding their scope and reach they have launched newer tools that serve the function of enabling a scientific and process driven investment decision making such that it is free of human bias, fatigue and emotions, across investor classes and asset types.

In this domain, Valuefy is the only company with an Indian origin and the competition that it faces is from global giants like Bloomberg, MSCI Barra and Factset. Even before we started out, the competition never deterred us, simply because our solutions are designed with an edge that makes them the best pick amongst the contest.

Valuefy is an amalgamation of the word “value” and “fy”. The “value” stands to denote worth and the suffix fy is Latin for to make. With this they wish to accentuate the work they do in terms of the products and organization, as well as how this has also become a guiding mandate for their further developments.

Valuefy started operations in January 2010. “In fact, our motivation was based out of multiple reasons but primarily it was the potency of such a solution that drove us to convert idea to plan and plan to reality. We say potent because what we sought to do carried such ingenuity that it would usher revolutionary and advanced practices enhancing the existing system. The scope excited us and I think to test our conviction we took the plunge,” says Sharad Singh, CEO, Valuefy.

Sharad has over twelve years of experience in IT, product development & analytics in the BFSI sector. He leads Valuefy, and is responsible for product conceptualization, identifying opportunities in capital markets and aligning strategy to the same. He has created portfolio management products for leading fund managers in India. He co-founded BrainMatics Solutions in 2006, and led the Products and market risk team. He is an alumnus of IIM, Ahmedabad. Vivek Singal, Director, Strategic Initiatives, is an astute number cruncher; Vivek has over 9 years of experience in developing quantitative models for the financial sector. He has been entrepreneurial in nature and worked with Fractal & co-founded BrainMatics prior to Valuefy. He has worked on various tools, techniques in the domains of BFSI, retail and capital markets. At Valuefy he leads the business development and identifies go-to-market strategies for Valuefy’s products. Vivek is an alumnus of IIT-Bombay.

Both, Sharad and Vivek were working at the same organization and had a great amount of symbiosis in their discussions. More often than not a brilliant idea is abandoned in the stage of inception itself but for them the minute we stumbled over their Eureka moment, the innumerous and exhaustive discussions between them helped to hone and sharpen the idea in to a business plan.

Their core activity has been analytics and in the past they have applied this to retail, telecom and banking. “We realized that the Indian capital markets are balanced on the fulcrum of an extremely vibrant economy that is being touted to grow as the world’s largest. In such a scenario, the fact remains that the existing processes employed in the functioning of some aspects of capital markets are inadequate and inefficient…we seek to fill that gap by introducing advanced analytics that can drive a cultivated and equipped market system,” says Vivek.

There are very few products in the market that address the problems that we are trying to solve. Fund houses have started realizing that some of their extremely critical calculations, analysis and investor’s report are incorrect and incomplete if they don’t use our solutions.

Based on the products Valuefy has two revenue models,

·        Fixed and Recurring Fees for analytical products

·        Fee as a percentage of Assets managed for quant products

Mingling performance analytics with software

“To spell out things at the organization level, we require people with experienced backgrounds in the domains of finance, mathematics and statistics and then software. Most organizations when dealing with such a varied skill set face the problem of effective interaction amongst the teams. We worked our way around this with some simple mantras like managing a small yet agile team, picking up talent with aptitude and then spending more than adequate time to nurture it, promoting a culture that defies stratification of roles for inclusive participation.

Secondly, since the products address technical issues, a pertinent concern for us was that non-sophisticated users should also be able to utilize the benefits. Hence, design and usability become very important aspects of our product. We lay a lot of emphasis on doing this right and consequentially, we have created products that score pretty well on the ease-of-use and rich analytical capability powered by super-user-flexible interfaces.”

Currently they’re working around building a brand for themselves that can help them exhibit their expertise in the domain of investment analytics. They have a number of initiatives under way to reach their audience and the online space is a primary focus. Their target clients include Mutual Funds, PMS, Insurance firms, FIIs, Wealth advisors, Brokerage houses etc. They are targeting retail customers via the established institutions and would continue doing so till they create a brand, financial and organizational muscle power to reach them directly.

At an organizational level, a challenge could be meeting our own multiple goals. It is common knowledge that most successful start up companies have no dearth of work although it is supported by a committed workforce. But when your office is brimming with the energies of go-getters, the “good” ideas keep flowing yet fulfilling them takes longer than planned. The other thing is that since our products cater to a futuristic vision of capital markets, we would have to go through the phase of static inertia before we set the ball rolling and transform the industry for better, thereby creating the impact that we have set out for,” says Sharad signing off.

The economic situation world over took a turn for the worse recently and that has impacted businesses such as Valuefy and the rest. But as they say, it is all a part of the global economic cycle.

For your portfolio management needs give a look at Valuefy’s offerings!

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