Research and analysis of data has been around for as long as data has existed. The importance of data in making business decisions is today a given and today no decisions are taken before enough number crunching is done. When the Indian judiciary introduced the RTI Act in 2005, even that turned out to be a potent tool for information seekers.A startup that has made data its area of expertise is Probe Equity Research, an independent research and analytics company based in Bangalore. Probe provides indepth analysis of unlisted companies in India and can help any PE/VC or even an entrepreneur make business decisions. While the PE/VC will find the information useful for making investments, entrepreneurs can approach Probe with a request to understand a particular sector that they are looking to startup in, get deeper information about the sector and then plan their entry strategy.
Probe was founded by W S Ravishankar & Atul Shinghal in 2005 and since then has serviced over 50 clients. Today the startup has offices across India, US and Europe. Their client base is a mix of private equity firms, venture capital firms, index providers, corporations, fund managers as well as consultancies. Talking about the differentiation they offer, Atul says: “Private or public companies have to make their financials known to the public. While traditionally such information is easily available with the Registrar of Companies(RoC), it is difficult to intelligently analyze the information in a manner that can be beneficial for the decision making. That is where we come in.”
Probe can help you understand the true picture of any corporate company - private or public. Understanding and unraveling the financials of unlisted companies is Probe’s forte. There are today about 850,000 such companies, which make up 95-97% of the economy and if you need any information on these unlisted company, now you know whom to approach. However Probe cannot help you find information about partnerships or proprietary concerns.
Any interested party can approach Probe with an information request and based on the magnitude of information required, Probe can provide the details in either a day or maximum a week. The Probe team comprises of analysts who are MBAs from top educational institutes in India, with a CFA or CA qualification. A deep interest in capital markets research is a value-add.
Probe charges consultancy fees for information they provide and on the amount of work that needs to be put into each research request. Atul says they are very affordable to work with and can always negotiate to make the best offer. Probe is purely an on-request research house and does not undertake any proprietary work. “If a client makes a request, then we can investigate and give the report. This is also part of the regulation laid down by the RoC. You are only covering companies that someone wants to read about. You cannot proactively research a company,” explains Atul.
Venture capital firm Accel Partners have made an investment in Probe Equity Research.