Backed by Ratan Tata, Singapore-based Crayon Data sets up business operations in India


Singapore-based big data startup Crayon Data is setting up India operations in alliance with WPP-owned media investment management firm GroupM and its subsidiary Mindshare. Ratan Tata had recently invested an undisclosed amount in Crayon Data.

"Together, GroupM, Mindshare and Crayon Data aim to map the taste of millions of Indian consumers, which will allow enterprises to target consumers more precisely," the company said in a statement. Crayon Data has built a proprietary big data platform called SimplerChoices that allows it to ingest, curate and algorithmically predict the tastes of millions of consumers.

"As life goes digital and choices proliferate in every aspect of our life, we will move to a world centered around personalisation, where companies understand tastes and preferences at an individual level and use that to make choices simple and relevant for their consumers," Crayon Data founder Suresh Shankar said.

The startup has developed a global 'consumer taste graph', which maps choices across 15 categories, using machine learning and complex algorithms. This taste graph is then mapped to vast internal (enterprise) and external (online and social) data sets to generate a unique taste fingerprint of each consumer.

This taste fingerprint in turn allows it to provide a set of highly personalised choices, to consumers of its enterprise clients. Bringing Crayon Data is a part of WPP's move towards a data-led approach to marketing.

"GroupM is changing the way marketers approach the business of media. Together with the WPP data alliance, bringing the Crayon Data proposition to India reflects our ambition to know more deeply than anyone else the tastes of Indian consumers and use that to help our clients target them better," GroupM India CEO CVL Srinivas said.

Mindshare, a global media agency which is a part of GroupM had partnered with Crayon Data in 2014, and has seen significant success in other Asia-Pacific markets, in algorithm based ad-targeting and personalisation capabilities.

"Through this alliance, Mindshare's proprietary data and research are further enriched with Crayon Data's analytics. This will help us bring in both agility and adaptive solutions for our clients. Understanding the tastes and mind-set of consumers is extremely important and will be a great advantage for us especially since there is a strong focus on digital. In our journey to understand our consumers even better, this will be a great advantage," Mindshare South Asia CEO Prasanth Kumar said.

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