Two IIT Delhi graduates and an ex-VC get together to provide business intelligence

By Neha Jain|24th Jan 2018
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Delhi-based Kalagato is a data analytics startup that provides business intelligence to investors and large enterprises.

Startup: Kalagato

Founders: Himanshu Dhakar, Nikhil Bhaskar and Aman Kumar

Year it was founded: 2015

Where it is based: New Delhi

Sector: Data Analytics

The problem it solves: Provides business insights to investors and large enterprises

Funding raised: Undisclosed Angel Investment

Which sectors are the most promising in terms of investment? Which food-tech company has the biggest pie in terms of market share? What are the top shopping trends currently?

These are some questions that most people, whether an investor, an entrepreneur or anybody keen on learning the market, are always looking answers for. To address these questions, and many more, data scientists Himanshu Dhakar (24) and Nikhil Bhaskar (26) and IIT Delhi alumnus, started Kalagato in 2015.

Data analytics startup Kalagato uses Machine Learning and Big Data to provide business intelligence to institutional investors and large enterprises.

While Nikhil and Himanshu started out, built the core engine, and provided insights for over 14 months, they struggled to monetise the platform and find customers.

Himanshu says, “We could build the basic product, but had no idea of how to showcase it to the world. That’s when our main investor asked Aman Kumar (30), a former entrepreneur and venture capitalist himself, if he could help out and build a business around the analytics we provided.”

A different VC entry

That is how Kalagato got its third founder. Aman says, “I was excited by the nature of the problem they were solving, and the chance to work on these complex data sets. As a former entrepreneur and VC, I understood how valuable this information would be for decision makers.”

Aman, a venture investor at AdvantEdge Partners, had also started and sold – a platform that helped blue collar workers find employment.

“We realised that many trends are converging on the mobile, and there must be a way to effectively mine this data and use it for decision making,” says Aman. Its current focus, and both primary and secondary research, is based on mobile technology in India.

Everything one does today leaves a digital trail, and the systems of Kalagato focus on picking up these digital trails, aggregating them over a large audience so that the results are representative of what is taking place in the real world.

“The idea is to use real digital trends to uncover metrics on the performance of various companies and industries,” Aman added.

Himanshu Dhakar, Nikhil Bhaskar and Aman Kumar

Newsletter - the strategy

Talking about the key challenge Kalagato faces, Aman says, “The challenges are mainly around creating credibility in the minds of our clients so that they are willing to consume data from us and use it to drive decision making.”

To engage a larger client base, the company decided to start a newsletter, and considers it the simplest, and most scalable way to reach the audience. Aman started writing a data-driven daily newsletter under the pen name Ashish Kapur, addressing those part of the venture capital and entrepreneurial ecosystem.

“This newsletter slowly got popular, and helped us build traction. I used a pen name, randomly taken from my initials, because most of times people lose sight of the message and focus on the messenger. We wanted our readers to focus on the message, which was data-driven analysis,” says Aman.

In order to create a brand and build credibility, Kalagato also started providing data to large publications and main stream media, so they could use the data in their reportage.

Kalagato’s current team size is five and with a niche clientele, it charges the customers upward of $5000 per month on a subscription basis.

Aman says:

“We expect to breakeven soon, and our goal is to serve top five customers for every industry we provide intelligence for. With some of our clients, we are close to achieving these goals.”

Modern Business Intelligence

According to Gartner, modern business intelligence and analytics continues to expand more rapidly than the overall market, offsetting declines in traditional business intelligence spending. Modern business intelligence and analytics platforms have emerged over the last few years to meet new organisational requirements of accessibility, agility and deeper analytical insight, shifting the market from IT-led, system-of-record reporting to business-led, agile analytics including self-service. The sector has recorded a 19 percent year-on-year growth.

Other Indian startups in this space include RedSeer Consulting and Tracxn, while globally, larger players like Mattermark, Datafox, and CB Insights command a good market share.

Talking about Kalagato’s key differentiator, Aman says, “The technology and data crunching capability we have built are par excellence. More than that, our own understanding of the data has come from many hours, days, months, and years spent looking at this problem. As a result, we and our systems are able to split this information and make sense (trends and patterns) out of raw data faster and more accurately than anyone else.”

Kalagato is currently funded by an angel investor.

About the company’s future plans, Himanshu says, “As the scale of our data collection increases, our own understanding and the level of our technology improves, we will be able to provide many more data points across a much larger subset of companies. The next frontier for us will be publicly-listed companies.”