Business Today

Private Matter

Neha Singh uses technology to provide data on lakhs of companies that were never tracked earlier
Sonal Khetarpal | Print Edition: October 6, 2019
Private Matter
Neha Singh, Co-Founder, Tracxn Photograph by Sudhir Damerla

Neha Singh has stood by the first career decision she took after graduating in computer science from IIT-Mumbai. She was a geek through and through, winning in several coding competitions. However, she realised early on that "technology in itself is limited unless it is merged with business for larger impact." After graduating in 2008, she joined Boston Consulting Group (BCG), followed by Sequoia Capital, to understand the venture funding space that was at a nascent stage in India. As she was looking at emerging technology businesses to invest, she realised how difficult it was to get information on private companies."The private market has become significant in the last ten years. There is a need for more information in this space," she says.

That is when she applied technology to solve the problem. She created a rudimentary software that was like the Google of private companies. But she wasn't the only one. A common friend introduced her to Abhishek Goyal who, like Singh, was a techie-turned-investor, and had written a code about private market investing. The two connected over a common idea. She went to Stanford Graduate School of Business for an MBA and started Tracxn with Goyal in 2013. They ran the firm from the US for the first four years. It was their biggest market. "It was a new market we were creating. So, we had to figure out what information should be curated and how it should be presented," she says. Their angel investors, NEA and Lightspeed Venture Partners, also became their first clients; this helped them iterate to a final product. In 2017, they moved to India. "You can grow the company much faster in India. The talent pool is readily available. Remote selling has become a reality," says Singh.

They started helping investors access private market information. Soon, large companies, too, started requesting for information. "Innovation has become democratised and new start-ups are coming up across sectors," says Singh.

The data intelligence platform, valued at $79 million, has till date raised $16.5 million from SAIF Partners, Accel Partners, Sequoia Capital and angel investors such as Nandan Nilekani and Mohandas Pai. Its 700-people team is part of a strong back-end that uses AI, web crawlers and data analytics to provide data on 20 million companies across 1,000 sectors to 6,000 clients in 40 geographies. "If you want to track innovation in the industry, we are the largest platform," she says.

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