Want to know between Flipkart and Amazon who’s really winning? What’s the average order value? What are people ordering online? Which sectors and companies are growing the fastest? The kind of data stuff that helps investors find potential companies to invest in and entrepreneurs run them better is where Delhi-based start-up Kalagato plays a crucial role. Kalagato—which means a black cat in Spanish—is a data analytics firm that uses machine learning and big data to provide business intelligence. “One of the great things about being in venture capital is the opportunity to learn from the entrepreneurs one meets. Each of them developed an idea based on insights gleaned from their own unique personal experiences. While pitching for capital, these entrepreneurs freely shared these insights with me. This collective bank of insights is invaluable,” said Aman Kumar, chief business officer, Kalagato. Kumar joined the research agency in April this year. At the time the team constituted data scientists and programmers. According to Kumar, the team could build the basic product but had no idea on how to showcase it the world. “They had been around for roughly two years when their main investor Amit Bhatiani asked me if he could help out and build a business around the analytics they provide,” noted Kumar.
Kumar decided to turn the wheels for Kalagato by providing investors and entrepreneurs with a tool that helped them find value. “The idea was to provide competitive metrics that could help entrepreneurs and managers understand what was really going on rather than blindly chasing downloads,” he said. However, Kumar had to let go of more than 50% of the team. Currently, a small team of five people generates data analytics, which is subscribed by the investor community apart for start-ups. The start-up earns revenue from this via an annual subscription fee, which is payable half-yearly. Even as the start-up has been earning revenue, marketing and promotion has remained a challenging area. So Kumar turned into Ashish Kapur who started writing blogs and reports based on the data churned by his team. Gradually the reports got picked up by journalists and over the course of six months, that start-up claims that it has been able to establish a strong reputation in the market.
For Kumar and his team, as the scale of data collection increases, so does the team’s understanding. Along with improvement in technology, the start-up will be able to provide many more data points across a much larger subset of companies. “The next frontier for us will be listed companies,” said Kumar, adding that the start-up would at the same time focus on turning profitable. Kumar signs off by adding, “Perhaps in five years, what Kalagato is doing now will become the norm and every investor worth its salt will have its own data science desk. But for now Kalagato is responsible for not just showing the power of data but also making us question some closely held beliefs.”