Kris Gopalakrishnan invests in Ratan Tata-backed analytics startup Crayon Data

By Binu Paul

  • 07 Nov 2017

Infosys co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan has made an undisclosed personal investment in Singapore- and Chennai-based big data and analytics startup Crayon Data Pte Ltd, an investee firm of Tata Sons’ chairman emeritus Ratan Tata, a press statement said.

The investment is part of Crayon’s Series A2 round of funding.

Crayon will use the funds to enhance its core product, Maya, besides expanding its global footprint, the statement added.

"The future of business will be the ability to leverage artificial intelligence and big data to create personal digital experiences for millions of customers. Crayon has a unique ability to bridge multiple worlds: analytics to digital, offline to online, internal, and external data,” Gopalakrishnan said.

Crayon Data, founded in 2012 by Srikant Sastri and Suresh Shankar, builds software for banking, hospitality and FMCG industries. The company raised an undisclosed amount in a bridge round from Japanese diversified conglomerate Mitsui & Co, Ltd, three months after receiving Tata's backing in November 2015.

Previously, it had raised $10 million in a Series A round led by Jungle Ventures and Spring Seeds in 2013.

"Kris’ experience in building large enterprise businesses, and at spotting highly promising startups with Axilor Ventures, is a boost to our mission and an endorsement of our vision,” Shankar said.

Crayon claims that its flagship product Maya, a personalisation engine, powers the largest credit card issuer in India, the top bank in the UAE, a global credit card leader in the US, and one of the largest airlines in the world. Another product TasteGraph, it says, maps 4 million restaurants globally, over a million hotels and 500,000 attractions.

“In the past year alone we have tied up with seven marquee clients... Maya currently knows the tastes of over 20 million customers worldwide. Our plan is to reach 100 million customers in a year, and reach the 1 billion mark in 2020,” Vikram Rao, CEO of Crayon Data, said.

Gopalakrishnan, who co-founded startup accelerator and seed fund Axilor Ventures, also invests actively in early-stage ventures in his personal capacity.

In August, he participated in a $30 million (Rs 192 crore) Series C round at Bangalore-based genomics-based diagnostics and research firm MedGenome Labs.

In April, he invested Rs 1 crore in Uniphore Software Systems Pvt. Ltd, a Chennai-based speech recognition startup.

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