Crayon Data, a Singapore-based big data firm that claims to bring Amazon-like personalisation and Google-like scale to customer engagement in traditional enterprises, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Ratan Tata.

Srikant Sastri, co-founder of Crayon Data stated, “We are excited and honoured. To meet Ratan Tata and have our vision validated by him is an accolade in itself.” The company employs 100 people in offices spread across New York, Dubai, Chennai, Singapore and London.

Co-founded in 2012 by IIM-Calcutta graduates Sastri and Suresh Shankar, Crayon, has so far raised $10 Mn in funding from Jungle Ventures and Spring Seeds in February 2014. Incidentally, Tata’s investment in it comes three months after he became senior adviser to Jungle Ventures.

Traditional enterprises such as those in banking and tourism industry have been sitting on mines of data, without making much use of them. Crayon has an engine that puts this data in the context of publicly available data, allowing them to personalise offers to their respective customers. It is also developing a “consumer taste fabric”, which maps choices across 15 categories, by employing machine learning and complex algorithms. This taste fabric is then mapped to the internal data of enterprises, and the online external data sets to provide a set of customised choices to consumers.

With Crayon, Ratan Tata has added another startup to his ever growing folio of investments which includes companies like Ola, Cardekho, Paytm, Lybrate, Zivame, Urban Ladder, Snapdeal, HolaChef and Kaaryah to name a few. This month, he also invested in Mumbai–based Sabse Technologies, a global Wi-Fi first carrier founded in 2008 by Sabeer Bhatia (co-founder of Hotmail) and Yogesh Patel.

In addition to Jungle, Tata serves as an adviser with Kalaari Capital and IDG Ventures. In October, he also joined as advisor and investor to LetsVenture – a marketplace for startup funding.


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