The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the call for automation across the board has been a money spinner for Signzy. The Bengaluru based startup, which uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to automate back office operations mostly for banking and financial services institutions (BFSI), has grown its customer base from about 50 at the start of the pandemic to 114 now.
The BFSI sector has traditionally been at the forefront of adopting the latest technologies in order to build efficiencies, specifically in functions such as finance, accounting and security protocols. But, there are still several critical functions that continue to depend on extensive paperwork-driven processes.
“So many systems have been automated but there is a lot of paperwork that still exists when it comes to compliance, legal or risk,” said Signzy co-founder Ankit Ratan. “The problem that we have been trying to solve or focus on solving is how organizations can focus more on their core and not spend time with risk and compliance processes,” he added.
Signzy is IIT Delhi alumnus Ankit Ratan’s second entrepreneurial venture. The first was an analytics platform -- Crosslink Analytical Solutions -- which he co-founded in late 2013 with brother Arpit Ratan.
“We were providing retail analytics for any business with branches, such as helping Axis Bank for the retail business and fashion giant Benetton with the goal of getting more customers into their physical stores,” he said.
Soon after starting up, the brothers decided to pivot and focus on digital native companies that needed help with integrating technology into backend operations such as payments, customer onboarding and KYC. The pivot eventually led them to shut down Crosslink and start Signzy in 2015.
At Signzy, while Ankit Ratan is head of product, brother Arpit Ratan, a lawyer by training, oversees business development. The third founder, Ankur Pandey, an alumnus of IIT Kharagpur, is head of engineering.
According to Ankit Ratan, the initial idea of the Signzy platform was to build APIs and move towards a microservices-based approach for clients. However, two years into developing the platform, the team realised that a no code solutions development approach would grow its footprint faster.
“We realised the ecosystem was not mature enough to build microservices on their own… That is when we realized that something like no-code will actually succeed,” he said.
The startup today offers a no-code platform called Nebula which can be used by clients to build solutions to their liking. Backing this is Signzy’s own marketplace of over 240 APIs that the startup built from scratch to help put together the most apt product.
Its roster of clients includes global payment processor Mastercard, which recently announced a Signzy-backed video KYC solution, some of the country’s largest banks, and the likes of Aditya Birla Sunlife AMC, BoB Financial, Tata AMC and Edelweiss.
Last month, the startup raised $5.4 million from venture capital firm Arkam Ventures and Mastercard.
“This fundraise is a boost in our efforts to scale up our AI capabilities and to tap an ever-widening global market opportunity. We'll also be using these funds to deepen our customer engagement,” Ankit Ratan said.
Prior to the $5.4 million round, the startup raised an undisclosed amount in January last year from Contrarian Drishti Partners, according to data collated by VCCEdge. Earlier, it raised a $3.6 million Series A round from venture capital firms Kalaari Capital and Stellaris Venture Partners.
The startup, Ankit Ratan said, has been profitable. In the financial year 2018-2019, it reported a 7X jump in revenues to Rs 7.7 crore. It also turned profitable the same year, reporting a net profit of Rs 1.5 crore.
Signzy is yet to report its financials for the financial year 2019-2020.
For the founders, the emphasis over the next several quarters will be on geographical expansion within India and overseas in South Korea and the Middle East. “We already have a few initial customers and we now have a healthy pipeline from both areas,” he said.
The startup currently employs 144 people, up from 50-60 at the beginning of the year. It plans to increase the headcount to 180.
It has also recently beefed up its top deck to manage growth. Earlier this month, it signed Arun Rajkumar as vice president of technology. Rajkumar previously worked with startups such as TechJini, Wooqer and enterprises such as ITC and Accenture. He will lead the R&D division of the company, while focusing on AI and computer vision. Back in August, Ashok Kumar Pillai was appointed as global delivery head. Prior to joining Signzy, Pillai served as client partner and head of the Pune operations of Altimetrik, a US-based business and IT transformation company.