Anil Kumar gets up from his chair. There’s an inquisitive look on his face.

Broad forehead, hands firmly in the side pockets of his formal trousers. “So, what are people saying about us?” he asks.

Oh, people have a lot to say. They say that RedSeer is biased. That it cherry picks data to suit the narrative of the client it wishes to please. And mostly these are big clients, who give RedSeer a lot of consulting work and access. Both to people and data. So RedSeer uses that access to its own advantage and creates market intelligence reports that it sells to the same client. And then to other players in the business, saying hey, look, here’s how you are doing vis-a-vis the market leader. Here’s what the market intelligence says.

And then RedSeer goes even further. It sells the neatly-drafted, graphics-rich, coloured intelligence reports to venture capital investors. Those that have investments in the space, saying, here’s information to better assess the performance of companies in your portfolio. Don’t just blindly believe what the startups are telling you; don’t be in the dark. The venture capital investors pay top dollar for intelligence from a neutral, consulting organisation and they are thankful. Quite a few startups don’t think RedSeer’s intelligence is intelligent. They, however, work with RedSeer because their investors buy RedSeer intelligence reports.

Kumar shrugs.

“When people start saying bad things about you, I guess you should know that you are doing something right,” he says. “Also, you can’t please everyone.”

To be fair, he doesn’t need to.

As things stand today, the who’s who of the consumer Internet world in India is a RedSeer client. Flipkart. Amazon. Shopclues. Big Basket. Oyo. Treebo. Ola. Practo. Swiggy. Zomato. Foodpanda (owned by Ola). Hike. Byju’s. These are just a few names in a list of clients that goes beyond a hundred. (RedSeer claims it has 200 clients) Name any startup, and seven out of ten chances are RedSeer has either done some consulting work for them or they’ve heard of the firm because it pitched for some business. That’s not all. The firm also works for venture capital companies. From the likes of Tiger Global, a US-based hedge fund, to Blume Ventures, an India-based early-stage venture capital firm. RedSeer hustles for business with everyone, for every dime. In fact, in the last year, it has started doing due diligence for investors, adding this service on top of consulting. Something that has stood it in good stead. As of March 2018, the company recorded total revenue of Rs 29 crore ($4 million), a 100% jump over the previous year. And profit of Rs 6 crore ($843,822). Again, 2X compared to the previous year. 42SeerTechnologies FZE, a 100% subsidiary of RedSeer, recorded turnover of Rs 16 crore ($2 million), and profit of Rs 5.5 crore ($773,504).

AUTHOR

Ashish K. Mishra

Ashish edits and writes stories at The Ken. Across subjects. In his last assignment, he was a Deputy Editor at Mint, a financial daily published by HT Media. At the paper, he wrote long, deeply reported feature stories. His earlier assignments: Forbes India magazine and The Economic Times. Born in Kolkata. Studied in New Delhi – B.Com from Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi University. Works out of anywhere, where there is a good story to be told.

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