Infosys’ Kris Gopalakrishnan invests in big data and AI startup Crayon Data

Press and Media   |   
Published November 7, 2017   |   

Singapore/Chennai/Bengaluru –7 November, 2017 Mr. Senapathy “Kris” Gopalakrishnan, Infosys co-founder, has made a personal investment in Crayon Data, one of Asia’s hottest big data and AI companies.
The investment is part of Crayon’s Series A2 round of funding. Previous investors include, Jungle Ventures, Tata Sons chairman emeritus Ratan Tata and Mitsui & Co., Ltd. and many prominent angels.
Speaking on the investment, Kris Gopalakrishnan said, “I see that the future of business will be the ability to leverage AI 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. This makes them as critical to credit cards, travel and hospitality, and retail enterprises, as a Bloomberg terminal is to traders today”
Now in its 5th year, Crayon is a pioneer in the AI-led digital personalisation space with its flagship product, MayaTM. Centred around the idea of #getpersonal, Maya enables enterprises to create and deliver personal digital experiences to customers across multiple lifestyle categories, at scale. It has been proven to dramatically improve customer engagement and business impact metrics like open and click-through rates, response rates, incremental spends and transactions.
Crayon’s TasteGraphTMT globally maps nearly 4 million restaurants, over a million hotels and 500,000 attractions, among other categories. Its Choice AI has been awarded patents in the US and Singapore.
Vijaya Kumar Ivaturi (IVK), CTO of Crayon Data, said: “Crayon’s global TasteGraph maps tastes the way others map location or social networks. Our Choice AI is a recipe that allows us to bring together and match different data sets to create individual ‘taste fingerprints’. He added, “In 2016, Gartner forecast that businesses will rapidly realise the need for digital personalisation and recognised Crayon as a significant player in this space. We see increasing adoption this year already.”
MayaTM currently powers the largest credit card issuer in India, the # 1 bank in the UAE, a global credit cards leader in the US, one of the largest airlines in the world and other similar enterprises.
Crayon’s banking clients run custom campaigns with Maya. Campaigns to activate dormant or inactive customers, to activate new category spends, and promotional campaigns. Maya has delivered over 20 million impressions for 8 clients. Across traditional and digital channels.
In the hospitality segment Crayon powers engagement right across a guest’s journey. A mid-size, upscale hotel chain in the UK, saw an 18% shift from OTA to direct. 16% more bookings per guest, and USD 87 more revenue per guest.
Suresh Shankar, founder of Crayon Data said “Crayon is single minded about its mission – to help enterprises #GetPersonal with their customers. Kris’s 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.
Crayon will use the Series A2 investments to further enhance Maya and expand the global footprint of the company.
Vikram Rao, CEO Crayon Data Pte. said “In the past year alone we have tied up with 7 marquee clients. We now work with leading banks in almost every geography. 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”.
Crayon, a portfolio company of Jungle Ventures, has been accredited as one of the most successful and innovative big data startups in 2014 and 2015, by global platforms such as Gartner, TiEcon, CEBIT, IBM Watson, Intech50 and OrangeFab.
Anurag Srivastava, founder of Jungle Ventures, said: “Crayon’s vision and tech has been ahead of its time, which is why they have attracted heavyweight investors like Ratan Tata, Mitsui and now Kris. We continue to believe that the value proposition of Crayon is deep and we see them as a very strong global company.”