23 Jun TA Portfolio Company, Comply Global, Featured in Alley Watch
The following appeared in Alley Watch, May 21, 2015. Click Here to view the Alley Watch article
This NYC Startup Raised $2.5M to Keep Companies Globally Compliant
Last year, 40,000 regulatory compliance updates were introduced worldwide. How are global companies expected to keep up with it all?
ComplyGlobal is a SaaS offering that is revolutionizing the way global organizations manage and track their corporate compliance requirements, bringing increased visibility and transparency to an ever-increasing complex regulatory environment – all through one platform.
With its proprietary algorithm and continually updated compliance library, ComplyGlobal provides all of the information an organization needs to comply with seamlessly integrated in one location.
Which ultimately saves companies a lot of headaches, and a simple, efficient way to manage one of their biggest challenges.
Cofounder Ashwin Uttamchandani talks about this latest round of funding and his company’s unique cloud-based solution.
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
We have completed two rounds of funding.
The first round was $1.3M, which was led by IBCC, a venture fund out of Boston. This was our Seed Round and included participation from the founding team, a hedge fund in NY, and other high net worth and strategic investors.
We recently raised $2.5M, which was led by IBCC and Tribeca Angels, a FinTech venture group based in NYC. In this round, we had further participation from the founding team, the NY-based hedge fund, a Singapore-based VC fund and other strategic investors. This was our Venture Round.
Tell us about your service.
ComplyGlobal was designed and developed by a team of highly experienced technology and compliance professionals, with one vision in mind: to revolutionize and simplify the way global organizations manage their complex regulatory compliance requirements.
ComplyGlobal’s proprietary SaaS based algorithm and continually updated compliance library provides the compliance professional with all of the information needed in order to comply with the global regulations impacting the organization’s legal entities.
What inspired you to start the company?
Global compliance management is painful and challenging. Billions of dollars and countless hours are spent by organizations trying to stay on top of the ever-changing and progressively complex domestic and global regulations. The incredibly time consuming and manual compliance processes have created a problem of scalability, the continued need to rely on local expertise and increased exposure to reputational risk and crippling fines. CFOs, shareholders and even board members are demanding greater visibility and transparency across an organization’s compliance status – the market was in dire need of a proactive compliance solution.
How is it different?
The key differentiators are our proprietary algorithm, robust content library and global breadth.
Ashwin Uttamchandani HeadShot for Distribution May 20152
Our algorithm automatically calculates the compliance requirements and creates a customized compliance calendar with all the relevant tasks for a specific legal entity type in a specific jurisdiction.This happens with just a few clicks during the onboarding process. As the laws and regulations change, our content libraries are updated andthe engine pushes the new content to the user. We are also global – expanding our geographic footprint and compliance content coverage every day.
What market you are targeting and how big is it?
We are going after a subset of the Global Governance, Risk and Compliance market. Our research suggests that over $5B is spent annually managing, tracking and maintaining the global regulatory compliance requirements of legal entities.
Outside of the US, which country’s compliance requirement change most often?
Every country is unique and complex in its own way. In 2014, 40,000 regulatory compliance updates were introduced worldwide!
Imagine the CFO sitting in NY but responsible for compliances in subsidiaries in several foreign jurisdictions. It’s mind boggling how many requirements he or she has to ensure gets done.
To answer your question, I would say India is one of the more complex countries. There are over 1,000 Acts and its always being updated.
What’s your business model?
We are a subscription-based model; a monthly fee per month per legal entity. We have two main packages: one for global organizations and one for our partners, who are Accounting and Corporate Secretarial Firms.
What was the funding process like?
Fundraising is always time consuming, but also a very good learning experience. It makes you really think through your business and keeps you challenged. If you find yourself pitching to like-minded VCs who share the vision and passion, the process is always more pleasurable. Like most startups, we went through the traditional process: investor pitches and presentations, product demos, business and technology diligence, management interviews, customer references, and finally, valuation and terms negotiations.
What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?
I think the biggest challenge is identifying and partnering with the right investor who can help drive value to the business. We are very fortunate to have IBCC, Tribeca Angels and the rest of our investors on board. All of them have helped in building the business and providing strategic guidance as we grow. We are thankful for that.
What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?
Large market – it’s a huge pain point and every organization needs a product like this
Proven management team with domain expertise; built and sold companies before
Unique cloud approach to a very complex and manual business
‘Sticky’ customer base – perfect for a SaaS model
We were able to demonstrate strong metrics since inception that proves there is a demand for our solution
What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?
Our focus is customer acquisition and product expansion. Today, we are selling our product in 15 countries. Our goal is to be in 40 countries by the end of the year. Our customers consist of medium sized and Fortune 500 organizations. We’ve also signed up several global accounting and corporate secretarial firms. Our goal is to continue to ramp up our user base and build out a robust partner model over the next six months.
What advice can you offer companies in New York that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?
The world is changing so rapidly. There are so many platforms, like incubators and accelerators, where companies can gain exposure early on. Launching with a minimal viable product and demonstrating some customer traction or other key metrics is a good way to retain more of the equity when going out for the first round. There are a lot of great free resources out there for NY startups to hit the ground running, without burning too much cash. I would suggest leveraging your network as much as possible for talent, resources and customers. Don’t be shy to run your startup out of your home or a coffee shop.Most of us start that way!
Where do you see the company going now over the near term?
Our focus is growth. We are expanding rapidly and growing our customer base while ensuring that we deliver a world-class product with excellent customer service. There are a lot of exciting opportunities in the pipeline. We have our eye on a few strategic alliances that could propel us to the next level.
What’s your favorite NY bar on a warm evening?
New York has so many great rooftop bars. It’s hard to pick just one. I enjoy the rooftop bar at 230 5th Avenue. The views of the Empire State Building are breathtaking.