This is an age when real time information is becoming crucial for success of businesses as well as individuals. The scenario becomes even more critical for those investing in stock markets and involved in various forms of trading. But, techies Jaison Mathews, Som Sagar, Mukund Mudras and Abhijit Vedak, who were part of Merill Lynch, founded Heckyl Technologies, with a vision to create products with analytical information which would embed in the trading platforms of stockbrokers all over the world.
The basic concept of the company is to provide real time financial information, news analytics and heatmaps to get exclusive coverage of markets, companies and businesses. The company sells service to brokers and brokers may give access to their clients based on the business needs. Currently, the firm provides services to 15 broking companies. Some of the prominent ones include Edelweiss; Motilal Oswal; Angel Investing; JM Financial; Religare amongst others. This helps the brokers to reach to millions of retail traders.
At any given point of time, there are about 30,0000 to 40,000 people online on their platform. The platform segregates sentiments; news articles which can be read by retail traders. This gives the trader the ability to make real time informed decision. Heckyl utilizes 1.5 million sources of information including internet, blogs, forums etc for giving a feed enabling the customers to take an informed decision.
“A number of observations motivated us to take this journey”, says Mukund Mudras, co founder of Heckyl. “We were a part of the investment community (courtesy our jobs in finance) and saw that there was a clear gap of information between the high end traders and the retail investor in terms of availability of real time information. While the high end traders had Bloomberg and Reuters terminals for taking fast decisions, the retail traders really had to search for right information from different sources to take a trade decision and this would take a lot of time, in turn reducing chances of getting that winning trade happen” he continues.
Social media being exploding and becoming a prominent and strong backbone of information source, this enables their subscribers to be a publisher of information. Also, the trader did not have analytical tools for viewing news and analysing them in real time on the same trading platform.
All founders of Heckyl share a common passion and love for Data. “We get really excited to see the data and it gets even more exciting when we try to build meaningful relationship with that data all in real time. Being from investment community we could see various voids in the industry that our passion could help us solve and thus we turned entrepreneurs” says Mukund.
All the co-founders were from a very strong financial and technology background; however no one was from the brokerage community which presented a little bit of challenge initially for them to reach across to the right team members to demo their offerings. So they had spent a good time to establish themselves in the brokerage community to stay and add value to the brokerage business. “Great team work and perseverance along with some great guidance from our investors helped us forge our way ahead” says Mukund. Mukund knows that it is not very easy to convince people to use a new product to make a decision. But he is sure that when people start using it, “they are sure to see the value”.
They had initially invested around Rs 70 lakh by bootstrapping and from friends before they took $1 million from Seedfund. “At this point of time, we have achieved break even for Indian operations” he continues.
Heckyl at present provides real time news platform as well as trade enabled equity-derivatives and forex platform with great power packed analytics. “We tie with the brokerages to provide the end retail trader with the news and trading capability” says Mukund. They are also planning to expand in the United Kingdom, USA and in Singapore. New product launches are also in the pipeline. In the Indian context, they are yet to see any start-up in our space. “Globally, we although do not compete with anyone as the business model which Heckyl follows is different. We can be seen to compete with Dow Jones, FirstRain and Alacra in the space of News Analytics” says Mukund.
With expansion in other markets, in the next 3-4 years, they are looking forward to a turnover of around $10 - $15 million. Mukund concludes with his piece of advice for all start ups: “Passion for what you do and lot of research in the field you are going in for your start-up and the ability to take risks – there are no guarantees in this journey!”