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IdeateLabs to raise $5 million for next leg of data-centric growth

Creative communications backed by strong data will define its market positioning.

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NEW DELHI: Sure there were a few hiccups, but if there’s one industry that benefited from the Covid-2019 lockdown, it is digital marketing. With even the most conventional players tapping into the digital space, not just for communications but also for primary-level sales, the industry witnessed a great inflow of business, and as mentioned time-and-again, made progress amounting to what it would have otherwise done in the next four-five years. 

Now, powering ahead on the back of this good fortune, IdeateLabs – a leading independent digital-first creative agency – is embarking on an extensive expansion plan: growing its business overseas and, most importantly, investing in deep data technologies to better help clients. 

Managing director Amit Tripathi shared, “Covid has been a very good period for us. Of course, we struggled, cash disappeared for a while but in the larger picture, digital opportunities came up in the forefront. We acquired a number of clients during the lockdown period and are helping a number of new entrants in the digital space to scale up their businesses. We are helping a boutique brand scale up their online presence, supporting the endeavour of a multi-brand FMCG outlet to set up their own e-commerce platform etc.”

In 2020, IdeateLabs secured the mandate for a number of clients including Hafele, TATA Tele Business Services, UTI Mutual Fund, TransUnion CIBIL, IDC, Jalesh Cruises, among others. 

Tripathi stated that they also utilised this time in thinking beyond their existing capabilities and further promoting their data-centric platform Icogz.com, a one-of-a-kind tool that unifies digital accounts to provide real-time data and insights. They are planning to raise $5 million in an ongoing funding round and are already in advanced-level talks with a number of sponsors across the globe. 

“We realised a grey-space in the market with the growing number of data sources and the amount of information that we have in store. There is no one turning this data into intelligence. So, we embarked on this journey a few years ago and created a comprehensive CRM system that gets everything from your marketing spends, to your leads and strategies, on a single platform. We built this entire product and acquired clients across India, Middle East, and the north African region,” Tripathi elaborated. 

He added that so far the product development and platform building for Icogz.com has been done with their internal investments. With the new funding, Tripathi is looking forward to expanding and extending the creative and data services across the globe.

Focus will remain on team-building; exclusively for Icogz.com, he is planning to expand his team size by a 100 per cent in the next few months. These hirings will happen in India, the UK, and GCC regions. 

“We are looking forward to hiring a number of data-scientists in our Indian offices. These, however, will be geo-agnostic positions and we might be having brilliant minds from across the globe working for us here. We will also be beefing up our offices in the UK with fresh, dynamic talent,” he shared. 

Tripathi also addressed the need for creating more skilled talent in India, especially when it comes to data sciences and, in fact, shared that IdeateLabs had been planning to launch a training program for interested individuals earlier this year. “That took a backseat because of the pandemic and we are not planning to take this ahead, at least until next year. However, that is a part of the long-term plan, to skill more talent. We have had internal sessions within our offices ever since and that will continue to happen.”

Apart from that, IdeateLabs is also partnering with a number of smaller businesses in the UK, UAE, and other GCC countries. “We are on the lines for announcing some mergers and partnerships with companies across these markets and will be announcing some of them in the next six months,” he revealed.

Going ahead, Tripathi’s mission is to create a conical pyramid of services that IdeateLabs and Icogz.com will offer, with data at the bottom of it and communications at the top. 

“You cannot move forward without data but eventually communication is what culminates it all. Obviously, we will be relying on more data, marrying company data with marketing data and consolidating it all in creative communications that have the power to start discussions,” he shared. 

On being asked about the rising concerns around data privacy and governments across the globe planning to limit the access to customer’s private data, Tripathi said he is not bothered by the ramifications of it. 

“We are not going to create any additional data. If you talk about various digital platforms, they all have a certain side of data with them; one of them might be telling a customer’s location, other her name and age, etc. But there is one form of data that always remains with the brand, which is the data from their own stores. We will always have access to that. So, we will be utilising the on-ground data, retail data, and product sales data to deliver the best possible solutions,” he concluded.

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