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Mu Sigma Building a Data Analytics Powerhouse in India

Posted on Monday, Aug 25th 2014

According to a recent Gartner report, the worldwide market for business intelligence and analytics software is estimated to have grown 8% last year to $14.37 billion while a recent IDC report expects the Big Data technology and services market to reach $32.4 billion in 2017. Gartner believes that the market would have grown faster but for challenging macro-economic conditions leading to flat IT budgets. Within the market, analytic applications and performance management solutions’ segment grew 5.8% to $2 billion and advanced analytics reported the fastest growth at 12.5% to $1.08 billion.

Mu Sigma’s Offerings
Northbrook, Illinois-based Mu Sigma was founded in 2005 by Dhiraj Rajaram. Mu Sigma is among the leading providers of decision support and analytics solutions. They began with the vision of helping organizations institutionalize decision-making using data analytics by providing analytical capabilities on a real-time basis. After signing on Microsoft as their first customer in 2005, Mu Sigma now offers their products to more than 140 of the Fortune 500 organizations across 10 industry verticals and multiple horizontals including Marketing, Risk, and Supply Chain management.

While the company is headquartered in the US, the majority of their 2,500 employees are based out of Bangalore, India. Mu Sigma was among the pioneers to offer outsourced high-end data analytics. But, unlike other India-based outsourcers, Mu Sigma does not rely on the low hanging fruits of labor arbitrage. Instead they are extremely process-driven and have developed a platform that provides solutions that encompass the process of Data Engineering, Data Sciences, and Decision Sciences. Mu Sigma defines Data Engineering as the stage of data acquisition, storage, processing, and workflow management; Data Sciences as the stage of applying advanced algorithms; and Decision Sciences as the stage where they provide complex, real-time decision support analytics.

Mu Sigma may be providing data analytic solutions similar to vendors like IBM and Accenture, but they believe that they operate in a completely different market. Data analytics provided by these companies is just a small piece of what Mu Sigma does. Mu Sigma’s offerings are also competing with the likes of market research companies such as Nielsen and Information Resources and several business process outsourcing companies.

Mu Sigma’s Financials
Mu Sigma’s detailed financials have not been disclosed. They were operating at an annual run rate of more than $100 million in 2012. That is a significant achievement considering that other big IT outsourcers like TCS and Infosys took more than 10 years to cross that milestone. They are venture funded so far with nearly $200 million in funds received from investors including Accel Partners, Sequoia Capital, and General Atlantic. Their last round of funding was held in December 2011 when they raised $108 million in a round led by General Atlantic. Mu Sigma has not confirmed plans to go public, but analysts estimate that they will go public soon. They are estimated to have a valuation of $1 billion and if that valuation holds in an IPO, will hold the distinction of becoming India’s first billion dollar analytics startup.

The company has been bootstrapped using services.

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