Although it seems artificial intelligence has been a buzzword in tech for decades, when New York-based Fractal was founded 21 years ago it could be a hard sell to big enterprises.
“Back then we were in the wild, wild west,” said Srikanth Velamakanni, co-founder and group CEO of Fractal. “Nobody wanted it. … People thought we were talking about astrology or something.”
Times have changed, and now even small and medium-sized businesses use AI and analytics to make decisions. That growing market and demand helped Fractal lock up a $360 million investment from TPG through its Asia-focused private equity platform TPG Capital Asia. The deal includes a combination of primary investment and secondary share purchase from funds advised by Apax, which remains a major shareholder in the company.
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Fractal’s AI and analytics platform helps companies “solve every human problem in the enterprise,” Velamakanni said. That can include anything from sales to marketing to supply chain—something many companies are dealing with today. The company’s offerings encompass several different industries, from retail to life sciences, and has a handful of subsidiaries that sit under the Fractal umbrella.
Profitable and growing
With its platform crossing into so many industries, Fractal works with 90 of the Fortune 200 companies, Velamakanni said. The company expects revenue of $165 million for its fiscal year ending in March, he added.
While Fractal is profitable, the new cash will enable the company to look for inorganic growth opportunities, Velamakanni said. He pointed to the investment the company made in August into conversational AI company Senseforth.ai as something it may look at doing more of moving forward.
Aside from just the money, the new round also offers Fractal the opportunity to bring onboard a “great long-term partner” in TPG, Velamakanni said. The company sees itself as a large, independent company in the long run as it faces off in the AI and consulting space against the likes of Accenture, Deloitte and C3.ai, and being supported by TPG can help further that vision, he added.
Although he did not give a time frame, Velamakanni said he believes it is possible for Fractal to go public at some point.
“We are big enough and stable enough to be a public company, but it is a question of timing,” he said.
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias.
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