It seems you can't walk ten steps without bumping into a data analytics firm these days. Another startup has joined the fray in Singapore, but it's already making money, thanks in part to its founders' Google heritage.
Sparkline just launched yesterday, and its three founders, Aleetza Senn, Vinoaj Vijeyakumaar and Timo Josten left Google to start the company in 2012.
Senn was at Google for nine-and-a-half years, while Josten and Vijeyakumaar had five years each. The latter two also came from Google's Analytics team.
I spoke to them last week, as they were preparing to launch publicly, and Senn told me that the company has over the past year already won consulting contracts with clients like SingPost, Ikea, Malaysian Airlines and Thai telco DTAC. Some of these clients came on board thanks to their previous relationships formed while at Google.
Today, Sparkline has seven staff, including its three founders. The company is bootstrapped, and while its founders don't rule out raising funds, it isn't an immediate priority because of the cashflow coming in from existing consulting deals.
While consultancy is bringing in the moolah, the goal is to elevate itself above being a consultant in the long term. They're working now on building a product that will automate that consulting process, said Senn.
"We want to automate the insights and analysis gathered. This is not a dashboard--that's just a visualization tool," she said. The company isn't competing with firms like Tableau, that tries to visualize data sets in a user-friendly way.
When the product is ready, it will model different situations with data to show "what if" situations, hopefully highlighting steps a company could have gone in order to kick their businesses up a notch.
Josten said the company intends to push into Southeast Asia and court more business there, now that Sparkline has come out of stealth mode.
It seems there's plenty of the pie left for data companies in the region. IDC has estimated the big data market in the Asia-Pacific region, excluding Japan, to be worth US$1.76 billion in 2016, up from US$258.5 million in 2011.