Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Indian Angel Network Invest in Legal KPO

LPO seems to be the flavor these days and there have been significant news in the market related to LPO industry investments and expansion. In addition to IAN funding TechLit Solution as mentioned in the news below Infosys entered LPO Industry at the end of 2007 and various BPO/KPO firms are speculating an entry in the market. I know about another LPO firm based in Bangalore and US looking for about 3m USD investment.

In addition to LPO industry, I believe that Corporate Law industry in India has a significant potential and in recent times multinational firms have increased India related activity significantly. Firms like AZB have been able to attract young lawyers working for big 4 in UK to move to India.

Axience ( recently participated in producing a research report to assess impact of Liberalization of Legal Industry on Indian GDP and our findings were interesting and we consider legal services market as very high growth potential market in the services segment.

News about IAN investment in TechLit

Members of the Delhi-based Indian Angel Network (IAN) has acquired a 20 percent stake in US-based legal process outsourcing (LPO) venture TechLit Solutions for $1 million, valuing the start-up at $5 million. Techlit was started in January 2008 by Neal Gupta (who is also a member of IAN) along with the co-founders of Aptara, a US headquartered firm which offers composition and publication services to publishers of books and journals.

IAN is a Delhi based angel investing forum formed by a group of individuals investors which includes, among others, serial entrepreneur Rohit Chand (Axis IT&T, IIS Infotech), besides Rajan Anandan, former Dell chief in India and currently Microsoft MD in India, Avinash Singh (CEO & MD of Excel Ventures), Ajay Garg (founder of Equirus Capital) and Alok Mittal, Managing Director, Canaan Partners.

TechLit provides litigation support services to law firms and corporate general counsels in the US in the form of electronic data. It currently has an office in Seattle and its business model includes capturing, preserving and managing data for clients by leveraging technology and offshore resources. The funds raised will help TechLit expand its services in the US, while setting up an offshore technology operation in India.

The company plans to hit the market with a public float in the next three years.IAN, which has close to 80 members, have made 16 investments in the last two years in sectors like information technology, intellectual property, hospitality, mobile, education and internet

PE Firm Picks UP Stake in Outsourcing Firm

Recently announce deals and some other related news seems to indicate few things:
  • UK Private Equity Firms are increasing activity in India. Recently two leading UK based private Equity Firms opened shop in India
  • Outsourcing and business services sector is not passe and there are still deals to be done

Greater Pacific Capital (GPC), a London-based private equity firm, has acquired 38 per cent stake in Ahmadabad-based outsourcing firm Azure Knowledge Corporation Pvt Ltd for $32.5 million. GPC will pick up 26.4 per cent stake for $11.8 million in the first phase of the deal. The stake has been picked up at a price of Rs 576 per share, reports Business Standard. The balance will be invested by 2010 depending on the performance of Azure.

The company is a third party KPO specialising in financial services and knowledge-based customer interaction services. Azure plans to deploy $15 million of the funds raised for acquisitions and has already initiated talks with several domestic and overseas players. Azure had picked up 49 per cent stake in US based Citizens Financial Mortgage, Inc. in April 2008. Azure had a revenue orf $8 million in FY08 and is targeting a revenue of $ 14 million in the upcoming fiscal year.Azure Knowledge Corporation was formed in 1991 by Dushyant Joshi and Jay Ruparel, who will continue to hold majority stake in the company post the deal. It has over 2,200 employees based out of its centers in Ahmedabad, Pune, Guangzhou and Philadelphia. “We have been growing at more than 200% over the last two years and to sustain this growth rate and help us with our inorganic growth plans, we were looking for capital infusion from an investor that would add strategic and intellectual value along with financial investment,” said Dushyant Joshi, the founder and CEO of Azure in a release. Joe Sealy, Co-Founder-Promoter of GPC and along with Pradeep Udhas, Managing Director GPC, India, will join the board of Azure.

Greater Pacific Capital, a fund set up by former Goldman Sachs bankers, aims to capture the opportunity of high growth in the Indian and Chinese economies. The firm has $1 billion that it has raised through two funds. The fund already has two investments in India - a 14.9 per cent stake in software company Mascon which it bought in March for $27 million, and a 20 per cent stake in broking firm Edelweiss Capital.

It's been long!

No matter how much I promise myself that I will blog as often as possible and inform my audience about various things including Axience, general business environment, global financial services, outsourcing and some fun stuff, it always becomes a promise far from being kept. Let's try again!


We have been doing well, getting enough attention amongst potential clients, partners and potential employees. The fact that securitization industry initially, then global financial system and now entire economy is going throuh a rough patch does make things difficult for us albeit it gives us an experience which will be very useful in better markets. Over last few months we have increased breadth and depth of our service offerings and clients. Our initial clients are satisfied and have put faith in us by giving repeat work and renewing contracts. We have expanded into areas such as investor mapping, client and market intelligence, investment research, pitch books, bespoke reports for government sector. Our clients now come from UK, France, India, Germany, Netherlands and last but not the least India where we are doing some very interesting work for global as well as Indian clients.

Other significant development include appointment of Mr. Nitin Mehta as a Director at Axience. Nitin currently runs CFA Institute in EMEA and has about 20 years of work experience. His profile is available at

We are constantly looking for clients who we strive to create significant value for and if you are one of them then feel free to call me at 3 AM in the morning (well if you really want to do that you may want to check out the time zone I am in given the travel I have been doing these days ;).

We are also looking for partners as well as investors. Please feel free to seek more information.
Most importantly we are always looking for top of the class professionals.

Securitization industry

Last 12 months have been unheard and unseen for financial services industry and most people blame securitization industry for that. Securitization is a process of pooling receivables of varied types and doing magic on them so that they become capital markets tradable products ie securities of some form. I personally belive that there is no issue with the financial engineering behind securitization and it will come back soon. I may be reiterating the wishful thinking which I observed during Global ABS 2008 conference in Cannes among various participants but fact remains that there is little chance we can (and we should not) do away with such an important and until recently widely used funding, capital relief and arbitrage tool. Another interesting thing which I noted during conference at Cannes was number of law firms and army they came with. Some people are cerainly laughing their way to bank in this market. Overall conference was amazing, weather was finest possible in spite of rains and shower warnings and I would like to express my gratitude to IMN organizers and one of our precious client for inviting me and my colleague to the conference. Possibly we will have our own booth there next year.

Yes stock market is down, money seems to be drying up, there are rumours of banks as well as offshoring firms laying of but the country seems to be on its' own adrenalin and there are no lack of opportunity. I will start posting some intersting news regularly (good and bad) to give readers some ideas of what is happening in India.


In last six months I have done professional travel to several places and have been more in the air than on ground (well okay its a bit of exaggeration). I have put my feet to some new countries and have made at least one trip to London and Paris every month, got to see the blue lagoon in Iceland, did Middle East, went to various cities in Germany, US as well as to Budapest and Prague. Most of it for business but after all its enriches the experience. With all the travels I do get some good stories to tell and some not so good ones such as missing flights bagages and once even passport in Paris. As a result I now have an Indian passport made in Paris which was given to me in record six hours time. Salut!


Lots of them - mostly in flight - watched 21 which is an interesting story of MIT Kids beating las vegas casino system and outsourced which is (surprisingly) well done satire on outsourcing. And Singh is King and Jane Tu...


Red the recent book from the author of Kiterunner - a thousand sins - and the book made me realize the while I was growing up in rather safe and secure environment Laila was going through the extreme circumstance a human being can experience. It was shocking to think that all this happened in last 25 years! Amazing book! hits hard!

Till next time.. hopefully sooner this time else I will outsource my blog to a Robot in "Second Life" - what is the exchange rate between Linden dollar and USD? visit

Hemant Jain
CEO, Axience
+91 98671 60611
+44 7515 641 602
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