Finding financial information on startups is incredibly difficult and time consuming. Prolific third-party analysis of startups – similar to services offered by stock rating firms like JP Morgan and Credit Suisse – simply don’t exist. Hong Kong-based Oddup aims to solve this problem.
Founded by James Giancotti and Jackie Lam in 2014, Oddup seeks to provide transparency in the #startup scene by providing investors with data that indicates whether firms in their early stages are likely to succeed or fail.
A score of 100 indicates the least risk.
Its algorithm assesses companies using a set of criteria to come up with the “Oddup Score” – ranging from zero to 100, with 100 indicating the least risk. The criteria include product, location, competitors, team, and potential growth, among others.
To further guide investors, startups are given a buy, sell, or hold rating – with matching commentaries – as well as an expected future valuation.
“We saw the growing number of startups in Asia over the past few years and the investors’ need for knowledge and trusted data. Transparency in terms of startup information is relatively low compared to public companies, the industry definitely needs people to provide reliable information,” says Ollie But, Oddup’s head of marketing.
“Oddup is there to provide a due diligence snapshot to potential investors,” he explains.
Oddup is headquartered in Hong Kong but it has an on-the-ground network of analysts in Singapore, Taiwan, Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen in China, as well as Sydney and Melbourne in Australia. Today, it announced its expansion in Southeast Asia, with the launch of its Manila services.
A credible team
Given that the company’s success largely depends on the credibility of its analysts, Oddup boasts a high-caliber team.
James himself is a former investment banker at Goldman Sachs, while Jackie was previously a manager at a global fund house, catering to capital market clients.
Helping the duo is a group of 12 analysts with research experience at Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, UBS, and financial data firms such as Thomson Reuters, Bloomberg, FactSet, and Standard and Poor’s.
“Having your startup researched and rated by Oddup will give you immense validation. You’ll also get increased visibility to investors and potential access to funding,” notes Ollie.
For investors, the value lies in getting trusted opinions about startups amidst the scarcity of good information.
Oddup has roughly 15,000 startups in its database, of which 2,000 have been rated. “These 2,000 startups are those we consider ‘investable,’” Ollie points out.
People may sign up on Oddup and access basic information on startups for free, but they need to pay a subscription fee to view analyses and commentaries.
Full access to all Oddup reports costs US$499 a month. Users can subscribe to a single company for a 30-day period for a lower fee of US$99.
Ollie says Oddup currently has 1,000 paying clients and an annual recurring revenue of US$2.9 million. It counts Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan among its customers. It also recently tied up with Thomson Reuters, allowing it to be added to the Eikon platform, which is accessed by 150,000 users globally.
Investment banks like Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan use Oddup.
Eikon allows third parties to combine Thomson Reuters’ news, market data, and analytical tools with their own proprietary research and data to create apps for their own use or for release to the industry – all within Eikon itself.
This means Oddup may also use Thomson Reuters’ information on publicly listed companies that are potential competitors of startups, and analyze them side by side.
“As the new asset class of startups continues to grow, Thomson Reuters brings immense validation to users that they now provide analysis on startups,” Ollie says.
Oddup is one of the first two Asian apps on Eikon. The other is Amareos, another startup based out of Hong Kong that analyzes millions of news stories and social media posts so investors can see the psychological state of global markets.
Last year, Oddup landed US$1 million in seed funding led by Kima Ventures, Click Ventures, and Bigcolors. 500 Startups and other VC and angel investors also participated in the round.