Former Citicorp CIO Sharma joins Singapore's Latize

Source: Latize

Latize, a Singapore based data startup, is taking aim at the global financial services sector.

It has signed global warranty solutions leader, The Warranty Group (TWG) as a customer, helping TWG to make business decisions leveraging big data. The TWG deal deepens Latize’s expertise in the financial services and insurance (FSI) sector, with existing customers including consumer banking giant Citibank and Singapore’s top cashless payment network NETS.

Vikram Mengi, CEO of Latize said, “Latize will enable TWG to capitalise on its data. We will do this by helping them aggregate the diverse data from their various clients and markets so that they can derive better insights and build deeper engagement with their customers. This will also help them to remain competitive in today’s highly competitive and increasingly digital world of finance.”

To continue their push into the FSI sector, Latize has also appointed a CEO for N.America. Joining Latize is Devendra Sharma, Citigroup veteran and former Chief Information Officer of Citicorp International. As Latize’s CEO - N. America, he will spearhead Latize’s push into the U.S. market, with a specific focus on the FSI sector.

Speaking on his appointment, Sharma said, “I started at Citibank in 1989, and over the years had the opportunity to lead various technology enabled business transformations as CIO for International Markets. I enjoyed the journey tremendously, but felt something missing in leveraging the treasure trove of information that is latent in large organizations and eco systems - for profitable customer engagement. The time taken to make information actionable and developing valuable insights breaks business momentum. That has to be fixed.

“So why Latize? Big data is such an oft used buzz word, especially within the banking and finance sector, but who understands it or can make sense of its business implication and potential? And who truly is simplifying highly complex information for every single business user, in a manner which can deepen the connection between these institutions and their customers? I believe Latize is among the very few players who can help business leaders impact their bottom lines with smart data. I’ve also put money where my mouth is and taken a financial stake in the company,” added Sharma.

According to estimates by market research company IDC, the global market for big data and analytics is expected to reach US$150.8 billion by the end of 2017, with US$78.8 billion being spent by the United States alone. IDC also reported that the banking industry alone spent nearly US$17 billion on big data and analytics in 2016, and is set to see the fastest spending growth on such services through to 2020.

“In the race to uncover new business opportunities or to make existing operations work more efficiently and effectively, many financial institutions turn to the one common resource that is often under-utilised: data," said Gary Lim, Head of Business Intelligence, The Warranty Group.

“We are excited to work with Latize, as we needed a company with the expertise and ambition to help us capitalise on this wealth of data in an IoT world. Collecting and storing data is simple, but Latize helps us to structure and analyse the anonymised data in a seamless and timely manner. This enables The Warranty Group to derive relevant business insights, which is critical to remain competitive in a digital world. Latize's innovative approach to data harmonisation and ability to work across diverse markets has empowered the company to transition from traditional warranty services to a data intelligence-enabled company”, added Gary.

The FSI industry has a wealth of data at its disposal and has adopted big data and analytics for a variety of uses. With TWG, Latize united all its varied data across clients and markets to create a uniform knowledge base. With this, TWG can then generate insights to realise greater data-driven responsiveness, deepen relationships with customers or even sell those insights to other service providers so that they can make data-driven decisions.

Latize has rapidly expanded since its inception in 2009. It has recently opened offices in Sydney and Perth, and have representatives in Europe and the US. Latize inked its first Australian deal with the New South Wales government’s Division of Resources and Energy. The company has also made waves in the education sector both at home and abroad, with a customer portfolio consisting of Presbyterian Ladies’ College in Perth, Republic Polytechnic and various K-12 educational institutions in Singapore.

Latize is accredited by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) under its Accreditation@IMDA programme. The programme helps to grow and nurture promising Singapore-based Infocomm Media companies to scale and compete on the global market. Latize, a big data and analytics innovator is looking to raise a Series A funding round of approximately US$5-US$7 million to aid their expansion efforts into the US market, and to also target the FSI sector.

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