Please walk us through your entrepreneurial journey and background before you started. Any interesting stories?
Fantain was founded by Anand Ramachandran (CEO), Vivek Venugopalan (CTO), Aravind Ramachandran (CPO). All the 3 co-founders are seasoned professionals and are more than 20 years of experience each. Before starting fantain Anand was working as a Client Partner at Wipro based out of US, Vivek was the GM of Retail, CPC & Travel at Wipro and Aravind was working as Director in Cognizant based out of US.
About founding team
Fantain was founded in 2013 by three seasoned business professionals with more than 20 years of experience each, who are also passionate sports fans. And our objective then and now has remained consistent – help sports companies think about fans just like traditional corporates think about customers – and provide them a delightful experience in every aspect of engagement – on and off the field – driving better engaged fans leading to better business.
Tell us little about your product/ platform
Fantain is a sports analytics startup that helps leagues and teams understand their fan better. We use a mix of analytics, machine learning and intelligent matching of data across multiple sources of data.
Fantain uses Python, NLTK, sci-kit learn and various no-sql database engines to harvest and track fan data across multiple sources such as ticket purchasing, social media, merchandise sales and web activity. The entire platform is built ground up by Fantain’s engineering team using various open source technologies and is hosted on the IBM cloud platform.
Tell us about your customer traction
Fan Analytics and Fan Engagement is a relatively new concept in Indian Context. It was not a well- known concept when Fantain was established in 2012. Fantain is doing its part through events, seminars and conferences to build awareness on it. Our clients have immensely benefitted from us. The testament of which is that we have renewed our contracts with all our client. Kolkata Knight Riders has been our client since 2014 and we have just recently submitted our report to Kolkata Knight Riders team for the 2016 IPL season. The rest of names of our clients and what we do for them, we will not be able to mention due to our confidentiality agreement. Bookmyshow is a majority investor in Fantain now and we have added customers such as Sunrisers Hyderabad, Kolkata Knight Riders, T-Series, Sony Music, Red Chillies Entertainment, Tami Nadu Premier League etc.
As you must be aware of that we are the only company in this space in India, who provides a 360 view of a fan that helps the teams to engage, interact and activate the fan and understand the fan in a better way.
How has been your association with IBM Global Entrepreneur? How important do you think IBM Global Entrepreneur is to help and improve the ecosystem?
“IBM GEP has played an important role in our evolution since it gave us the ability to experiment with various infrastructure needs and also access to more advanced PaaS service platforms.”
It has been a fabulous association with IBM GEP. We were chosen as a GEP partner more than 6 months ago with great access to technology and people. We had the head of GEP India personally getting involed and ensuring we had the help during initial setup and onboarding. He further helped present our case itnernally to be part of the GEP program. This is just one example of the great support that we have received from IBM Team. We have during the course been supported by Architects from San Francisco, technical support teams from Hongkong. Further, GEP gets us access to various experts who understand the IBM cloud offering well so that we can leverage the best that IBM has to offer.
What’s your take on the IBM Cloud? How is it helping your start-up grow?
The Softlayer infrastructure platform has been outstanding. We have our infrastructure in the Singapore data centers as it is geographicaly closest to our clients and the service levels and availability has been fantastic so far. We also have the luxury of bare-metal infrastructure which is not availabile in any of the other large players in this space.
Cloud offerings are fairly mature given that it has the backing of a leading industry player such as IBM and quite comparable to other players in the market. Specifically for Fantain, this infrastructure has allowed us to quickly experiment with various configurations to assess the best setup that would work for us.
What is your road ahead for your start-up?
At present we are a Business2Business company but by the end of the year we are also launching our Mobile App Platform wherein brands can create their own android mobile app using our platform. A presence of the brand in our mobile app platform will help them as they will no more have to pay or incur the cost of mobile application development and by paying a fraction of the sum brands can use Fantain’s mobile app platform.