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Saturday, March 04, 2006

Basab Pradhan’s Gridstone Emerges From Stealth

I recently wrote India after decades of tepid growth under the shelter of a formerly protectionist government, is now starting to embrace entrepreneurship. Some investors believe India's own high-tech startups are finally ripe to produce explosive returns. Co-founder Basab Pradhan’s (till a few quarters back, he was heading Infosys global sales & marketing) Gridstone announced the completion of a financing round led by Charles River Ventures (CRV) and Maverick Capital Ltd (Maverick).Basab said recently its great time to start your own company – he has now done that along with his team and has moved on to next level. The company also announced its emergence from stealth with the beta launch of its flagship platform for Investment Managers. The company claims that the Gridstone platform analyzes unstructured information, in addition to financials, guidance and operational data. Powerful modeling tools then pull this information through a unique interface into flexible, extensible earnings models. Gridstone's platform therefore frees the investment professional to focus on developing the insights essential to making successful investment decisions. CRV thinks that creating intellectual capital and leveraging the India model is an attractive value proposition & the team has created a truly world class platform. Obviously this is a high growth area and the core team of Gridstone understands the space very well. Basab and his team has done well in promoting the company, taking it thus far with mostly their own money and inviting investors to join at this stage. Getting an product and service offering ready in months is indeed commendable. Hopefully this would set the stage for two important things:

A. New entrepreneurial forces emerging out of the Indian offshoring enterprises ( I expect more activities - strongly pronounced ,to emerge from this ecosystem moving forward - am hearing a lot of such noises - interested angels/investors do let me know your interest)

B. Acceptance of US bases Angel’s, VC’s and financial investors of the emergence of such streams and backing them.

Also note that while Gridstone is based in Fremont, California, their offshore presence is in Bombay,(partly it could be the case that Bombay also happens to be the commercial capital of India)& not Bangalore – vindicating the point that I had been repeatedly making- Bangalore is not the be all & end all of Indian IT.

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