US unicorn Reltio launches in Lisbon
In October the American cloud-based big data technology hub Reltio was the latest international company to choose Lisbon as its springboard for European expansion. Chris Graeme speaks to Anshuman (“Ansh”) Kanwar, Senior Vice-President of Technology.
Reltio is one of those cutting-edge, cloud-based companies that is changing the way vast amounts of company customer-based data collected over time, and from different sources and departments, can be collected, sifted and accessed easily — a boon for large corporations or public entities that need to cross-referenced information from different sources and have it at instantly at their fingertips.
“We’re using big data and to make sense of that data we’ve been able to securely put all this data in the Cloud. We collect a client’s customer data, clean it up (organise and update it) for any other department in that company that needs to get a detailed profile of customers to provide better service for them, or for marketing purposes, depending on the client companies — banking, insurance, luxury brands, health providers, and life sciences, etc., — and its customers’ profile” explains Ansh Kanwar, Reltio’s Senior Vice-President of Technology.
A unicorn valued at an estimated US$1.7Bn with US$100 million of annual recurring revenue, the company founded by Manish Sood, CEO and Chairman, is a market leader in Cloud SaaS Master Data Management with a platform that unifies — in real-time — core data from multiple sources into a single source of trusted information. Clean, connected, actionable data enables Reltio customers to grow revenue, increase efficiencies, and manage risk.
On Thursday 27 October Reltio officially inaugurated its Lisbon headquarters in the presence of US ex-Ambassador to Portugal, George E. Glass – who did much behind the scenes to facilitate bringing the company to Portugal – his wife, Mary Glass, Luís Rebelo de Sousa, Executive Board Member at AICEP Portugal Global (Portugal’s trade and investment bureau), and Pedro Rebelo de Sousa from SRS Advogados, whose law firm represents the unicorn’s legal affairs in Portugal.
A sustainable long-term investment
“We chose Portugal for a sustainable long-term investment in a city that is welcoming to our global team of engineers. We started from base of our local engineers who have been with the company a long time, but we wanted a location for our European expansion that has top universities, that understand the latest technology in computer and data sciences, and we find those conditions here,” says Ansh Kanwar.
Ansh Kanwar points out that people — many of them digital nomads and tech professionals — want to come to Portugal. “I think it has to do with the profile of Lisbon especially, and Portugal overall that has become much more tech-centric, but also the talent here, and of course the fact that Portugal has always been a welcoming culture with a growth mindset”.
Kanwar explains that Reltio is a product company that builds software our customers use. The software engineers who build that software are the core of the company. “Half of our engineering team (50 staff) are in Lisbon and we intend to grow by at least double over the next three years”.
These are core engineers that include software developers, technology operations, and cloud experts, and Reltio’s first step is establishing that core engineering framework. It also has sales orientated leaders spread out within Europe and the company may bring its commercial capabilities to Portugal.
“We don’t see the Portugal operation for just the Iberian peninsula or Portugal; Portugal for us is the spring board for the whole of Europe and this Lisbon office is our European hub”.
The company is based in the San Francisco Bay Area in the United States, but has offices in Bangalore (a primary software engineering location), and Lisbon now represents its third hub. Reltio serves companies of all sizes, including 14 of the Fortune 100, and globally recognised customers such as Pfizer, L’Oréal, Xerox, CarMax, Takeda, and AstraZeneca — all of which rely on the Reltio platform
A unique proposition
One of Reltio’s unique selling points is that it is the only master data management (MDM) SaaS platform technology company built from the ground up that can use Amazon, Google and Microsoft Azure Cloud.
Retired Ambassador George E. Glass said, “It has been an interesting road working with Reltio and I thought Portugal was the perfect fit for this company which has the two main ingredients for success: its products solve problems for companies, and it operates in a disruptive and out-of-the-box way. They take big data, organise it, manage it and clean it, and this company does all of that”.
Luís Rebelo de Sousa, Executive Board Member at AICEP Portugal Global in welcoming Reltio to Portugal added, “These are the kinds of companies and investments we want to attract to Portugal and in line with the vision of Ambassador Glass who had always been very supportive of building relations between the United States and Portugal helping US companies in Portugal and US businesses in the US”.
Pedro Rebelo de Sousa from SRS Advogados noted that the intervention of Ambassador Glass in strengthening business ties between the two counties during his tenure in Portugal and facilitating the expansion of US companies like Reltio to Portugal since had been of the utmost importance.
Photo: Anshuman (“Ansh”) Kanwar, Senior Vice-President of Technology, Reltio; George Glass, Former US Ambassador in Portugal; Pedro Rebelo de Sousa, Managing Partner, SRS Legal (brother of Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, President of Portugal) and Rachel Mann, Chief Communications Officer at Reltio.