ISI Emerging Markets

EMIS Professional Dashboard
EMIS Professional Dashboard

EMIS, a research service for emerging markets, was sold by Euromonitor Institutional Investor to CITIC Capital and Chinese media company Caixin Global back in April. CITIC is an alternative investment management and advisory company.  Also included in the sale was CEIC data, a provider of global time series data.  The two businesses, jointly named ISI Emerging Markets, have been run in parallel and will continue to do so, but sales operations have been merged.  Sales continues to be organized regionally, and some product specialization will be retained.

ISI is headquartered in Hong Kong with offices in eighteen countries.  The firm has over 500 employees located in both emerging and developed countries.  The two firms reported an operating profit of £11.9 million ($15.1 million), as disclosed in the notes to Euromoney’s 2017 annual accounts.  The firms reported 2016 revenue of about $52.7 million and EBITDA of $14.5 million.  Based on 2016 turnover and the $180.5 million purchase price, the deal had a 3.4 multiple.

EMIS delivers news, research, analytical data, and peer comparisons for over 125 emerging markets.  The content is multi-lingual and serves researchers, industry analysts, corporate strategists, credit analysts, and business development professionals.  Customers are found in corporate and investment banking, consultancies, private equity, government, and academia.

EMIS displays news and research from 7,000 publications and 3.6 million emerging market company profiles, two million of which include financials.  Industry sources include BMI Research, Technavio, MarketLine, Mintel, and Euromonitor.  Sixteen languages are supported for content and UI along with cross-translations between the languages.

The products have regional strengths. CEIC began with a Chinese focus twenty-five years ago and is strongest in Asia.  EMIS began in Eastern Europe, but now generates half of its revenue in the Americas.  Asia now represents 25% of its revenue with India its fastest growing market.

Chief Product Officer Diego Obere said that “the majority of our employees are based in emerging markets, allowing us to establish an unrivalled level of expertise on these often opaque countries.” The firm’s “focus [is] on providing our clients with information on countries that are classed as emerging markets. Over 90% of our 5,000+ content sources are from emerging markets”.

The product roadmap includes an improved EMIS UX, upgraded industry pages, and investments in improved mobile and API access.

Channel-wise, EMIS partnered with EBSCO and ProQuest for university distribution.  The firm supports both subscription access and on-demand research purchases.

Creditsafe Expanded Country Coverage

CreditSafe Global Coverage Map
Creditsafe Global Coverage Map

Commercial credit and business profile vendor Creditsafe expanded its coverage footprint to over 100 countries with the addition of sixteen Middle Eastern and North African countries.  Creditsafe is now able to provide real-time reports for 240 million companies.  Key new countries include Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, and Lebanon.  In 2016, the firm added Southeast Asian coverage along with 40 million Chinese company profiles.

“This mark’s the single largest and most significant database expansion we have done to date.  And, it completes our global offering.  No one in the marketplace offers such a comprehensive solution supported by an incredible portfolio of analytics,” said Matthew Debbage, CEO of Creditsafe USA and Asia.  “Not only have we added critical financial data on thousands of public and private companies to our platform, but we are providing insight on many located in Middle East and Africa which have proven to be complex economies in the past. We can now provide International Database Reports on millions of companies instantly online. No one else in the market offers the level of data that we do.”

Based on its coverage map, the most significant gaps are in Latin America (e.g. Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica) and Africa (e.g. South Africa, Ghana, Morocco, Tunisia).

Creditsafe processes over one million daily updates collected from over 200 sources.  Furthermore, the firm claims that 99.9% of report requests are delivered in real-time.

Last year, Creditsafe launched US and UK sales intelligence services under the Sales Joe brand.  The product provides prospecting, look-a-like customers, light SFA tools (e.g. notes, dialer support, meeting scheduling), task tracking, and deal opportunity forecasting.

Sales Joe Deal Opportunities assist with pipeline tracking.
Sales Joe Deal Opportunities assist with pipeline tracking.

“The big development during the year was launching our new lead management tool, Sales Joe, which enables businesses to build effective sales campaigns using company information gathered from Creditsafe’s extensive database,” said Chris Robertson, global sales director at Creditsafe Group.  “Our positive results have been fueled by strong customer retention, an increase in new business, and a further expansion and strengthening in our international offering to UK customers.”

Creditsafe revenue has grown 28% over the past twelve months.  The firm maintains 18 offices and supports 200,000 users each day.  Globally, Creditsafe employs 1,500 headcount.

Creditsafe USA posted $12.8 million in 2016 revenue with a three-year CAGR of 75%.  Creditsafe opened US operations in 2012 and services 14,000 US customers out of its Lehigh, PA office.  “Over the past several years, we have focused incredibly hard on building our business and brand in the US,” said Debbage.

Creditsafe UK also posted strong growth with 2016 revenues up 12% to £35.5 million and pre-tax profits of £8.1 million.

“More growth is expected in 2017, our 20th anniversary year,” added Robertson.  “The growing sales force and the new products and technology being introduced this year will ensure our momentum continues and we further set ourselves apart from our competitors.”

Avention: Expanded Asian Presence and Coverage

Avention's Global Business Browser is now available in Chinese and Japanese editions.
Avention’s OneSource Global Business Browser is now available in Chinese and Japanese editions.

Sales Intelligence vendor Avention, which has long had a sales presence in Asia, continues to expand its presence in the region via direct sales teams and channel partners.  They also have significantly expanded their AsiaPac company and contact information sets.

Over the past year, Avention extended its coverage in India, China, Singapore, Japan and Hong Kong and added additional staff in their Singapore office.  Avention has AsiaPac offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, Delhi, Sydney, and Melbourne along with affiliates in China, Japan, and Korea.

Along with Asian companies and contacts, Avention provides global family trees, industry market research, company news and sales triggers, and public company coverage of listed firms in AsiaPac and the rest of the world.

Japan

Avention designated Nikkei Media Marketing as their sole channel distributor in the Japanese market acting as the “exclusive and general agent” for all Avention products in Japan.  Avention recently launched a Japanese language version of their OneSource Global Business Browser service.  Over the past year, Avention has trebled their Japanese company coverage and quadrupled their Japanese contact coverage.

“This agreement is a terrific step for Avention OneSource Solutions as we focus our growth plans in Asia-Pacific,” said SVP of International Paul Charmatz.  “Combined with the launch of our Japanese product, Nikkei’s Media Marketing’s unrivalled network and reach will take our Japanese presence to the next level. OneSource now covers well over 50 million companies globally, giving our customers in Japan access to unrivalled business insights. As a result of this agreement, our customers will be able to make smarter, more informed, data-driven decisions.”

India

In India, Avention has taken a direct sales approach.  Avention first opened a Gurgaon, Delhi sales office in 2006.  It has since quadrupled its sales presence in India with offices in Mumbai, Bangalore, and Chennai.  Avention has added five staff to its India operations including Nittin Maheshwari, who joined as Director of India & MEA in April.

“India is a big focus for us at Avention OneSource Solutions, as the country is pegged to become the driver of growth across global markets for decades to come,” said Paul Charmatz, SVP of International.  “We are fully committed to helping our customers here achieve their business goals as the country’s importance as an economic hub grows. Our Indian business continues to go from strength to strength as increasing numbers of companies reap the benefits of our increased data coverage and cutting edge product offering.”

Avention’s Indian coverage now spans the full universe of Indian registered companies.

China

Avention has chosen to fully enter the Chinese market with a Chinese language version of their sales intelligence and business research product.  They also increased coverage of China and the Asia-Pacific region.  Expanded Chinese and global coverage presented through a Chinese UI has resulted in the firm signing “a significant number of new customers each month.”

Coverage of Chinese companies, which was slightly above 300,000 firms for nearly a decade, has been increased nearly ten-fold to 2.7 million domestic companies with plans to grow coverage to over 3 ½ million profiles by the end of the year.  This coverage growth is part of an expansion of the Avention global company database from 25 million to 70 million companies this year.

Chinese customers can now “access the platform in their local language, making it far easier for them to identify international prospects and be armed with the insight to build relationships,” said Regional Director Lon Shing.  “Offering our platform in Chinese is just one sign of our commitment to the region and the businesses there – as well as testament to the massive growth opportunities we see, both for our customers and for Avention”

Note: I was the Product Manager for OneSource Global Business Browser: Asia in 2001-2002 when the service was first launched.