Oddup is an 18-month-old startup out of Hong Kong that offers its own startup rating system based on factors it says are designed to determine risk. Websites like Mattermark, CB Insights, and Funderbeam offer similar rating systems on their platforms, but Oddup founder James Giancotti told VentureBeat that they don’t go into the kind of depth that Oddup is trying to achieve — a pursuit that has today landed it $1 million in seed funding and attracted corporate customers including J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs, and BNP Paribas.
Initially launched in beta back in February 2014, Oddup finally went live to the public at large this September. The $1 million funding round announced today was led by Kima Ventures, Click Ventures, and Bigcolors with participation from Big Bloom, Glooh Ventures, Justin Dry and Andre Eikmeier (CEOs of Vinomofo), and a number of angel investors, according to a release.
Factors that are used to come up with an overall rating for a startup are comprised of sub-scores in the following areas: Product, growth, location, team, market, industry, and competitors. These scores are assigned by its analysts, Oddup says, using its own patent-pending scoring methodology. Additional scores take into account things like investor quality, funding, and media buzz. Ultimately, a score of 1-100 is awarded, with a higher score suggesting a healthier, less risky startup.
“There are a number of platforms that capture investor sentiment and probability scoring,” Giancotti said, “but none are including detailed analysis, providing buy/sell/hold ratings, and future valuations of the startup. We are wanting to provide transparency in the world of startups including visibility on investors and locations.”
But to get a taste for the platform, users will have to first sign up. Giancotti said this is because of “different jurisdictional laws [that] apply to the user base [i.e. Singapore’s laws on private company information differ from those of China’s], so for legal and regulatory reasons we need to keep the platform closed to ensure we meet all countries’ regulations.”
With 50,000 users already, demand is being driven by a hot investment market globally and across Asia, particularly from smaller angel investors who want to dip their feet into the market but aren’t sure how to navigate all the noise. Initially, the focus is on startups in China (Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen), Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan, but with 22 staff already on hand, Oddup is looking to expand to Sydney, London, Melbourne, Bangalore, and Bangkok in the next six months.
In January, an API release is coming, according to Giancotti, that will enable other platforms to tap into Oddup’s database and ratings. As for monetization and revenue, he said: “We offer a free plan, and we offer an analyst plan (which is $99 per month). We also provide a pay-to-rate service for companies not yet rated on our platform. This product launched last month and we charge $499 to give a startup a full in-depth report.” (Examples of reports can be found at the end of this article.)
“In late December we will be releasing our ecosystem report for each city Oddup has rated,” Giancotti said. “In the future, as we launch a city we will also include an ecosystem report. This report will be free to users. We are heading to iOS and Android in Q1 2016 to give users on-the-go information on all startups wherever they are in the world.”
Certainly a new startup (for startups) out of Hong Kong to check out.
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