A prominent venture capitalist opined recently on LinkedIn that all he really cares about when seeing a presentation is the TAM (Total Addressable Market) that a company plays into. He suggests that entrepreneurs spend more time figuring out how to build a company with an increasing share of a large TAM than on building slides and polishing presentations.
Such assertions are of course debatable but one thing remains clear: Massive markets allow for massive opportunities. Not all entrepreneurs need to heed this advice–after all, niche markets can be fascinating and profitable too—but when the Kraken is unleashed, big things can happen.
One entrepreneur who loves to invoke the large TAM his solutions play into is Pulak Sinha, Founder and CEO of Pepper. A graduate of Indian’s prestigious IIT and of Columbia University, Pulak worked in the Asset Management space, occupying roles at blue-chip firms, before starting Pepper.
While fintech is a burgeoning space, boasting dozens of unicorns and attracting tens of billions of venture dollars, Sinha chose to build his company differently.
Pepper is a cloud-native data platform for asset management firms, family offices, and institutional investors- designed specifically to help them to simplify complexity and drive ROI in their portfolios. Sinha decided to build the product well beyond the canonical “MVP” before releasing it to customers. “With $100 trillion entrusted to asset managers to manage, grow, and protect, we knew we had to get it right before we put it out in the wild; we did not want others to absorb the risk of our own learnings,” he said.
If you kick the tires on Pepper, you see a comprehensive platform that helps Asset Managers assess investment decisions- against the complex world of regulations and security- and optimize their current portfolios. The trickiest area to do this with is alternatives, a space that Pepper is optimized to deal with. With several billion dollars “running” through the Pepper systems, customers realize the value in days not months.
PwC suggests that asset management is a “brave new world” that will take center-stage. As such AssetTech is likely to be a growing sub-space within fintech.
Which brings us back to where we started. In a space with $100 trillion at stake, the opportunity to drive ROI with a scale-based, speed-based, cloud-native data platform is tremendous. Such challenges are not for the faint of heart.
The Faces of Fintech are ready to rumble.