For avid observers of TRG, you may be aware that the company secured strategic investment from Polaris Partners in April 2014. In the two years since, TRG has leveraged both the experience and capital now available in order to invest in its product and future growth.
TRG caught up with Dan Lombard, principal at Polaris and a board member of TRG, to understand more about the company behind the investment and the results that the investment is delivering for TRG clients.
The MO of Polaris, which has made over 50 investments in high growth software companies in its history, is “to back great teams, and we’re very excited about the growing team at TRG and the opportunity for FITS 4 both in its core market data stronghold, and beyond to new spend management categories.”
“We feel TRG has the right product and team which makes us uniquely positioned to capture that opportunity. Now it’s up to us to execute.”
One of the most significant results has been the investment in R&D, says Dan. “The company has spent millions of dollars in product development to enhance the product, much of which will become evident when FITS 4 is released this year.”
A lot of input for the direction of product enhancements for FITS 4 has come directly from the customer base. “TRG have a tremendously devoted customer base and they constantly collaborate with them. Their establishing of the customer advisory board has helped to strengthen that collaboration.”
Polaris works with TRG “to find ways to evolve as a company and reach more customers but also provide more value to existing customers. When we first started working with TRG it was clear they had strong leadership in product management and customer service. Where we’ve helped is to build on that and support their work to develop a growth, and sales and marketing strategy. Steve [Matthews, CEO] has done an excellent job of building on the executive team and providing clear direction for strategic growth.”
For customers specifically, a lot of attention has been focused on providing more pro-active account management rather than being reactive to support issues.
In terms of future opportunity, Dan believes there are two sets of opportunities. The first is expansion within its core market data business.
“There is lots of ‘greenfield’ opportunity, where companies are still struggling with spreadsheets and internal systems to handle complex spend management in market data. TRG is focused on getting the message out to these companies that there is an easier way and a product likes FITS provides demonstrable ROI.
“There are also opportunities at financial institutions that have already chosen a competitive solution. TRG is always respectful of competition, but we feel very strongly that nobody in the market has put more dollars into continuing to innovate and build on their product roadmap in support of their customers. The company believes its product stands out on a number of different dimensions.”
The second opportunity is to expand into other spend management categories beyond market data. “One of the macro trends across financial services and other professional services industries is the increasing reliance on data, research and online information sources to support business activities. Those people tasked with understanding and managing that spend have an increasingly complex job to do. The number of data sources and subscriptions has grown dramatically, the complexity of contracts and spend has also grown.
“TRG sees great opportunity here because FITS has already created incredible transparency around market data, which we believe is one of the most complex sources. And TRG is able to leverage that expertise to expand spend management transparency across the entire enterprise, into areas such as subscriptions and online information management, research, software, hardware, telecoms and more. Having such transparency can help companies to make better purchasing decisions and optimize their spend. And the company has customers today using FITS for several of these spend categories.”