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Eka is growing rapidly after a fast start to the year.

I recently had the opportunity to get a briefing from Manav Garg, CEO and Founder of Eka, to discuss his company’s strategy, recent results, product initiatives, and market developments.

In reviewing the company’s results over the last six months or so, Mr. Garg noted a number of new high-profile wins (though confidentiality prevents disclosure of their names at this time), including several with the largest commodity companies in the world; and often replacing incumbent systems from Eka’s competitors.  He also highlighted more than a half dozen new implementation go-lives, all completed remotely, during the same period.

Mr. Garg also discussed the company’s significant growth over the last six months. Spurred by growing demand for Eka’s products as the global markets emerge from lockdown, the company has been on a hiring spree since the first of the year.  As noted in a recent press release, the company has added about 100 people this year to date and is projected to hire an additional 75 in the next six months. As was also noted in that press release, Eka has “seen a huge spurt in growth…recording a 60% jump in growth in 2020 as compared to 25% pre-pandemic.”

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Mr. Garg also indicated in that press release that he feels there is more in play than just pent-up pandemic related demand. As he mentioned during our briefing, “The pandemic has forced companies to more quickly adopt digitalization to address their distributed workforce requirements; but, at the same time we’ve seen growing interest driven by other factors as well.  Our customers and prospects are saying they need better integration with partners outside their companies, particularly with suppliers such as ag producers.  Security has also become a pressing issue recently with the high-profile ransomware events in the US.  Another area that is particularly driving increased interest is the need for greater financial controls and that is pulling the financial/treasury functions much closer to the commodity procurement, trading, and marketing groups.”

It is this last trend, the closer integration of the CFO office with commodity operations that has led Eka to pursue the “acqui-hire” of banking and finance start-up Trxiea Platforms and Solutions, whose team will help accelerate the development of Eka’s expanded treasury offerings for commodity management companies. As Mr. Garg pointed out in our discussion, there is increasing focus on the intersection of commodity procurement, trading, risk management and commercial operations within the CFO’s office. With increasing regulatory and shareholder oversight of virtually all commodity-centric businesses, and with the complexity of those businesses also increasing, the CFO office has been evolving beyond its traditional responsibilities of cash management, mitigation of financial risks (FX, credit, Interest rates), etc. With broadened operational and strategic responsibilities, the role of the CFO is getting more complex, particularly as they must rely on an increasingly broad array of data and information from both internal systems (CTRM/CM, ERP, etc.) and external sources, including customers, suppliers, vendors, and financial institutions (i.e., banks, brokerages, and others).

Though Eka has had a number of financial monitoring, risk, and financial reporting apps as part of their platform for several years, we do think the deepening of their capabilities in this area will help accelerate interest in their products and position them well against not only their largest legacy competitors in the CTRM/CM space, but also against ERP vendors such as SAP.

In terms of other activity, Mr. Garg noted increasing success in, and growing interest from, the North American energy markets.  With energy prices recovering from last year’s lows and volatility increasing across most energy commodities, it does appear that energy companies have re-emerged as a strong market for CTRMB solutions.

In all, it certainly appears that Eka has weathered the storm of last year very well and has significant momentum heading into the second half of the 2021. With a platform that can scale well across all tiers of the market and growing array of apps that can be quickly deployed to meet changing business needs, we do anticipate Eka will continue to find significant success throughout this year and well into 2021.