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Molecule Software – a different and potentially disruptive company and product

I visited with Sameer Soleja, head of Molecule Software, this week to get an update on their recent developments and get a look at the latest generation of their product.  As I’ve noted in the past writings about the company, Sameer and his team do pride themselves on being different, even disruptive, in the ETRM space.  Their company blog is peppered with posts noting what they believe to be differentiating capabilities – deployed exclusively as a multi-tenanted solution; low priced, all-in (including implementation) month-to-month licensing with no surprises; unique technical capabilities including rapid front-end capture of deals via “natural language” deal entry; and a program of continuous improvement to build-out new capabilities and functions as their market footprint increases.

Since their launch 4 years ago, they have grown slowly but steadily and now service a customer base that includes multiple categories of industry players – with particular strength with hedge funds and energy retailers.  In fact their most recent win, signed two months ago, was with an energy retailer.  Sameer notes that they have a few other deals in the pipeline and do expect to sign additional business in the very new future.

Being a relatively new offering in the space does have its advantages, including being able to build the product on the very latest technologies (which they have and most of which is Greek to me), but it also have its downsides.  As the company has been built primarily through organic growth, they’ve had to move somewhat cautiously forward in terms of where to invest in the product and what capabilities to add over time.  Nonetheless, they’ve been able to field a solid and successful offering around deal capture, position management, risk management and reporting (including very nice visualizations).  With numerous interfaces to exchanges and FCM’s, they’ve built an attractive product with good appeal to the portion of the trading markets that doesn’t deal in physical transport and logistics.  However, as Sameer noted in our conversation, their customers are not exclusively non-physical or non-logistics, and Molecule has been asked to expand their capabilities in those areas – including multi-modal scheduling and power transmission.  With the first release of these new capabilities coming this summer (focused initially on power and then other energies in subsequent releases), they should be well-positioned to compete in a wider market.

As noted, Molecule obviously takes pride in being different. Heck, even their website, which features the tag line “Energy Software That Rocks” is totally devoid of any pictures or even so much as an icon that would indicate they operate in the energy markets…see if you can find that on any other ETRM/CTRM system provider’s website.  I’m not saying lack of any energy iconography on a website is a bad thing, only that it is clearly different…just like the company.

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They will no doubt face new challenges as they grow their company and their product; particularly as they start to compete more broadly in the ETRM/CTRM marketplace with their soon to be released new physical capabilities. But, given their unique approach in development and delivery of their product, they may prove to be an increasingly disruptive force in a market dominated by a few long-established vendors.

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