Grata is an AI-powered business development and research platform, trusted by more than 3,000 pro-active dealmakers at over 500 firms. Co-founders Andrew Bocskocsky and Nevin Raj, highlight some of the opportunities and challenges ahead in the sector and how the firm intends to expand its proprietary data and AI offerings to help support client success…
Where do you see the most significant opportunities for growth in the coming year?
In 2022 Grata was a deal sourcing platform for finding, researching, and engaging directly with private companies. In 2023 we built an all-in-one business development platform, helping our users network more effectively into deals – through investors, advisors, and events and conferences. In this next year, we will continue to expand our proprietary data and AI offerings, but also help with more workflows like early due diligence.
Can you outline the most impactful drivers of client demand in the coming year?
Having a tech-supported deal sourcing function is considered table stakes now for PE firms, as the days of solely relying on auction processes are over. We also see a growth in the middle market, where LPs are funding more middle market strategies, more middle market and add-on deals are happening, and the returns are still outsized. To be more competitive among the influx of capital, firms are turning to Grata and rapidly adopting technology solutions.
What have been the biggest drivers of growth within your business?
Building AI workflows is certainly a growth lever. Over the past year, the rush to AI technology has been staggering. Luckily for Grata, we built our entire company on AI – before it was popular. Some of our most universally loved features have been AI-powered for years. Today, the average customer expects AI to be more and more ingrained into the products they use. We’re meeting that demand with more conversational AI-powered experiences that will greatly improve efficiency in new ways.
What has been the most significant change you’ve observed in the private equity industry in the past 12 months?
Private markets have been surprisingly resilient since the global financial crisis, even through Covid and the most recent inflationary period. Industry dynamics changed when dealmaking slowed in the second half of 2022 and new LP commitments slowed. Despite these factors, there is still a record amount of dry powder in the market ($3tn!) and proven managers are still able to fundraise. Many investors have begun to explore add-on deals, especially in the middle market, which is highly fragmented.
What opportunities do you see emerging for private equity firms in the near future?
Private equity firms have a wealth of internal data at their fingertips, just from the conversations they have with executives and private investment processes they participate in. This gives them a better understanding of the economy over virtually every other asset manager, hedge fund, or other investment vehicle. With recent advances in technology, we see a large opportunity for private equity firms to connect their internal knowledge (even starting with what’s in their CRM) to best-in-class proprietary data, like Grata, to see what others miss, ultimately finding better deals and generating higher returns.
Andrew Bocskocsky, CEO & Co-founder, Grata – Andrew has been an entrepreneur in tech for over ten years building machine learning technology. Andrew started Grata with a classmate after identifying an opportunity to leverage machine learning and NLP to automate legacy B2B research processes. Andrew has been recognized as a thought leader in forums such as SXSW, Fortune, and Forbes. Andrew graduated from Harvard with a degree in computer science and economics. Previously a D1 Javelin thrower, he now enjoys hiking, coding for fun, and most importantly, playing fetch with his pup Jojo.
Nevin Raj, COO and co-founder of Grata – Before Grata, Nevin was a consultant for McKinsey where he supported Fortune 100 companies in investment due diligence, sales enablement, and digital strategy. Nevin has nearly a decade of M&A experience through his prior jobs in private equity and investment banking. As a self-taught programmer, Nevin has shared his expertise at conferences including MIT Fintech, Vision Monday, and TEDxBeaconStreet. In his free time, he enjoys playing pickleball. Nevin graduated cum laude from Harvard in applied math and statistics.