A Compelling Opportunity for Global Investors
Sri Lanka has built a reputation for churning out world-class solutions for multi-billion-dollar industries around the world. Availability and access to top engineering talent, creativity and resourcefulness, and a collaborative mentality to co-innovate solutions differentiate Sri Lanka from other locations.
Over the past decade, Sri Lanka has emerged as a leading destination for IT products, IT services, and knowledge services. While Sri Lanka may have a smaller workforce compared to its neighbors such as India, the ICT sector has proven over and over again its ability to deliver high-value in the global arena.
The country's deep niche skills and innovative culture has generated compelling investment opportunities for organizations and individuals looking to push the envelope and stay on the cutting edge of technology. The country is leveraging its prowess in machine learning, artificial intelligence and big data analytics to disrupt traditional industries—by developing domain specific, transformative IP and business products and services. Two classic examples such digital disruptors include:
WSo2 –Toba Capital
Founded in 2005, WSo2 is a world-class open source integration vendor that helps global companies become integration agile. International brands currently execute over 5 trillion transactions annually using WSo2’s integration technologies. In 2018, Gartner, Forrester and KuppingerCole named WSo2 market leaders in Integration, API Management and Identity & Access Management, respectively.
Driven by this impressive performance, WSo2 has received notable funding from global heavyweights over the years. In its most recent rounds of investment, WSo2 closed a USD 20 million funding round led by Pacific Controls, joined by Toba Capital. Prior to this, the company closed a USD 10 million funding round led by Toba Capital, joined by Cisco and Intel Capital in 2013.
Toba Capital –the California-based VC firm focused on enterprise software and infrastructure –is WSo2’s majority shareholder, with Toba Capital founder, Vinny Smith, being executive chairman of WSo2.
Elovate –Tavistock Group
The Tavistock Group –a multi-billion-dollar international private investment organization –identified Sri Lanka’s immense potential as one of the fastest growing technology markets and was quick to capitalize on this opportunity. In 2018, Tavistock invested in and formed the ElovateGroup –a consortium of Sri Lankan companies providing end-to-end technological solutions across hardware, software, marketing and analytics.
Elovate Comprises of Atlas Labs, a sensor technology company; Pyxle International, a digital transformation and technology company; Trabeya, a data analytics and artificial intelligence company; and Surge Global, a digital marketing/media tech company. Tavistock has significantly expanded operations in Sri Lanka, going from just five employees to a team of 150 people. Through these acquisitions, the Tavistock Group will position Elovate to be a dynamic provider of exceptional solutions in the global technology space.
The emergence of such disruptors is attributed to the ingenuity and creativity of the sector. Identifying the opportunity at stake, the Government of Sri Lanka, through the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade (MoDSIT) and Export Development Board (EDB), has designed multiple initiatives under the National Export Strategy to support and develop companies with the potential of becoming the next “Digital Disruptors”.