American Express invests in Bangalore startup Capillary - The Times of India Sujit John,TNN | Feb 11, 2014, 10.24 PM IST BANGALORE: American Express is making a strategic investment of $4.5 million in Bangalore-based startup Capillary Technologies, said to be the US financial services corporation's first investment in an Indian firm. The partnership will also involve a joint marketing agreement under which American Express will introduce Capillary's customer engagement solutions to select medium-sized retail merchants in the US. Capillary's solutions allow retailers to collect data about customers from a variety of sources, analyse this data and then make real-time personalized offerings, with a view to increasing shopper loyalty and fueling online and physical store sales. Capillary in 2012 raised $15.5 million from investors, including Sequoia Capital, Norwest Venture Partners and Qualcomm Ventures. The startup was founded in 2008 by Aneesh Reddy and Krishna Mehra, both of who passed out of IIT, Kharagpur, two years prior to that. Their initial focus was the Indian market, but soon realized that their solutions could work equally well in developed countries. Today, they are present in 16 countries, across 10,000 stores serving 100 million end customers. Customers include Pizza Hut, Puma, M&S, Nike, Raymond and Lifestyle. "Many retailers are looking for ways to help them strengthen engagement and loyalty with their customers," said Luke Gebb, senior VP of merchant services in the $34-billion American Express. "We are pleased to add Capillary to the range of services we offer merchants to help grow their businesses and to help address this specific need." Reddy said Capillary and American Express had conducted a pilot programme in Singapore in which American Express introduced Capillary's cloud-based platform to select mid-sized retail merchants. "That proved a success. AmEx has presence in over 50 countries and they own the relations with their merchants (unlike Visa and Mastercard who work through banks). So we get access to a huge merchant base," he said. Since it's a cloud based solution, retailers do not have to make any major upfront capital expenditure; they just pay a monthly fee.