One of the recent aims of Deal Radar 2009 is to feature entrepreneurs who, undeterred by job losses, a consumption slowdown and a faltering global economy, are bravely moving forward with plans to start their own companies. Adayana, which develops interactive training programs delivered through web sites and software as well as classroom-based courses, was founded at what many considered an inopportune time at best, shows that entrepreneurship thrives in any market.
Adayana was born when a group of former Learning Byte (LBI) executives looked at what could be done differently based on their vantage point after LBI’s sale to DigitalThink. Co-founders Rajiv Tandon, Michael A. Jackson, and Steve Shambolett had to ensure that the new venture was substantially different from LBI to steer clear of non-compete provisions. The team committed their gains from the sale of LBI to the new venture, which was formed on September 11, 2001.
There was no doubt that on the surface it was a bad time to start a venture: the dot-com bubble had burst, with the September 11 attacks following closely behind. But on the flip side, Adayana feels that it also ensured that many competitors and copycats were out of the way.
Today, Adayana is a leading human capital development company in the fields of food & agriculture, health care, automotive and government (civil, defense and homeland security). It targets large, global vertical markets that have to train large numbers of employees, manage human capital and enable consistent organizational productivity. Its solutions and services include business alignment consulting; custom e-learning content development; licensing of customizable content libraries, learning technology integration and maintenance; training outsourcing and managed learning services. Adayana offers three pricing models in order of volume: project pricing for fixed fee, a pay-per-learner license, and managed learning services fees for defined work.
Adayana chooses its target vertical markets such that they address global, underserved markets with distributed workforces and low competition. For example, it excludes the IT segment because even though it is large, it has many players and the content for training courses has a short shelf life. The company’s goal at founding was to become a thought leader in specific domains and offer total solutions in those domains.
The company has been growing rapidly over the past several years. Revenue has grown from $7 million in FY2006 to an expected $50 million in FY2009 (ending March 31, 2009). Adayana will become profitable in 2009 with expected EBITDA of $5 million, and forecasts revenues of $73 million and EBITDA of $11.6 million for FY2010. Government contributed 48.4% of 2008 revenue and Food & Agriculture 46.9%. The Automotive, Healthcare and India segments contributed 2.1%, 1.0% and 1.5% respectively and are slated to grow faster.
Adayana has over 250 active customers in 20 countries in North and South America, India and Europe. Clients include Monsanto, Pfizer, CHS Inc., the US Departments of Agriculture, State, Defense and Homeland Security, John Deere, Tata Motors, Bridgestone-Firestone, Jiffy Lube, CARQUEST, Skills USA, Syngenta, CountryMark, the US Air Force, Clarian Health, the Veterans Health Administration, the Administrative Office of the US Federal Courts, and other leading US and international corporations and government agencies.
In 2006, 2007 and 2008 TrainingOutsourcing.com recognized Adayana one of the “Top 20 Companies in the Training Outsourcing Industry”. Further, Inc. magazine ranked Adayana #347 in its list of America’s 500 fastest-growing companies in 2007 and #254 in 2008.
The company has raised approximately $46.5 million so far: $19 million as seed funding from founders and employees in 2001; $7.5 million from angel investors between 2001 and 2007; and $20 million from Kubera Cross-Border Fund in June 2007. Adayana plans to raise $15-20 million to fund growth, preferably in the next 12 months, from investors who have some background in human capital development around the globe and can link Adayana to key customers and channel partners worldwide, especially in emerging countries.
September 11, 2001 turned out to be an auspicious founding day for Adayana!
This segment is a part in the series : Deal Radar 2009