IRIS: A 20-Year Odyssey –
From Humble Beginnings to Shaping a Safer Financial Future

The year is 2004. Sachin Tendulkar’s audacious 200 against Pakistan is still electrifying the world, rewriting the narrative of chasing scores in Test cricket. Meanwhile, in the burgeoning Indian startup scene, a different kind of legend was about to be born – IRIS Business Services.

Much like a young Tendulkar brimming with potential, IRIS started with a bold vision: to create a more secure and transparent financial ecosystem. The founders, a band of pioneers, understood the challenges that lay ahead. Forget the high-flying venture capital culture of today. IRIS was built on bootstrapping and sheer determination. They weren’t underdogs – they were evangelists, spreading the gospel of financial transparency in a world that desperately needed it.

Early Days: Building the Bedrock

The initial years were a baptism by fire. IRIS focused on establishing its core offerings – RegTech solutions that helped businesses navigate the labyrinth of regulatory compliance. The small but dedicated team wore multiple hats and learned from every hurdle. IRIS recognized the growing importance of technology and data standards in the evolving regulatory landscape. They saw an opportunity beyond just providing run-of-the-mill RegTech solutions – they could be pioneers in shaping the future of financial compliance.

They built relationships with early adopters of open digital standards, recognizing the value proposition – a future where financial transparency is not a luxury but a cornerstone. There were moments of doubt, nights fueled by caffeine and a burning desire to make a difference. But just like the young Tendulkar facing a hostile bowling attack, they persevered, their belief in their vision unwavering.

A Fork in the Road

The year 2008 marked a turning point, not just for the global economy, but also for IRIS. Amidst the crisis, a new opportunity emerged. In the aftermath of the meltdown, regulatory bodies like the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) were under immense pressure to tighten their grip. This resulted in a wave of new regulations and mandates aimed at preventing future crises. Many of these regulators started to turn to open data standards.

IRIS capitalized on this big time. The team, fueled by a renewed sense of purpose, channeled their expertise into developing innovative solutions that helped businesses achieve compliance in the face of a rapidly evolving regulatory landscape. IRIS carved a niche in the burgeoning opportunity – Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO) services in the regulatory compliance space. The expertise in open data standards fueled the KPO business, which not only provided a stable revenue stream but also allowed to gain even deeper insights into the challenges faced by companies grappling with complex regulations.

Early Innings with Software Products

Strongly convinced of the way technology would shape the future, IRIS also ventured into the exciting world of software product development. They recognized that technology would be the cornerstone of efficient and streamlined compliance, and they invested heavily in building their own software products. This period saw the initial development of solutions that would later become the foundation of their future success.

The Turning Point: A Product Pivot

With a strong foundation in RegTech expertise and KPO experience, IRIS was ready for its next big leap. In 2014, they made a strategic pivot solely towards products, fueled by a vision of being able to extend quality scaled solutions to every corner of the world. This pivotal decision led to the birth of IRIS Carbon – a cutting-edge, full-stack disclosure management platform aimed at helping businesses struggling under the burden of ever-increasing regulatory requirements.

IRIS also started early investments in products aimed to help financial regulators embrace digital reporting frameworks more easily, as well as analytics solutions to leverage the rich digital data increasingly available in the financial world.

The IRIS IPO: A Springboard for the Future

2017: A Public Offering, a Public Promise

The year is 2017. IRIS Business Services has honed its expertise and emerged as a small but significant force in the RegTech space. IRIS is now ready to take the next step and share their vision with the world.

In a move that sent ripples through the financial world, IRIS announces its Initial Public Offering (IPO). This wasn’t just a financial maneuver; it was a public declaration of their commitment to revolutionizing financial compliance. IRIS’ IPO created a record – it was the fastest IPO in the history of the country, a testament to the solid governance that the company had put in place from its very inception.

This IPO provided the much-needed resources to fuel further product innovation, expand their global reach, and empower even more companies to achieve true financial transparency.

Beyond the Celebration: A Renewed Focus on Scale

The celebrations surrounding the IPO were short-lived. For the team at IRIS, this was just the beginning. The influx of capital fueled a renewed focus on research and development. They continued to refine their existing solutions and explore new avenues to democratize financial information and simplify compliance processes.

The successful IPO marked a pivotal moment in IRIS’s story. It wasn’t an endpoint; it was a springboard propelling them towards a future where financial transparency is not a privilege, but a reality for all.

From National Player to Global Force

From one product and one data standard, IRIS quickly expanded their offerings, catering to a wider range of compliance needs across different countries, industries, and standards.

In 2017, IRIS entered a new space in the domestic market – GST (Goods and Services Tax). India was just moving into streamlining its indirect tax reporting framework, and technology and standards were playing a pivotal role in the government’s vision. IRIS entered this space, armed with the confidence it had in its ability to rapidly build data-backed technology products suited to meet the needs of both regulators and enterprises.

A culture of obsessive client-centricity became the cornerstone of their success, which also reflected in their products refining rapidly and finding more use cases across more markets and opportunities. The result? A surge in growth. The business started to gain traction, attracting new clients and establishing itself as a leader in the RegTech space. Industry recognition followed, with awards and accolades solidifying their position as a trusted partner for businesses navigating the complexities of regulatory compliance.

Cut to today!

The business has quadrupled in size, profitability is soaring, and their solutions are making a difference on a global scale. They serve over 6,000 clients in 52 countries, a testament to their commitment to building a truly global presence. Their team has grown in size and diversity, reflecting the international nature of their operations.

This remarkable journey is a story of resilience, of unwavering belief in the face of adversity. It’s a story of a team that refused to give up, that poured their hearts and minds into building something meaningful. Just like Sachin Tendulkar’s career, which blossomed into a legendary journey, IRIS’s story is far from over.

A Moment of Celebration and a Look Ahead

It is 2024. A time for celebration. IRIS reaches a significant milestone – a revenue of over Rs. 100 crores. This number, while impressive, is just a single data point in a much larger story. It represents the culmination of 20 years of hard work, sacrifice, and unwavering belief.

But the celebrations are short-lived. For the team at IRIS, this is just a pause to reflect and gather renewed energy. The future holds immense potential. New markets beckon, especially in the developing world where the need for secure and transparent financial systems is ever-growing.

IRIS’s journey is far from over. They are poised to continue shaping the future of financial compliance, making the world a safer and more transparent place for everyone.


IRIS Business Services (Asia) Pte. Ltd., Singapore

IRIS Business Services, LLC, USA

Atanou S.r.l. (Italy)

IRIS Logix Solutions Private Limited, India

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