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TigerGraph roars into APAC

The graph database technology supplier is approaching the region with a solution-based strategy and partnering with universities to grow local capabilities

The use of graph databases has been picking up pace in Asia-Pacific as more organisations look for more effective ways to solve a range of business problems and generate new insights.

Companies such as TigerGraph have benefited from the brewing interest in graph databases, with some of the region’s biggest financial services firms and telcos already using its technology to stem money laundering and monitor the performance of telecoms networks.

Unlike relational databases, where tables are joined with rows and columns when running database queries, graph databases can directly show how one data element is related to another and the relationships between entities. Financial institutions, for one, can use graph databases to surface relationships between entities to identify fraud and bank accounts used for money laundering.

In February 2021, TigerGraph announced that it had raised $105m in Series C funding, the largest funding round at the time in the graph database and analytics market, bringing its total funding to over $170m.

That same year, it expanded into Asia-Pacific, establishing its presence in Singapore, Indonesia, India and South Korea, with customers going beyond running functional tests of its technology.

“Customers are deploying production use cases to solve business problems and that has led to more sales for us last year,” said Joe Lee, vice-president of Asia-Pacific and Japan at TigerGraph, who leads a team of 30 employees in the region.

“But fraud management teams are not literally looking for a graph database. They’re seeing that fraud just keeps going on and so they are constantly looking for new technology,” he added.

Having a visual interface helps. Lee said the company would walk through what a customer wants to know and flag suspicious transactions. “That could be somebody using the same credit card in two different locations that are 15 miles apart, but they did it within a minute.

“Fraud management teams are not looking for a graph database – they’re seeing that fraud just keeps going on and so they are constantly looking for new technology”
Joe Lee, TigerGraph

“We’ll visually show the fraud analyst this information, and they can drill down and see what other types of accounts have been exposed by the same card and where it has been used,” he said.

TigerGraph is often compared to other graph databases like Neo4j, but Lee said what differentiates TigerGraph from the pack is its approach to the market and the ability to handle terabytes and petabytes of graph data.

“The product has definitely performed, with its ability to ingest lots of data and look at lots of relationships, but it’s also about approaching customers with a solution-based strategy, which is very helpful for a company like JPMorgan Chase,” said Lee.

A TigerGraph customer, JPMorgan Chase recently inducted TigerGraph into its Hall of Innovation, which recognises emerging technology companies for their innovation, business value and disruptive product offerings.

“TigerGraph has been a fantastic partner with innovative technology that allows us to help prevent fraud,” said Gill Haus, CIO for consumer and community banking at JPMorgan Chase. “The speed and scalability of TigerGraph enable us to identify complex relationships from our rich datasets in real time, which helps us protect the more than 60 million households we serve in the US.”

This year, Lee said TigerGraph will continue to build on a foundation of helping organisations in the region solve problems, more than just selling a database technology. “We’re going to need everything, from the community to institutes of higher learning, government and private sector partners, all going with us,” he added.

In November 2021, TigerGraph teamed up with the National University of Singapore’s business analytics centre to strengthen the graph database capabilities of undergraduates, who can also look forward to internship opportunities with TigerGraph and its partners.

According to Gartner, graph technology will underpin 80% of the innovations in data and analytics by 2025, up from just 10% last year.

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