Co-founded by Raghav Kapoor in Singapore in 2014, Smartkarma was an innovative e-commerce-based independent platform for providing investment research - conceived in response to changes in banking industry regulations post the 2008 financial crisis. New industry regulations required investment research to be a separate entity from sales in banks and financial institutions. Consequently, large investment banks looking to slash cost centres had started to outsource investment research. Smartkarma used a Subscription based business model. Independent analysts could publish research content on the platform and client organisations brought monthly subscriptions to access all content. Analysts were paid based on revenues generated from their content, determined by quantified value add (QVA) calculation model. By the end of 2017, Smartkarma had established itself as Asia’s largest investment research platform with more than 14,000 insights across several verticals. It had also expanded geographically, establishing offices in Hong Kong, Frankfurt, and London. Smartkarma’s CEO and co-founder, Kapoor, however, was aware that the firm’s business model was susceptible to several risk factors, including very short-term client commitment, economic downturns and industry regulations. Kapoor chose a strategy of quickly acquiring as many clients as possible, as well as continuously building a pool of insight providers to create an early mover market advantage. Would Smartkarma be able to scale from being an Asian leader to dominate globally? Ease of entry, informational efficiency, and simplicity in replicating an independent investment platform, made it extremely difficult for such a business to beat the market on a sustained basis. Would focusing on the quality of research and transparent payment be enough to make Smartkarma the choice for asset managers in large banks? Could the company’s subscription-based business model stand the test of time?