Interview with iPaidThat, the Software that Simplifies Accounting with AI

iPaidThat is a French startup based in Barcelona, Spain. Its main goal is to helps entrepreneurs and finance managers to automatically collect their invoices through bots.

I am interested about iPaidThat and then I had a chance to do an interview with Sébastien de Bourgies, marketing manager of iPaidThat.

Techlist: What is iPaidThat? How it works?

Sébastien: iPaidThat is a software using artificial intelligence and machine learning to collect all your invoices automatically in your mail box and on the providers websites. With our partner Bankin, we also collect your banking operations, so then we are able to compare all the datas to see if there’s something missing, and then create your accounting entries. In one click. This process highly facilitates your job and the one of your accountant. You’re no longer bound to search everywhere for missing documents or the relevant banking operation lines, because our software makes it for you.

In addition to these functionalities, our webapp allows all your employees to scan their expenses bills, which are automatically connect to your account then. To finish, an other feature of our website allows you edit invoices very easily for your clients.

Our presentation video (in French) :

Techlist: Who are your targeted clients?

Sébastien: We mostly work with small and medium size businesses but also with some startup companies that already reached the need of digitalising administrative tasks.

In addition, a lot of accounting firms use our software to automatically get all documents and informations they need from their clients.

Techlist: Your startup was founded in 2017, during this year what are the most challenging parts for your startup?

Sébastien: It’s very exciting to see the company growing day by day, with more clients, partners, but also more employees.

The most challenging parts would be creating a MVP and marketing it, adapting his service and dealing between the web developers and business developers visions. Then, raising funds and create a team are both great challenges.

Techlist: I want to ask a last question about Spain. Can you tell me three advantages of starting a new startup in Spain?

Sébastien:

1). The startup ecosystem is rich and powerful.
2). This is an ideal starting point to expand your business in Southern Europe.
3). The life quality is awesome (Standards of living, Vibes and Climate).

Techlist: Thank you so much Sébastien for sharing about your startup. I wish your startup have all the success in 2018.

Interview with Whoomies, an Innovative Roommate Searching App

I had a chance to interview with Lauren Dannay, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Whoomies, a roomate searching app.

Techlist: I heard that two co-founders started Whoomies in 2017. Tell me more about them. Who are they? How they get started Whoomies?

Lauren: The idea for Whoomies came out really naturally through a conversation with Alex, my best friend and co founder.

We have both moved abroad several times and ended up in the most nightmare situations! At that time, he was looking for a flatshare in London and, after his experiences in New York and Singapore, he knew that what really mattered to him was not only the quality of the apartment but also the roommates he was going to move-in with. Perfect timing, I was actually in a flatshare in Paris at that time, and was totally living out the same situation he wanted to avoid. It really dawned on us, if this has happened to us, it has definitely happened to everyone else! Why didn’t we do something about it?

So the idea for Whoomies initially started like this. I quitted my former job in Private Banking and Alex decided to stay in Paris! We started develop this idea of creating a “Tinder for roommates” but it has really evolved as we have come to know more about the housing market and through conversations with our users. We raised 300K€ and launched the app in Sept 17 in Paris and London.

Techlist: How Whoomies Apps work? What countries currently are you operating in?

Lauren: We wanted to make something that was young and playful and most of all super easy to use. Looking for roommates or an apartment is usually a daunting and tiring task, we wanted to change the way people viewed this process. Why couldn’t it be fun?

The Whoomies app brings a fun edge to an otherwise daunting task of finding a home.

The onboarding starts with “Chandler”, our chatbot. Users create profiles in a seamless way that allows our matching algorithm to select ideal flatmates for them. This is a theme that can be seen throughout the app, for example by the use of hashtags that users use to describe themselves in the app, instead of writing up a long bio, such as #Adventurer #CouchPotato #GymRat etc. So there really is an emphasis on the social element of looking for a place seen throughout Whoomies.

Users swipe on the app and begin searching for rooms with their matches. Further to this, the app also offers property listings that allows you find a new room or apartment to rent.

Whoomies covers 25 cities in France, and London.

Techlist: What makes Whoomies different from other services like Roomster or Diggz?

Lauren: Unlike other apps on the market, we flip the search on its head by focusing on people first. Whoomies is an app that aims to solve the issues of flat sharing. Our matching algorithm shows you people you would like to live with. These options can further be filtered by ages, school and nationality. So unlike Tinder you aren’t left with cramps in your thumbs after all that swiping! We then take it a step further and offer rooms on the app that you can filter to your needs and swipe to find rooms that you love.  From keeping track of your bills to pay each other with a simple tap via the app. Those services will be deployed by the end of this year.

With our chatbot, algorithm and easy-to-use interface, Whoomies offers  a unique and innovative user-experience.

We aim to be the one stop shop for everything that flatsharing entails.

Techlist: What is the future plan of Whoomies?

Lauren: Whoomies is made for everyone, no matter your age, if you are living or planning to in a flatshare, we want to help you make the most of this HUMAN and SOCIAL experience.

As said earlier, our vision is to go way further than offering flats and allowing people to match. We expect to offer in-app services to users that will help them manage their daily tasks and budgets with their flatmates and also their agent/landlord, while providing them special offers through partnerships – home services, moving companies, insurances..

The response to Whoomies has been overwhelming, and we expect to grow into other major cities in Europe and in the US, the market is there!

Techlist: In closing, would you like to add anything?

Lauren: Download Whoomies (IOS & Android) to discover roommates meant to live with you! 

Techlist: Thank you so much Lauren for sharing about your company. I wish your company have all the success in 2018.

Interview with Help My Bike President and Co-Founder Gregory Pigierm

I had an interview with Gregory Pigier, he is president and co-founder of Help My Bike.

TechList: Firstly, how your services work? In which areas?

Gregory Pigier: Help My Bike is a mobile bike repair service in Paris. Our repairman comes to you to fix your bike. With the service, we want to help people using bike in there day to day life, from commuting to cycling competition or triathlon.

Bike maintenance could be a big issue in Paris and moving your bike to a shop can be very difficult. For example you cannot travel with your bike in Paris underground.

Now, thanks to our responsive website (www.helpmybike.fr), you simply indicate what ‘s the issue with your bike, where you need the maintenance to happen (at your office, your home..).

Then, we meet you and your bike at the planned address and time.

TechList: How did you get this business idea to get started?

Gregory Pigier: Bike maintenance could be a nightmare in big cities. I’m a city cyclist and was using my bike to commute every day. I see how difficult it could be to have an appointment in your local shop and to move your bike to it!

You cannot travel with a bike in the underground so how do you do if you have flat tire and nothing to repair?

We decided to make bike riders life easier with the repair shop going to you!

TechList: How much do you charge for a bike? Is there any additional cost?

Gregory Pigier: We can execute all type of repairing from the simplest one to full bike check up, installation of a new cassette or chain.

Most of the time we call our customer to understand the type of bike they have and what is the exact issue or necessary bike parts we need to bring.

Cost depends on the type of issue and work, as examples flat tire is 12€, bike complete check up is 50€ just like a traditional repair shop.

TechList: Who are your repairers? How many repairers do you have?

Gregory Pigier: We decided to have our own employees to propose a high level of service.

Our repairers all have a bike maintenance certificate (they all go and pass through a CQP French certificate that guarantees their knowledge in bike repair).

Currently we have two repairers working in Paris and suburb.

TechList: What is future plans for your services?

Gregory Pigier: The future for us is to propose our bike repair service to more and more people.

To do so, we target to work more with companies. We come one day each month, the commuters employees come with their bike, we do the repair work while they are working and the get home with a repaired bike. Great, isn’t it!

Interview with City-Drop: One Way Car Rentals in Europe

City-Drop is a startup specializing in the rental of commercial vehicles in one-way, it operate by collaborative move when the person reserves a vehicle from one destination to another. I’ve held an interview with City-Drop.

TechList: Firstly, tell me about founders, Who are they?

City-Drop: City-Drop is a young startup was established in Paris in 2015 by Félix Nguyen, Christophe Gerbeaud and Frederic Dubois, quickly grew to become a major startup in the rental of vehicles one way with very low price.

TechList: Who started get this idea and why?

City-Drop: Starting from the observation that the rental of one-way utility is expensive, Based on the current trend of collaborative and sharing, we have imagined an innovative concept connecting individuals to each other. we decide to set up a solution that can change this situation.

In 2014, it creates an activity to serve people wishing to move from one region to another at a lower cost and without having to make the return trip. The idea collects positive feedback Félix, Christphe and Frederic officially launche they start-up City-Drop in January 2015.

TechList: Please explain me about how city-drop works?

City-Drop: City-Drop is a national and international network of vehicle specialists in all service locations with the right knowledge for the best transport solutions to fully support business and particular needs.

The company offers users a platform that reduces rental costs by offering one-way trips only.

The customer reserves a vehicle on the site from one destination to another and City-Drop is responsible for finding an individual who moves in the opposite direction.

The customer reserves, picks up the vehicle at the agency, makes the move and gives the vehicle to another user who then gives it to City-Drop. Thus, both customers benefit from the best rates.

Nowdays our customer benefit from technology that allows them to unlock their vehicle using their smartphone.

You can download the application from the apple store or play store for free. The provisional identifiers will be communicated to the user during the reservation and he will only have to modify them during the first connection.

An hour before the start of customer rental, the application will offer you the ability to locate the vehicle, open it, close it, and recover the key in the cabin.

In order to guarantee our customer a rental in a perfect condition, the application allows them to make an inventory of the vehicle with photos, to note the mileage as well as the fuel level.

TechList: Currently, how many vehicles registered with your company, in which countries?

City-Drop: Currently our company represent a combined total of over 120 vehicles in 6 countries like ( Spain-Italie-Germany-Belgium-United kingdom- Portugal…).

TechList: What are the future plan of city-drop?

City-Drop: Carmen Busquets said, “for me, the winning strategy in any start-up business is, ‘Think big but start small.” We share the same idea and we still face the challenge of creating high-performing, adaptable work environments that enable productivity critical to navigating unpredictable growth on our road to commercial viability.

We plan to invest in more advanced technology to enhance our services

We are looking for: vehicles suitable for Natural Gas vehicles include more and more technology “start and stop” to reduce fuel consumption and therefore the rejection of CO2 when driving the vehicle.

And of course we are looking to be represented in whole the world.

TechList: So, thank you so much City-Drop for sharing about your team and company. I wish your company have all the success in 2018.

Interview with WHYTTEST: What will software testing look like in next 10 years?

I had a chance to interview with Alexandru Zaharia, Software Testing Manager and Anca Dogar, Business Developer of WHYTTEST about their company and the future of software testing.

TechList: Firstly, tell me about your company and your team? 

Whyttest: We are a young company, with a friendly culture, located in Bucharest, Romania. Since 2014, here you can find the perfect mix between the professionalism of an international company and the freedom of a local company.

The testing process of a software application needs to be very well-structured, and it is done in certain key stages of the project. From the pre-Alpha stage, to the finished product that is ready to hit the markets.

If we test from an early stage, we can help the development team move faster, be more focused and therefore save production money. Video game testing and software testing are nowadays a necessity.

Choosing a good testing studio to help you, may prove even more important and cost-efficient than you think!

TechList: What will software testing look like in next 10 years?

Whyttest: Technology is evolving incredibly fast and with so many options to choose from, that it might be hard to tell. We cannot predict the tools which might be used 10 years from now on but one thing is certain: there will always be a demand for manual testing, at least in the video games industry.

From our point of view, Automation will not only be a thing, it will be a MUST and most people will be doing it, from back-end to front-end. The need for Automation comes from daily mundane tasks, which are repeated at the start of every testing Cycle.

Automation is done now by application specialized for this or those that facilitate, besides the already known script/code value.

It is likely that Automation will have some assistance or a learning curve, similar to an AI, for assistance during unexpected assertion or errors, or quite possible a scheme which would help the tester write the code which will cover most of the possible scenarios in test.

A lot more crowded, the market is realizing that anything it delivers has to cater to a higher and higher standard, as clients become more demanding with any software they interact with. In other words, the market is ridiculously competitive. This, in turn, translates into a necessity for testing practices and philosophies, that is becoming intrinsic to any development team in order to deliver any block of code with confidence that it will fulfil and possibly exceeded the client’s expectation. In the next 10 years the demand for strong and efficient testing will rise because of this fact, to the benefit of the entire market.

This opinion is based on information discovered in the  “Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies“, “Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us“, alongside online discussions and articles related to Testing, Software Development, Artificial Intelligence, Futurology, Human-Based Programming Languages, deep learning etc.

I believe that Software Testing will change dramatically as Software Development evolves with it as they could be characterized more and more as a symbiotic relationship. Some of the major differences could come from an array of subjects related to Artificial Intelligence and Automation, that are one of the main selling points when it comes to a better time and resource management:

1. Testing tools might require a different approach, potentially, a natural-language testing method for a natural based programming language, where white-box testing could change dramatically in the way the code is analyzed and tested by using a U.I that combines the latest benefits of Augmented Reality and Hologram Technology which could be needed when it comes to a dynamic method that is also influenced by an intelligent agent. (Microsoft HoloLens is one of these technologies that has great potential in the way we create and develop software, and not only that.)

2. Instead of testing actual software under a development cycle, Testers might be re-tasked to validate through more types of tests, an automation system capable of learning the software-at-test by itself and take an approach to testing based on its expertise. This idea is broadly explained at page 22 of the Testing Trapeze magazine.

3. At one point, perhaps later than 10 years, another problem will arise. What happens when both testing applications and system under test use A.I?  How would an A.I that tests know that the system under test is correct?

Currently, automation may know how to interact with the system, but it is missing a “a procedure that distinguishes between the correct and incorrect behaviors of the SUT.” as Rößler brought up in the “The Oracle Problem”.

The problem could be solved by analyzing how humans do this, which is by finding a source of truth – a product owner, a stakeholder or a customer. This means that Test engineers would need a different set of skills in order to build and maintain AI-based test suites that test AI-based products. These requirements will most likely require a more in-depth analysis on data science skills, and test engineers would be required to understand some principles regarding deep learning.

4. Going even further into the future, Testers will become extinct. Jason Arbon, the CEO and founder of AppDiff (a software testing services that lets A.I handle your mobile tests) has expressed this opinion in the following quote “I frankly can’t recall a single testing activity I’ve done in the past that couldn’t eventually be done better by an AI with enough training data.” This idea is shortly explained in a TechBeacon article.

Our predictions should be taken with a grain of salt, as Artificial Intelligence is still a young, mostly unknown subject (although progress has been exponential since the 50s) and even though I strongly believe that we are heading directly into this technological age, the timeline in which these milestones are accomplished could be much longer.

Overall, the future for Software Testing is on an ascending path which will increase even more during the following years due to the rise of new technologies and the desire to increasingly master new skills and methodologies.

TechList: How do you recruit testers? Do you have special in house trainings for your testers? How do you upgrade their skills?

Whyttest: Recruiting software testers is challenging, as is IT Recruitment in general.

Our situation is a bit different in comparison with other companies that need QA specialists. We are proud to say that since 2016, when the Software Testing department was established in Whyttest, our turnover rate is 0%.

Whyttest offers software testing, video games testing, mobile testing and support. The whyttesters that work in the video game testing department, show interest in software testing and have potential, go through an intensive 120 hours, practical, “Introduction to Software Testing” Training, thus giving us a great pipeline of juniors.

When it comes to recruiting Mid/Senior QA Specialists we rely on recommendations and networking because “Friends bring friends”, and of course, if it is necessary, our recruiter will do some headhunting.

In conclusion, in a candidate we look for: desire to learn and potential. In the fast-paced IT world, new technologies appear frequently. To keep the pace with all the new trends, we offer in-house training sessions and individual training budgets. We strive to plant, in the heart of every whyttester, the desire of self-improvement.

TechList: So, thank you so much Whyttest for sharing about your company and the future of software testing. I wish your company have all the success in 2018.

Interview with BrainyUP, a Platform to Promote the Exchange of Knowledge and a Playful Approach to Learning

My interview with Arnaud Degrave, CEO of BrainyUP.

Me: What is BrainyUP?

Arnaud: BrainyUP is the first smart social network. This innovative platform is based on sharing knowledge of its members.

brainyup

Me: What users can do with BrainyUP?

Arnaud: BrainyUP users get the possibility to use classic social network features (wall, posts, messaging, profile …), follow the news, watch educational videos, participate in online training, play cognitive games … All these features are intended to promote the exchange of knowledge and a playful approach to learning. Our members also have the opportunity to develop their personal or professional contacts network , with thematic forums, online resume, recommendation system and followers.

Me: Who created it? How to started get this idea?

Arnaud: Me, Arnaud Degrave and Lucas Grimont had the idea of this smart network by noting that we had to use many platforms to get in touch with people, develop our exchanges with them, take online courses, know the news … E-Learning users, we also found that the user experience was not optimized on existing platforms. So, we created an all-in-one cognitive development, in a playful atmosphere of sharing. Arnaud Degrave developed the platform alone, for four years.

Me: Where is your startup based in?

Arnaud: Our startup is hosted by the business incubator CréACannes, located in Cannes, France.

Me: How to get funded for your startup?

Arnaud: Wishing to be free on the production of the platform, we made the choice to self-finance the entire production. Currently, the two founders hold 100% of the capital, no external financial support has been accepted.

Me: Currently, do your services have in French version only?

Arnaud: We chose a unique language when launching the platform to focus on the technical quality of the platform. The other languages will be implemented as soon as the network grows.

Me: How many users currently using BrainyUp?

Arnaud: Before opening, we have about a thousand pre-registrants at BrainyUP. This number is expected to grow exponentially from May 7, opening day on https://www.brainyup.com