StartUs Presents: Archiles

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Sick and tired of accounting? Archiles might be the right tool for you! Find out why from co-founder Karol Mareš in today's edition of StartUs Presents.

Describe Archiles in 50 words or less.

Archiles automatically recognizes and extracts all the relevant accounting data from invoices and receipts and pushes them directly to your accounting/ERP system. It provides digital archives of documents and data with workflow system. Archiles saves 60 – 80% of your time spent on accounting and accounting document processing.

Why did you decide to pursue your own dreams rather than someone else’s?

I like creating new things that have meaning and that improve the lives of others. Also I don’t like barriers and in your own business you can experience outer freedom. You can set down your own rules, own environment and structure of the company, thus you have complete freedom of choice. Also it is about leaving your comfort zone and learning a lot of different things and information, which is necessary when starting a company. You don’t have to follow some hardwired structures.

7 years from now: How did your startup change the world?

What can be automated will be automated. Bookkeeping, accounting, document processing and invoice payment will be very much automatized, so you can focus on more creative and meaningful things like finding new business models, creating important forecasts and financial analyses. You can gain better insight from the extracted and collected business and financial data via our product. Based on this you can make better business decisions and increase your revenues.

In what ways do you measure your success and how do you make sure you don’t lose track?

We are always listening to our customers. Your customer is your biggest boss, because he/she can fire the whole company by spending money somewhere else. We put lots of effort in the product quality and communicate our vision in a clear and attractive way. We build partnerships and create common synergies in order to raise the value for our customers.

Describe your typical working day from coming to the office to leaving it.

Actually in my mind I never leave the office. Your own business is something that always stays with you, like when you fall in love. You always think about it and try to create the best environment for reaching the highest goals, whatever they may be. I try to organize my time in several similar-type activity blocks in order to stay focused. For example I schedule meetings with customers and partners in one half of a day and do other activities in the other half. I go through the product backlog, check the status of the programming tasks and write e-mails in the same time frame.

Already pivoted? Did customers use the digital accounting assistant like you imagined it in the beginning?

Of course we have pivoted. That is the essence of the startup, to pivot to basic expectations (MVP) and then constantly improve the product. Make it more intuitive, easy to use, and add important requested features, etc. We’ve had an accountant in our team from the beginning, so we were constantly listening to customer requirements.

Bootstrapped or financed: What fuels your startup now and what will in the future?

Until now we have bootstrapped. But we want to accelerate to the UK market, and there we will definitely need an investment. The wind in the sails is very important to be able to compete in the ocean of competitors. Actually I think there are many interesting startups in the world, but lots of them fail because they run out of money, which is a shame.

With ferocious competition and a booming trend to build new companies: How do you make sure you don’t get lost in the shuffle?

I’d name 3 main reasons: Great product, lovely & considerate marketing and effective scalable distribution. You need to constantly improve yourself, your team and the product. Keep in touch with trends, but be focused on what’s important on the human and product level. Partnerships with key companies in the industry you are operating in are also essential. You need to build your network, so that everyone in the industry knows what you are doing.

What do you look for in team members?

Actually always hire A players. They should be rock stars in their working fields, but need to be open and have a sense of humor. Without openness there is no exchange that creates the best ideas. It is definitely a good idea to have complementary qualities inside the team. Also, it’s very important for the team members to have some kind of hobby where they can relax and charge their batteries.

Why would a talent join your team?

We believe that our product can help hundreds of thousands of companies and accountants around the world. We believe that automated accounting and automated payment is the future, so if you want to help us shape the future, you are welcome to do so! We are certainly on the verge of something big that will change the world of accounting and payment processing.

What was your most memorable moment so far?

Staying up late at night and creating the product Archiles with our team. Everyone wanted to give the best from their qualities and motivation, which was very touching. It is always nice to see interest and feedback from the customers’ side, because we are building the product for them. Every new paying customer for us is proof that we are really solving their existing problems and we are on the right track. We are happy for every customer that starts using our service.

What advice would you give fellow founders for their startup?

Never give up. You are creating something important, something that is creating the future of the economy of this world. Never give up; it is a question of diligence and time when you have the right tools and the right product. Make sure your timing is right. Otherwise you can end up having built a product that solves either already obsolete or not yet existing problems. Scaling is something that happens by itself. Don’t be afraid that you will not be able to scale quickly. Don’t buy tons of hardware and terabytes of software before you have a lot of customers. Stay lean! ☺


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