At Vonage, we launched our first Startup Program in February to empower the global startup community. We want to enable startups worldwide to build their products faster and better, using Communications APIs. At the same time helping them scale more efficiently using multiple channels and building great customer experiences. Through the Startup Spotlight series, we will celebrate and showcase the amazing startups that we work with and give you an inside look into their product, progress, and learnings.
For the first Startup Spotlight, we caught up with Alcide Honoré, CEO & Co-founder of Billseye an early-stage startup with HQ in Atlanta, GA. Alcide talks to us about the problem they are solving, their biggest challenges, their vision, and so much more. Enjoy!
The startup at a glance
Startup Name: Billseye
HQ: Atlanta, GA
Date founded: 7/07/2017
Number of employees: 6
Vonage Product used: In-app Voice/Client SDK
In One Sentence, What Does Billseye Do?
Bill client calls automatically.
What Is the Problem You Are Solving? Was This the Initial Problem or Did You Pivot?
Removing the pain associated with time tracking, documenting and billing mobile phone calls for professionals that bill by the hour. This requirement has remained our laser focus from day one. Our pivots have had more to do with the backend; our primary vision for UI/UX has remained unchanged.
What Differentiates Billseye From Your Competitors? Is There a Secret Sauce?
Billseye is real-time - you do not have to activate any separate functions during a call, and you do not have to engage in some affirmative action after the call to identify a call as billable. Our competitors require more from the user to activate time tracking. With each additional step or effort, time goes untracked and unbilled, causing money to be lost. We have put a stop to that!
VC, Angel, Bootstrap or Other?
BOOTSTRAPPED all the way baby!
What’s the Biggest Challenge You Faced and How Did You Overcome It?
Our biggest challenge has been figuring out how to create the same user experience on iOS that we have created on Android. How did we overcome it? We have VONAGE to thank for providing the technology, integrations/APIs, and technical support to help make feature parity between our Android and iOS applications a reality.
The Biggest Mistake Billseye Has Made so Far and What Did You Learn From It?
Failing to promote what we are doing shamelessly. We assumed people would stumble across us on their own because we think what we are doing is so awesome. We have learned that having awesome software is not enough to win business.
You Can Choose One To Be On Your Board: Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates. Who Do You Choose and Why?
Bill Gates. Microsoft was built with compatibility and integration as a core strategy, something we are pursuing with a similar approach from day one. We are entering the marketplace with the best solution to a specific, well-known problem. Instead of attempting an all-in, comprehensive solution for all businesses like many of our competitors, our initial goal is to remain laser-focused on tackling the mobile billing problem.
Instead of stiff-arming our competition like Bezos or Musk, we seek to extend a handshake. By creating integrations between Billseye and existing software platforms, we can leverage existing customer bases while allowing potential competitors to offer our solution instead of creating a competing product.
Gates created software products that work across multiple platforms. We think that is the reason why his business has remained successful for decades. We would furiously pick his brain for advice on pursuing a strategy that invites cooperation instead of competition. Apple, arguably Microsoft’s biggest competitor, offers Microsoft Software on its devices. We could benefit immeasurably by learning the ingredients of a market strategy that has yielded those kinds of results.
What Progress Have You Made Since Launching?
We have achieved over ten thousand downloads of our Android software, and we are well on our way to introducing our iOS solution. We have been officially recognised by the American Bar Association, Google for Startups, and now Vonage as a solution provider that has designed an innovative solution to a known problem.
What’s Next For Billseye? Where Do You Want To Be In 3 Years?
Our next step is the release of our iOS solution - which we anticipate launching in several weeks. From there, our enterprise sales strategy starts in earnest. In three years, we want to be the company known for disrupting the conventional approach to business communications.
Let's Work Together - Vonage for Startups
At Vonage for Startups, we help early-stage startups better understand Communications APIs' power and enable them to utilise these tools better. We provide the necessary educational resources and a supportive environment for the startup community to benefit from Communications APIs, whatever their individual needs are.
Apply to join us here.