The newspaper EL PAÍS publishes in its Business section this interesting interview with Juan Ramón Gonzalez, Marc Serra and Joan Fabregat, founders of Aqtiva, the first spin-off of Mática Partners.
23 March, 2021
From offering specialized artificial intelligence services to developing and launching a program with which any company improves the quality of the raw data it collects. This has been the turn that the engineers Marc Serra and Juan Ramón González undertook in Aqtiva. After creating in 2018 Mática Partners —a company that has 28 employees and a turnover of 1.5 million—, in September 2020 they launched Aqtiva together with the economist Joan Fabregat to commercialize a tool that ensures the entry of quality information into the systems of data processing. In just five months and thanks to a dozen clients, Aqtiva has earned close to 200,000 euros.
The origin of the spin-off is in the “low productivity” that they detected in certain services provided by data engineers. "We noticed that the review of a huge amount of data series was a previous job that delayed the completion of almost any task," González says by video call. "If a client wanted, for example, to create a scorecard based on their big data, for the time hired the engineers could barely review the excel values". The delay was due to the processing systems "ingesting by default": they do not notice if an email address used in a marketing campaign is wrong or if a sensor in an industrial chain is transmitting impossible values of a parameter .
Against this background, they investigated the solutions offered in the market. But they did not find anything to convince them and with 400,000 euros from the parent company - which also provided them with a prototype of the computer program - they started the project. "Thanks to Artificial Intelligence, Aqtiva becomes the guarantor that the data you enter in your BigData meets the quality criteria that you have previously defined in the tool", Serra explains about the product.
Aqtiva's business model is based on closing agreements with large companies - three have signed so far - to make ad hoc adaptations of the software and on offering subscriptions of between 199 and 749 euros per month to SMEs, universities and research centers. "By the second way we obtain 10% of our income, but we want to reach 80%", reveals Serra, whose clients come from banking, retail and telecommunications sectors.
Aqtiva has eight employees and an office in Barcelona. It is one of those rare start-ups that have taken off amid the health crisis. "In difficult periods, companies ensure more than ever that the information they make decisions about is correct, and that has clearly benefited us", believes Fabregat, who works in the FC Barcelona data team. Serra and González, for their part, plan to focus on the creation of other spin-offs from Mática. They hope to reach the first earnings in 2022.