Conversation with Software Vendor Stelae Technologies

Software vendor Stelae Technologies provides a content extraction and automated conversion solution for multiple categories of content. Its product Khemeia™ is a cloud-based technology that combines multiple analytic methodologies into one product. In this interview, CEO and founder Aruna Schwarz discusses the unique nature of the company’s product and shares product development advice for first-time entrepreneurs and startup CEOs. This article is brought to SandHill readers in partnership with ProductNation. When and where was your company launched?

Aruna Schwarz: Stelae Technologies was launched in 2002 in Paris and was flipped to an Indian company in October 2012. It’s based in Chennai. How did your company originate — what inspired you to launch the company and what was the original vision/hope?

Aruna Schwarz: Stelae Technologies was born out of my experience as marketing director of a content management solutions vendor, where one of the service lines was manual and semi-automated processing of magazine and newspaper print content to create Web publishing outputs.

Khemeia originated out of the idea to create an automated conversion solution for multiple categories of content. My original vision to create a product company in the content analytics and conversion space has been rigorously maintained throughout and 80 percent of our revenues are from product sales (license and maintenance revenues). Please describe your company’s products.

Aruna Schwarz: Khemeia enables automated analysis, metadata extraction and structuring of unstructured content from multiple formats (e.g., PDF, Word, ASCII, HTML) and creation of multiple outputs (e.g., XML, XBRL, S1000D, Epub). It enables customers to produce structured, indexed, searchable and pertinent information quicker, better and cheaper.

The product has been developed from scratch and contains over 90 content analysis algorithms. The content categories we focus on are financial accounts, technical documentation, legal content (cases, judgments, legislation, statutes and regulatory information) and publishing (newspapers, magazines and books). We have processed over 10 million pages in multiple categories, formats and languages.

The other product in our portfolio is pdf2xbrl ™, an XBRL taxonomy editor with multiple accounting taxonomies (UK GAAP, Indian GAAP, etc.) integrated. Who are the funding sources behind your company?

Aruna Schwarz: My first investor, Barrington Davies (former MD of BT France, former MD of Business Units of Cable & Wireless), was my former boss at Cable & Wireless UK. Over breakfast in a café in Paris we discussed my business idea and he was excited enough to invest and also be the chairman of Stelae Technologies France. He continues to be an investor in the Indian company.

R&D, product development and customer acquisition has been funded with innovation grants from the French government, customer revenues and investment from angel investors in France, UK, the United States, Israel and the Indian Angel Network. Please describe how your product provides business value for your customers.

Aruna Schwarz: Khemeia enables up to 70 percent cost savings for end users and BPOs and faster turnaround times (two weeks compared to eight weeks). For the BPOs that currently use manual and semi-automated processing and separate work flows for each content category, Khemeia significantly reduces set-up times and costs.

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