HÉCTOR BADAL, COO OF YEEPLY.COM: WE TEAM COMPANIES UP WITH MOBILE APP DEVELOPERS, TO ASSURE QUALITY. Interview

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1 emarket Services makes it easier for you to use electronic marketplaces for International businesss HÉCTOR BADAL, COO OF YEEPLY.COM: WE TEAM COMPANIES UP WITH MOBILE APP DEVELOPERS, TO ASSURE QUALITY By Inés Ramírez Nicolás emarket Services Spain Interview September 2013 Héctor Badal is the COO of Yeeply.com, the first online platform for mobile projects: application development, games, adaptive websites. A mobile strategy consultant specializing in mobile marketing and app development, he began his entrepreneurial career in 2009 with Fruit Away, a juice, salad, frozen shakes and sweets company focusing mainly on fruits. After holding a position at the Plug&Play accelerator in Silicon Valley, his current business was born, the e- marketplace Yeeply, designed to source and hire mobile professionals.

2 emarket Services: How did the idea to create Yeeply come about? Héctor Badal: We have been interested in the mobile applications market for some time, mainly because of how quickly it has become a major area of business worldwide. After studying it for a few months we understood the peculiar work relationships recorded in this field. Several companies that require an app are not directly involved in mobile technology. Therefore, many of them have doubts when it comes to hiring an app developer. As a rule, many companies decide to outsource this service since hiring freelance is more cost effective and attractive in these times of financial crisis. But how do companies find the professional they need? After researching this, we realized that many clients do not know where to find app developers. That is when we thought that maybe it would be a good idea to bring all existing requests and offers for outsourcing mobile application projects to the same platform. In this sense, we are a liaison between clients and developers, so they can easily find one another in the area of mobile applications. What kind of companies and professionals does this electronic marketplace target? From the start, our platform has been for anyone who needs to use it. Every company and all freelance developers that want to explore new job and business opportunities are invited to participate. Yes, it is true that we can be most helpful to experienced professionals that are newly selfemployed as freelancers or that have set up their own applications development company. It can be difficult and time consuming for them to find projects at the beginning. Yeeply can make it much easier because we post a large number of freelance offers on one website. Furthermore, Yeeply is a resource available to any client in need of mobile applications and any freelance developer or development company that requires a new channel to reach more customers. What are the main problems that companies face when contracting programming services? If we stick to the freelance market, as I mentioned earlier, the main problem for both clients and developers in this context, is finding each other. Likewise, each group has specific problems that we try to solve via the platform. There are still many companies that distrust telecommuting. Those employers do not think that working from home is productive; we at Yeeply want to dispel that prejudice. In addition, many clients have had bad experiences with outsourcing because in the end, the service didn t cover their needs and they ended up paying for something that was of no use to them. We too want to rescue the client from those bad experiences. Evidently, with reference to freelance professionals, the risk that they all want to avoid is not being paid for services rendered. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for a self-employed person who spent lots of time working on a project to find that the client is late in paying or has declared bankruptcy. September 2013 Page 2 of 5

3 How can your platform help? As I said, we mainly assist clients in finding the developers they need and vice versa. But we also present ourselves as a guarantee of quality in outsourcing. On the one hand, clients can be assured of receiving a quality product that fits the characteristics of the project posted on the platform. In addition, all risks involved in telecommuting will be reduced to the maximum and the development process will always be under control. On the other hand, the developers have nothing to fear since they will always be paid for work done. What other advantages are there to using a platform like Yeeply? I think that the most obvious advantages are comfort and speed. Both clients and developers have to spend a lot of time in finding someone who can satisfy their mobile application needs. With a host of project offers and scores of professional freelancers on the same site, both clients and developers can find what they want without allotting too much time. Furthermore, I believe that Yeeply is a good place for developers to get to know one another. Professionals that register can fill in their profile with information about work experience, applications portfolio and recommendations from former employers. That way, they can use their profile as a business card for prospective clients, and get noticed as a candidate for new projects. However, one of the best advantages we offer, and that is not taken into account often, is personal attention. Whenever a client or developer contacts us (via or telephone) we attend to him as quickly as possible and work to resolve any problem or question he may have with the platform. I believe that this immediate attention is another guarantee we can offer clients and developers that use Yeeply. What changes does this new type of hiring system bring to the world of business? Basically, contracting freelancers can serve to streamline the workforce and labor market in times like these, of financial crisis. Outsourcing services is a good way to get quality results in the production process by eliminating the costs involved in hiring. In addition to the freelance contract are the possibilities that online hiring offer. Thanks to the Internet and new technologies, professionals can be hired from anywhere in the world. Furthermore, thanks to online tools like and Google hangouts, communicating is must easier, receptive and efficient. Unlike other professional service e-marketplaces like Elance, you have opted to specialize in mobile applications professionals. Why have you chosen this strategy? We noticed that our competition s platforms cover several areas: programming, writing, advertising, translating, etc. A mobile applications project could get lost in this hodgepodge September 2013 Page 3 of 5

4 among scores of jobs related to other disciplines. That means that a client does not know if his proposal will actually reach the applications developer he needs. With a specialized platform, the client knows that through his project will definitely reach a broad range of professionals in that field. When it s time to choose a developer, he knows that they all specialize in mobile development and he won t find generic programmers that cannot offer him what he wants. On the other hand, developers know that they can always find projects related to mobile applications, and will not have to waste time searching. Yeeply allows them to filter according to their knowledge and skills, so they can quickly find projects that interest them. In a nutshell, specializing increases functionality and speed, so that users don t have to waste time. Payments are made through the platform using the escrow system. What guarantees does this payment method offer users? Escrow is basically a secured deposit which the client and developer rely on Yeeply, as mediator, to ensure the successful development of an application. On the one hand, the client deposits money before the development project begins. That way, the developer knows that his employer has the cash to pay for his services and that he never has to worry about possible default. On the other hand, when the job is completed, the developer uploads it to Yeeply through a file manager for the app to be sent to the client. When the client approves the product, Yeeply releases payment to the developer. That way, the client receives the quality app he needs, and the developer is always assured that he will be paid for the job done. Are there any case studies illustrating potential contracts that resulted from your e-marketplace? Certainly, there are many case studies that have allowed companies and professionals to find and resolve interesting remote projects. Right now I can think of an example where a client posted a project and hired a professional two days later. Three days after that the developer delivered the work and was paid. A Spanish company hired and paid a developer in Colombia in just a week The current economic situation finds many businesses and professionals looking towards other countries to offer their products and services. How can Yeeply help them expand internationally? Yeeply essentially helps them find talent and work in other countries without them having to leave home. The Internet is a fundamental tool for international expansion, but there are still many people who don t know how to use it to that end. Our platform is the resource that allows companies and developers looking for new work and business opportunities in other parts of the world to channel their efforts. September 2013 Page 4 of 5

5 Are you considering expanding the platform to include more languages? What other plans do you have for Yeeply? For now, the platform is in Spanish, English and Italian, and in the near future, we plan to introduce French, German and Portuguese. The obvious next steps are growth and international expansion. One of our next target markets is Latin America as it has a lot to say about mobile applications, and in that regard, Yeeply has been very well received. We have many professionals and projects from countries like Argentina, Colombia and Mexico that are experiencing a true mobile revolution. Several professional services platforms have sprung up lately throughout the world. Do you think that this way of hiring professionals is the wave of the future? Only time will tell if it becomes the best way of hiring, but it can surely be a good alternative to consider. Hiring through platforms like Yeeply is, among other things, a quick way to compare professional profiles and reach candidates without the need for intermediaries and recruitment agencies. We really don t know if these resources will be used exclusively in two or three years, especially with regard to permanent jobs where face to face encounters with applicants are preferred. What is clear is that at least when it comes to freelance work, these platforms offer very quick solutions with very good results. Do you think that companies are prepared to use this type of platform as a work tool, or are there some cases where you have to teach them how to use it? It happens here as in many other areas: there are clients that are very familiar with the Internet and can manage this kind of platform perfectly; and then there are clients that are not as familiar with the online world and don t know where to begin. It is good to introduce the latter to the world of the Internet slowly. However, I think that more than training, these sites should be functional, easy to use and instinctive. Likewise, I believe it is important that we be receptive to possible questions and suggestions from the least experienced users. How can the government help to introduce companies to these new processes? Often, the best way that government can help is by not interfering with the creation and growth of an SME. Although it may not seem so, governments are far removed from the the Internet experience. In an attempt to protect the interests of all users, governments create laws that overburden and ultimately limit the amount of business done on the Internet. We understand and defend the interest in protecting Internet users, but we believe that lawmakers should consult the experts more often, in order to avoid excessive and repetitive regulations. September 2013 Page 5 of 5

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