Shimi Avizmil is the CTO And Co-Founder Of Fetcherr. He has 19 years of intensive experience in software development and management, particularly specializing in real-time trading systems and large-scale enterprise applications.
He has a thorough knowledge of the complete software development process, and I’m able to take a project from initial startup and analysis through to completion of production, deployment, and support.
He has leadership & Management 12+ years of development team management (including QA and Support teams), recruiting, planning, performance management, PO, mentoring, internal and external customer relationship management.
Fetcherr is a Pricing Intelligence company, with its ground-breaking new AI technology that tackles the airline’s biggest challenge, which is pricing and revenue management.
Fetcherr’s AI engine for automated price prediction and fare optimization utilizes DPNN (Deep Price Neural Network) and the latest in computing algorithms, which they are now exposing to Airlines, Hotel chains, and the Travel Market.
In an exclusive interview with AsiaTechDaily, Shimi says:
Startups are a roller coaster, choose your partners carefully and make sure you have time in the process. Another advice is to cherry-pick your first client as this will help you enormously down the road.
I guess this will be related to animal rights and veganism. I’m one of the first vegans in Israel and feel a big part of the revolution is undertaken here in healthy eating and animal rights. I’m also pretty sure we are the biggest vegan family in Israel (probably in the middle east) 🙂 inspiring a lot of young families.
Read on to know more about Shimi Avizmil and his journey.
Please tell me about your personal background and What motivated you to get started with your company?
Shimi Avizmil: I started automating economic & financial systems back in the late 90s. Worked for several years in Australia & London, where I was responsible for writing the external API for an FX trading system. Later in Israel, I was the R&D manager responsible for the complete lifecycle of automation & decision support software for funds and financial trading systems.
What is your current main product, and can you share any previous product pivot story to the current product?
Shimi Avizmil: We believe that all companies can enjoy state of the art technology for enhancing their actions. Currently, we seamlessly and simply migrate the Travel & Cargo industries – from old decision supporting systems to continuous AI-based decision making.
Our product is a centralized autonomous AI deep learning software-based model that uses a unique, sophisticated AI architecture, similar to those utilized in algo-trading in financial markets, to continuously predict and optimize the price of a product or service and accurately predict and react to Competitor Behavior.
Such technology can enhance the entire organization by facilitating a smooth transition from legacy-based systems to a new world economic model – in a matter of months with limited client resources.
How much money have you raised in total so far? When was the recent funding round?
Shimi Avizmil: Fetcherr has raised almost $3.6M in seed rounds; the last round was completed in September 2020.
What were the internal decision processes in determining when to begin fund-raising, and what were the logistics for this? And how many investors have you met so far, and how did you meet these investors, and which channels worked best for you?
Shimi Avizmil: Since the founding team is a group of experienced individuals, we could afford to fund the initial development by ourselves. Once the initial POC was up and running, all of the investment up to this point was made via channels of friends & acquaintances of previous investors’ founders.
Thanks to how our technology is built, where the AI system barely uses engineered features, our burn rate is quite low, and the investment demand is high. Therefore, we did not need to meet many investors and continue the channel where we can cherry-pick the most valuable investors from a large pool of acquainted angels.
What are the biggest challenges and obstacles that you have faced in the process of fund-raising? If you had to start over, what would you do differently?
Shimi Avizmil: Our biggest challenge when we started was creating something new; after a year of development, we have succeeded.
Once we had our PoC, we needed to convince our investors that we can transform our PoC into a production product in a very short period.
Today our biggest challenge is ramping up to explain to our investors how we are going to handle the upcoming workload.
I believe we can do it!!!
What are your milestones for the next round? And what are your goals for the future?
Shimi Avizmil: We are moments away from production with our Airline DSS product with one of the leading airlines in the industry. This is a major milestone for our company. We have a well-defined roadmap, and the main goals for the future are to expand to different verticals.
How have you attracted users, and with what strategy have you grown your company from the start to now?
Shimi Avizmil: The key here was to have the right technology & product, once the first customer uses it, and beats the market thanks to it. The spreading word just does your marketing.
In addition to having the right technology and product, it is a key factor in choosing your first customers. We chose our first customer based on their position and prestige in the industry. Once your product and algorithms are validated with such customers, the word is spread, and marketing and sales processes are much easier.
Which has been the best marketing software tool for the growth of your startup, and why?
Shimi Avizmil: We don’t use any marketing systems except Linkedin.
What do most startups get wrong about marketing in general?
Shimi Avizmil: I think the main conclusion is that the users are smart, their time is precious, they know what they need, and once they see a good solution working and validated – they would take it. Therefore, just showing the decision-makers our product capabilities, live, and to the point makes them understand. It’s not about having access to a large audience of decision-makers, but more about having the right product validated.
How do you plan to expand globally?
Shimi Avizmil: We are already in the process of opening offices in the US & EU. The key point is finding the right local people suitable for the company’s mentality and pace.
What are the most common mistakes companies make with global expansion?
Shimi Avizmil: I assume the common mistake is related to timing, recruitment process, and infrastructure the headquarters provides for the global expansion. Global expansion conceals great expenses. It is important the company can support it, and thus timing is important. It is choosing the right time to extract the operations and expand globally in order to support the budget.
How do you handle this COVID-19 outbreak situation for your company’s survival in the future?
Shimi Avizmil: Though we have started much before the outbreak, the outbreak only emphasized the exponentially growing need for such a solution. Only AI-based systems can understand such volatile times, while the traditional systems usually just look years back and assume that the dynamic would repeat itself – which has totally proven to be wrong in the COVID era.
What are the most common mistakes founders make when they start a company?
Shimi Avizmil: Many founders I see are not strict enough to choose their co-founders or investors. I think that’s even more important than technology or anything else. We have come to this point thanks to the identity of and warm interactions among the founders & investors community that we have built.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? And What advice do you have for someone who is interested in doing similar things like yours or in a similar direction?
Shimi Avizmil: Startups are a roller coaster, choose your partners carefully and make sure you have time in the process. Another advice is to cherry-pick your first client as this will help you enormously down the road.
What are the top-three books or movies (TV series) that changed your life and why?
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – One of the best movies I watched and is related to my way of living; make sure you live your life to the full every day at any age.
Ender’s Game – Amazing book, got me to understand how important it is to educate kids to self-thinking and doubt all government decisions.
Forks Over Knives – a film that advocates for healthy eating and displays veganism as the solution for a lot of our modern diseases
How do you keep yourself motivated every day?
Shimi Avizmil: I have 5 kids that keep me motivated every hour of the day.
What are the top- three life lessons that you want your (future) sons and daughters to know?
- Veganism – We are a vegan family based on the love for animals and the planet. Our motto is “we love animals, so we don’t heart or kill them”
- Independent thinking & continuous learning
- Fun & Persistence – Main ingredient for success
- Giving back – Find your path and always give back to society
What would you like to be remembered for?
Shimi Avizmil: Wow, that’s an interesting question; well, I guess this will be related to animal rights and veganism. I’m one of the first vegans in Israel and feel a big part of the revolution is undertaken here in healthy eating and animal rights. I’m also pretty sure we are the biggest vegan family in Israel (probably in the middle east) 🙂 inspiring a lot of young families.
You can follow Shimi Avizmil here.
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