Yashwanth Madhusudan (left) and Siva Narayanan launched Fyle in February 2016
Image: Hemant Mishra for Forbes India
In his 14 years as a sales professional, Yashwanth Madhusudan, 35, travelled extensively as part of his job. The laborious process of filing reimbursements, therefore, was reserved for the weekends. More often than not, he let the money lapse to avoid the paperwork. That, however, can’t be a way out, he told himself. To make life easier, Madhusudan and Siva Narayanan, his co-worker at Qubole, launched Fyle in February 2016 to streamline the claims process using AI.
“Fyle eliminates manual work for employees as well as the finance and administration teams who have to manually verify and check claims,” says Madhusudan. Unlike other expense management applications which depend on an employee’s data entry, Fyle can generate information from a receipt (emails or paper bills) with a single click. The algorithm checks every transaction to avoid fraud or duplication. “We get a lot of receipts via email, like bills from Ola, Uber, Oyo, Ibibo, etc. Our users can click a button within Gmail or Outlook to create an expense entry. Fyle extracts all the details along with the attached invoice,” says Madhusudan. The founders are now planning integrations with other platforms such as Dropbox, Evernote and Google Drive.
Fyle uses an algorithm that extracts data from email receipts or receipt photographs. The information gets converted into a report, which is sent to the administration team. It uses AI in terms of reading and understanding information and to apply company policy, detecting fraud and managing compliance. The software stores all information, including invoice number, date and amounts to ensure transparency.
One of the biggest challenges faced by the duo was changing the perception about expense management solutions. The general assumption was that most employees do not submit their bills on time and nothing can be done about that. Fyle is trying to change that thinking. It charges companies a fee based on active users every month. The entire company has access to Fyle, but only active users—employees with more than three expenses per month—are billed. In the last two months, Fyle has already received 15,000 signups.
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(This story appears in the 20 July, 2018 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)