Tech Pitch: UNUBO
As workplaces rely more on SaaS apps, this platform allows businesses to consolidate their total SaaS subscription expenditure in one dashboard
Company name: UNUBO
Founders: Leandro Thomas (34), Marcel Thomas (30)
Background: Leandro Thomas has a 16-year career in IT in a variety of small to large organisations internationally. This includes rich experience in tech start-ups. Marcel Thomas is a full stack developer and UI/UX designer who previously worked for the likes of Amazon and Sky. We are brothers who have lived separately across six countries before reuniting to work on UNUBO.
Based in: Birmingham (Leandro) and London (Marcel)
Launched: December 2016
Very simply, what does your tech start-up do?
UNUBO is a web application that helps companies get a clear view of their SaaS (software as a service) – including apps such as Trello, Slack, GitHub, G Suite and more – expenditure by:
- Consolidating a company’s collective SaaS spend onto one dynamic dashboard
- Providing them with important information in one place such as billing cycles and account information
Tell us why there’s a need – what do you disrupt?
With workplaces relying on SaaS apps more and more, expenditure on SaaS is on the rise. In the US alone, 64% of small and medium business rely on SaaS applications, and in 2016 $12bn was spent on them.
The problem we are solving is that companies don’t have a clear view of what they spend on these applications collectively. Figuring out that expenditure is mostly a manual process via spreadsheets.
I experienced this frustration myself at the last start-up I worked for as the head of IT, when I was asked by the finance department how much was collectively spent on the 50 SaaS apps the company had subscribed to.
After spending a week collecting the data manually I went about looking for a solution. When I didn’t find anything suitable I knew I had to go about creating it myself.
Is UNUBO funded?
No. We have a working product as an MVP and are actively seeking funding. Up until now we have used our own funds.
What were you doing before you started UNUBO?
Most recently I was working for a start-up in Berlin. Beyond getting a kick out of solving people’s problems, technology has always been an interest of mine, so even before starting my career, as a kid I would fix people’s computers or offer tutoring in how to use them.
I’ve wanted to run my own business as far as I can remember, but always lacked two things: an idea I thought was viable and an affinity for coding.
Marcel has always been more of an athlete, competing locally at track meets in the US, until our father introduced him to coding. He has an amazing ability to absorb information quickly, and transform ideas on paper into something technical you can interact with. This took him on a 13-year career working for the likes of Amazon and Sky here in the UK.
Before talking to Marcel about the idea, I spoke to different development companies, who thought I was crazy (in not so many words), as the idea was, and still is, technically challenging.
But after a short chat with Marcel to see if it was something he could build, it was clear things were going to work out well.
What’s the best thing about being based in Birmingham and London?
Birmingham and London have a thriving start-up ecosystem, with London being several times more active of course.
Birmingham is a large city, yet it feels manageable with everything you need in the city centre – excellent shopping and top restaurants. I don’t feel the need to rave about London too much, as it’s all been said before. An amazing city, heart of the start-up world within the UK, which means good access to funding opportunities and other start-ups in the same boat as you are.