12,000 FinTech connected and a thousand collaborations on the Finnovating platform in just 18 months…
Andrew Shaban CEO & Founder at Fresh Lime Soft, a Full-Stack software developer, and a serial entrepreneur with more than 12 years of productive experience in various business areas. He started with wholesale and e-commerce after he built from scratch his business in metal structures construction and production. But once he got to know about software development it became his true passion and calling. Andrew was captivated by the opportunity that the IT industry offered to create innovative products or services the world hasn’t known yet. So, at the age of 27, he took a new direction and stepped into the IT sector as a rookie. Now, Andrew runs an outsourcing software development company recognized as a Top Enterprise Software Development Company in 2021 by DesignRush which looks into like-minded investors for their internal start-ups.
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Finnovating (F): Please tell us a little about Fresh Lime Soft
Andrew Shaban (AS): Fresh Lime Soft is an outsourcing software development company. For over seven years, we have been building innovative products for other companies. We receive requirements from clients, sign contracts, do the work, and deliver completed products. Projects can be short or long-term, one-time or recurring. In every case we bring essential tech expertise providing a full commitment to delivering innovative products and services. Our team has a proven track record in creating custom software solutions for enterprise organizations in FinTech, EdTech, MedTech, Logistics, and Prepared Food Delivery sectors.
Together with the client’s projects, the FLS team develops inner startups. Originally, we went for outsourcing development only to gain the expertise essential to building technically complex and promising products. As a result, we are now capable of creating a decent minimal viable product, testing the idea on the market, and gaining the first clients or at least their first reviews.
So far, we are working on several startup projects. For example, our CTO Vitaly, being an expert in the Machine Learning field, came up with the idea to develop a software for coffee self-service terminals that enables users to order their drinks without touching the screen. Now we are working on the prototype of a touchless ordering interaction interface based on computer vision and machine learning technologies. In a post-covid era, it’s no wonder this technology will be highly demanded.
(F): Please tell us a little bit about yourself. How did the idea for your business come to fruition?
(AS): I studied mechanical engineering in college and could very well have become a mechanic like Tony Stark. But I never graduated, because I was busy running the business and I was concerned about providing for my family. Ultimately, I had to drop out. After several years of searching for my place in different areas of business, I have realized that digital transformation of the business environment is an inevitable process and it will disrupt all spheres of life. So, I practically went back to where I started. Instead of building machines, I decided to dedicate myself to creating innovative services and products for people.
I mastered Software Development by studying online on LinkedIn Learning. For some time, I worked as a Full-Stack freelance developer and self-employed professional coder. Later, in 2015, I set up from scratch to hatch a custom software development company with the dream to make the best company for the most talented people.
Like every rookie, I headed into a battle with little resources and big ambitions. Looking back, I see that I acted by trial and error. This in fact helped me to pass rapidly enough through the company establishment phase. Through all the highlights and lows of life, I learned how to trust my strength and my team’s expertise, and how to embrace changes as we moved forward in growing our business. Now FLS is a team of professionals capable of addressing clients’ business challenges by providing custom software development services such as desktop, web, and mobile application development, DevOps and QA, UI, and UX.
(F): How did you think of such a name – Fresh Lime Soft?
(AS): This is going to be a funny story. Originally, I thought of the name Fresh Lemon Software just off the top of my head. But, my good friend laughed and told me that in slang a lemon is something considered to be useless or defective. So without any hesitation, I swapped the ‘lemon’ for ‘lime’ and called it done!
Since then, I have improved my English skills and never regretted the name chosen hotfoot. It turned out that these three words fresh, lime, and soft perfectly represent our spirit and mission. Lime juice is the best way to refresh, cheer up, and bring something bold to everyday life. Our goal is to get the same result by delivering software solutions that innovate business and power it with bright opportunities.
We attract and retain those crazy dreamers who want to change the world for the better and make a mark on history. I have managed to join together forward thinkers and dedicated professionals while keeping a solid team running like a Swiss watch. For me, there is no greater joy to reveal their talents, see them grow, and to encourage them to go as far as they want to.
(F): You are the current CEO of FLS. How does the company fit in the Global fintech ecosystem?
(AS): The Fintech global ecosystem is a complex and ever-changing matter, it unites organizations working together to transform the traditional financial sector. We are among those who drive digital transformation by developing top-shelf software solutions tailored to our outsourcing customers’ unique business needs. We accomplished quite a few projects for the FinTech domain. The freshest one was for a US-based company. Our team built a new back-end for the trading platform, and refactored and optimized it into an easily scalable solution.
Although, for now, we are a non-fintech player. But, hopefully and with the help of Finnovating, we are going to become a new fintech startup very soon since we are exploring an idea for our fintech service.
At the end of the day, we are all fintech consumers. And I am among the most loyal ones since the digital banking and finance applications allow me to easily keep my business running anytime, anywhere. I have discovered that now, working from any part of the world, I get so much more done and still have more time to spend with my family and loved ones. Isn’t it just great?
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(F): What is Fresh Lime Soft’s value proposition?
(AS): First of all, our competitive advantage is people. As I already mentioned, FLS is a result-driven and open-minded team. FLS is motivated to keep building products until we get a flagship product, which will be famous all over the world. It is the key to success here and everywhere.
And second, we are on the same page with investors. From my perspective, it is a vital prerequisite in doing business together to have like-minded and business model vision. I’ll give you an example. We consider our outsourcing company as a foundation for developing inner products. Just like any investor, we first evaluate how the future product or service fits the current market. Then, we think about its channel/offer fit, calculate how much internal investment is needed to go through the pilot stages properly, and perform an acceptable result. After this, we consider whether to invest in MVP development or not.
(F): How do you think the implementation of digital functionalities will impact the traditional business model?
(AS): With people getting used to doing everything through their smartphones, non-digital ways of doing things are becoming out of date. If you as an entrepreneur want to be happy delivering value and making a good revenue, forget about the traditional business models and adopt models that can bring you, your team, and of course, your customers the best business experience. I’ve been doing outsourcing for years, and it’s been very efficient. Through this business model, I’m not only gaining a resource for building inner products, but also giving job opportunities to talents all around the world.
Nowadays, life is changing fast and drastically. After the covid pandemic, global society will never be the same. I believe it is our duty as entrepreneurs to embrace these changes, adapt, and plan around them. Every day, there is new innovative tech being launched online. About every five-six months, we meet those that become groundbreaking. You almost can’t go wrong if your business gives a leg up to the advancement of such technologies like blockchain, virtual reality, no-code development platforms, machine learning, and like.
(F): What do you think can be the impact of digital platforms in the Fintech industry?
(AS): The platform-based business brings more economic value to everybody that uses it but not the company that created it. Bill Gates got that right. Digital platforms open up great opportunities for new players to grow and for final customers to receive a better experience. Right now, we are witnessing more financial institutions shifting from a product orientation to customer-centric model.
The development of the Open API and Banking-as-a-Service resulting in one of the most serious transformations in the banking sector. Suffice it to say, for the first time, banks have opened up access to their data and resources to other players in order to expand their client base and strengthen their position in the market.
Of course, It has also brought challenges, such as increased competition, cyber security threats, and regulatory pressures. But, more importantly, thanks to such platforms the entry thresholds for business are getting reduced. With available financial instruments, you as an entrepreneur can easily set up accounting, conduct tax transactions, implement an online cash desk, and arrange an online payment system. Thus, the impact of digital platforms is profound since they change the way we bank, invest, spend, and borrow money. I’m optimistic that we will see more wealth democratization in the years to come.
(F): What do you think are the secret ingredients of Finnovating that make it a unique platform?
(AS): You guys, did impressive work by creating the first global open B2B platform for building fintech applications. You brought together more than 70,000 startups, financial service providers, and investors with expertise worldwide offering a disruptive way of doing business. You also transformed organizations by accelerating open collaboration.
Thanks to such platforms as yours there is now the ability for technologies across the Fintech ecosystem to speak to one another, connect the business process flow, and help to drive digital evolution in the financial system. After all, only a functioning FinTech ecosystem can meet the evolved demands of customers and thus stand up to competition from the BigTechs.
(F): Why is Fresh Lime Soft interested in being part of Finnovating? What are you looking for in the first global fintech platform?
(AS): I already mentioned we would like to attract investment for our startups and I believe that the Finnovating platform will help us to do so. Having a well-working outsourcing company helps us to provide our products with finance fuel in the early stage of development.
I’ll give you another example. We’ve progressed far enough in the MVP development for the multilevel marketing area (MLM). We work on the application and desktop version for a network of independent distributors where they could connect, communicate, receive stars, and set personal goals. We are in the final stage of MVP development and already have potential customers for the first reviews. But, to go any further we need to attract investments.
For any product or service to move from the start-up stage to the scale-up stage, it needs to carefully navigate each stage of its growth cycle. Attracting the right type of funding at every stage is a key to success.
That is why we are interested not only in getting financial stability with investors’ help but also in attracting capable leadership and expertise in tweaking business processes and dealing with regulations and rules.
I believe we’ll make it work. Thanks to your algorithms, it is possible to feel if there is real chemistry between you and the investor from the first sight. There’s always a perfect match for every start-up that works hard to be a perfect match for smart investors. We aim to find like-minded partners with whom we could share knowledge and best practices.
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Interview with Andrew Shaban CEO & Founder at Fresh Lime Soft, Interview with Andrew Shaban CEO & Founder at Fresh Lime Soft, Interview with Andrew Shaban CEO & Founder at Fresh Lime Soft