Big Idea

No more keeping count

Bengaluru-based Fyle uses AI to simplify expense management 

RA Chandroo

Be it is sorting out e-bills or paper bills, submitting expense receipts at the end of every month is always a cumbersome affair. Pulling out all the bills, following the official template, waiting for approval and the process goes on, requiring effort and time that can be deployed elsewhere.

Having encountered this problem while at their previous job, founders Yashwanth Madhusudan and Sivaramakrishnan Narayanan, noticed a gap in the market. And Fyle was launched in February this year – a SaaS or an ‘on-demand software’ company, based in Bengaluru that uses an artificial intelligence (AI) powered data extraction plug-in to that capture expense data with a single click. “Instead of writing down information or keeping physical copies of the bills, Fyle keeps a record of it all – extracts information from your email or photographs of physical bills. At the end of the month, it prepares a report that can be submitted to the administration,” Madhusudan explains. 

While the product was developed keeping enterprises in mind, Fyle has also attracted several inividual users to its platform. And is currently available at ₹225 a month, if you have more than three bills to file, otherwise you can avail the service for free. “The great part about this application is, that once people start using it, they can’t go back to the manual style of expense management, because Fyle makes it very easy for them,” Madhusudan explains. Made available as a widget (an plug-in) that is live on Google and Outlook, Fyle allows users to extract information from emails, PDFs and images. And if you’re concerned about the accuracy of this method, co-founder, Narayanan assures, “Presently, we have 95% accuracy for our digital receipts and 80% accuracy for paper receipts.”

The start-up has managed to get on-board 30 paid clients so far — PropTiger (2,300 employees), Teach for India (1400 employees), Zivame (500+ employees), HeroFincorp (1,100 exployees), Capillary Technologies (800 employees). etc. He further expands on what encourages enterprises to adopt its offering, “Usually enterprise products are considered to be bulky and painful to the end-users. They require a certain degree of training. Fyle has a very simple and clean interface that requires no training”. The expense management company received a seed fund of ₹2.6 crore this year from Pravega Ventures, Beenext and angel investors such as Phanindra Sama,co-founder, redBus and Richa Kar of Zivame. Its revenue till date is approximately ₹34 lakh.

The start-up has already expanded to the US and plans to launch next in Singapore and Netherlands with other English-speaking countries also on the list. The next step is convincing merchants such as Ola, Swiggy and Uber to incorporate the Fyle widget within their apps. “While algorithms and languages have proven to be barriers, the greatest challenge has been changing the habit of moving from manual to digital,” Narayanan says. With digital being the new buzzword, will that still be a cause of concern for the start-up? Unlikely. Now that you know how convenient your monthly ritual of reimbursements can be, have you downloaded the Fyle plug-in yet?