Peter Brodsky, Krasimir Marinov, and Vladimir Tzankov know each other for over 10 years. They used to work together at Instinctiv, a company that Brodsky founded and Soundcloud acquired in 2012. “The desire of three of us to create a company with great engineering culture and high effectiveness even with a small team led us to HyperScience”, Marinov recalls. They wanted to have a fun place to work, he added laughingly.
The founded in 2013 HyperScience has actually developed a solution to a problem that doesn’t sound entertaining at all. Its software translates paper documents to computer processable information and automates back-office work. This machine-learning product has recently brought HyperScience an investment of $30M, led by the New York-based investor Stripes Group.
The new investment
Starting the company with a clear motivation to build a great engineering team logically led them to exactly that. And to a good engineering product. This is probably what attracted all their previous investors, including Felicis Group (successfully exited The Dollar Shave Club and Fitbit), and Firstmark (exited UpWork and Shopify). They, alongside with other VCs, have put close to $20M in HyperScience’s team and product between 2014 and 2016.
“Digitizing documents has been a thing for 30 years. However, so far most of the effort has been focused on managing teams of people to do enter data that machines could then process. We have automated that”, Marinov explained. The products could both extract data from handwritten and printed docs, and capture data points from semi-structured forms (check the video above for details). Hyperscience is already used by banks, financial institutions, insurance companies, and hospitals.
For HyperScience, 2019 started with a new round of $30M at a valuation of $120M. “We already have a viable product. Our goal now is to scale sales and reach a double-digit million revenue by the end of the year”, Marinov explained. This might be a possible projection, given the fact that HyperScience is targeting enterprise clients and charges them per processed document.
The more drivers, the better
The latest round and the current valuation of HyperScience look as a sign that the founders might have given away the majority ownership of the company. “I don’t see that happening in a foreseeable period but we have a bigger driving team now. Right now our focus is on bringing more drivers – people who are more experienced than us, to build a mature company”, Marinov explained.
The new investor is again a US fund. “We have never known other alternatives”, Marinov explained (although there’s also one Australian company on board; ed. note). Even though HyperScience has its strategic R&D in Sofia and two of the three co-founders are Bulgarian, the company is rather an American one – its capital, strategy development, and markets are overseas.
That’s also, where the team is going to grow in near future – with sales and marketing talent. As of Bulgaria, the company is rather focused on further developing its engineering talent and team, but won’t be growing explosively. Of course, the positive results of a successful “sales machine” will influence the local team as well. Having more drivers has been part of the philosophy of HyperScience ever since it was created – each employee receives also stock options when entering the startup.