Making It Work: Platform allows businesses to go digital without coding expertise

Dublin-based Kianda Technologies has developed a no-code toolkit for companies who do not have software skills

Derya and Osvaldo Sousa, founders of Kianda, a no-code business process automation platform. Picture: Rob Kennedy

“Nowadays, every company is a software company.” That’s according to Osvaldo Sousa, chief executive and co-founder of Kianda Technologies, which provides innovative software solutions to a range of businesses.

As much as Sousa’s insight is true – and also a truism – it presents significant challenges to companies that don’t have an array of specialised staff to take care of all the back-end operations required to run a successful business in the digital age.

This is where Kianda, which Sousa set up with his wife and business partner Derya Sousa, comes into play.

Kianda is a no-code business process automation platform, essentially allowing anyone in business to trial, test and use new digital business systems without needing to be an expert coder.

Sousa moved to Ireland in 2007 from Portugal and has been working in the IT industry for nearly 20 years. In that time he has become an expert in no-code digital process automation. What that entails is simplifying complex software tasks to something as mundane and easy as drag and drop.

“Both of us are developers,” Sousa said, referring to his wife, who comes from Turkey, “and we saw a gap in the market.”

Only 5 per cent of the world’s population are coders, but coding is essential to every facet of our increasingly digitised lives, Sousa pointed out.

“We need to look at the mechanism of bringing more and more people who would not have knowledge of coding,” he said.

“There were so many people who had the knowledge of what they want to do, what they need to do, but because of coding – either a lack of knowledge or interest in it– they cannot explore these avenues.”

Kianda’s solution is to offer a toolkit platform that powers a suite of enterprise apps and dashboards which businesses can use across a range of functions. The company was founded in Dublin in 2016, with the first year given over to research and development before a full launch in 2017.

“We have been fully bootstrapping,” Sousa said, “and we’ve gone from strength to strength. Right now we have eight full-time employees.”

In the next three months, Sousa said, the company plans to add at least three more roles. While the past year presented a range of challenges, both operationally and on the sales front, he said there had been a lot more movement and demand as the year wore on.

In January this year, the company added 30 per cent more customers. “That’s a really good sign,” Sousa said.

Kianda is earmarked as a high-potential growth company by Enterprise Ireland, and Sousa said the relationship between them had proven to be very successful.

“Our very first customer was from Denmark, so we started internationally from the very start,” he said. He described the support from Enterprise Ireland and the local enterprise office as “phenomenal”, and said it had enabled the business to reach international markets.

Kianda has recently partnered with an IT consultancy provider in Belgium, which will help it to expand its reach to the Benelux market. “We will be focusing on partners to grow our customer base in the coming 12-18 months including local partners in Ireland and the UK,” Sousa said.

“We are investing heavily in technology and people to become a recognised expert in no-code business process automation in Ireland and Europe in the years to come and eventually become a global player in the market.”