Interview: Craig Marvelly, VP of engineering at Bipsync

Having raised $7 million of growth investment last year, Cardiff and New York-based research platform Bipsync is clearly working on exciting things. We recently caught up with Craig Marvelly, who leads engineering at the company.

TD: Can you tell me more about yourself and your business?

CM: I’m the VP of engineering at Bipsync. Our product is a research management platform, which is used by some of the largest financial institutions in the world. Think Evernote crossed with Salesforce.

TD: What products/services have you developed, and what makes them different?

CM: Our platform is made up of several apps and plugins. Our web, iOS and desktop apps allow users to organise their research and collaborate within their investment process. A suite of plugins for the Microsoft Office suite, Google Chrome and Adobe Acrobat, as well as a comprehensive API, allow data to be consumed from almost anywhere.

This ubiquity, combined with a sleek, intuitive design and a rapid upgrade process, sets Bipsync apart from similar products in our market.

TD: Why did you set your company up?

CM: Our CEO, Danny Donado, was previously an analyst at a hedge fund in New York. He experienced first-hand the lack of specialised research software for the finance sector and how this was driving analysts to tools like Onenote and Evernote.

Such tools have no compliance or data access considerations, which is at odds with most firms’ security policies. There was a clear opportunity for a product with the same consumer focus that addressed those security concerns.

TD: What has your journey as an entrepreneur/technologist been like?

CM: I’ve followed the well-trodden path from developer to manager. That said, I left an agency to join Bipsync and the difference in the approach towards software delivery was stark. I’ve relished the opportunity to concentrate on our users and be constantly challenged to find ways to make their lives easier. Working at a startup is a genuinely exciting experience because no two days are the same.

TD: What’s been your biggest success and biggest challenge?

CM: I think raising our Series A funding in January of last year was a major success, since it allowed us to double the size of the company.

Our biggest challenge might have been adapting our product from a simple note-taking tool for relatively small hedge funds, in to a productivity suite that satisfies the demands of enterprise organisations  – that required a massive effort across the team to understand our target market and constantly iterate on features to get them just right.

TD: What have you learnt on the way? And what advice would you give to others?

CM: We’ve learned so much about hiring. From how to approach interviews, to how to best leverage recruiters and starting our first graduate scheme, our recruitment process is so much different now than when we started.

To a certain extent it is trial by fire, but I’d recommend that other companies in a similar situation take their time with recruiting: go the extra mile to find and hire the right people, but don’t be afraid to let them go if they don’t work out. Everyone will be happier for it.

TD: Where next for you and your business?

CM: We’ll continue to expand internationally, taking Bipsync in to new markets. We have an exciting product roadmap in place, one which will see us bring innovative features to the research management space while solidifying our reputation as an enterprise-level platform for the front-office of financial institutions.