Raghav Toshniwal

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Xenia

Market Need

Maintaining healthy accounts is critical for all businesses. Yet, existing accounting softwares are clumsy at best. They all require someone well versed with accounting to operate it along side a command of the English language and accounting jargon. Such affordances are not a given in a country like ours. This high barrier to entry for maintaining accounts often impedes growth of smaller businesses.

The Indian Government has made a strong push towards a more inclusive economy. An ever increasing number of small and micro sized establishments are coming inside the tax bracket. Many such establishments do not possess either the infrastructure (computing resources and accounting software) or the expertise(technical and accounting skills) to maintain their books up to standard. There is an immediate market need of providing accounting tools at levels of cost and simplicity which are feasible for small businesses.

A fragmentation of standards for maintaining accounts for smaller entities is another burgeoning problem. Since they do not fall under the ambit of Indian Accounting Standards yet, maintaining any semblance of consistency is a major challenge. The only real solution to this problem is abstracting the process of accounting to a level that is accepted across all small businesses.

Concept

Recent advances in Artifical Intelligence and Natural Language Processing have brought us closer to communicating with our devices as we would with fellow humans. Xenia, leverages these technologies to bring forth an accounting experience completely based on natural language.

Being full voice controlled, Xenia offers unmatched simplicity for common accounting processes. Using a few natural phrases, basic accounting tasks can be accomplished. Users would speak their ‘entries’ and on the backend Xenia would transcribe and maintain accounting records. By abstracting the process of accounting to natural language, Xenia can bring consistency and standardization to accounting practices within smaller establishments.

Our entire technology stack is on a cloud based serverless architecture. Which allows users the flexibility of accesing their accounting backends through both web, mobile and voice based terminals. We’re building Xenia as a platform, it is designed to play well with an array of smart-speakers and smartphones alike. Currently under development is an IVR backed implementation which would allow users to do their accounting by simply making a voice call.

A powerful, cloud based, modular accounting backend would give users the option to scale up their accounting operations and perform complex actions whilst maintaing a fluid, voice based frontend for simpler tasks.

Innovative Features

The smartphone made the Internet ephemeral. We are no longer tied to clunky desk based terminals to access the web. In the same vein, Xenia would make accounting ephemeral and immediate for users. Users would be able to maintain accounts on the go and with utmost ease and simplicity.

We believe that having a voice based accounting package would benefit the visually impaired. Xenia is designed to perform all basic accounting operations just by voice. This would open up the horizon for a whole suite of people who are differently abled.

We are on track to add multi-lingual support to Xenia. We believe this to be a critical step in democratizing accounting. With voice based native language support, Xenia would allow users with basic education and limited resources to maintain their accounts to a professional standard.

Recent efforts by the government to push towards e-filing of taxes and reports comes at an important juncture for Xenia. We aim to significantly reduce the compliance burden on our users by simplifying filing taxes and documents using our platform.

Xenia is an unique product. Our closest competition are exisitng accounting packages that require its users to undergo a ‘training course’ before they can used. Such enterprise grade software certainly has a place in larger organizations, however Xenia aims to target a very different market. We don’t see existing solutions as any threat to our product. Our challenges lie in convincing a critical mass of users to adopt a software solution for their accounting needs.

Customers

With the vision to democratize accounting for the masses. Our customers are business owners who have traditionally done all of their accounting manually. A large number of businesses are not big enough to hire a professional accountant and they don’t have the necessary skill set to operate exisitng solutions. The simplicity of having a natural language powered voice based accounting solution would enable these businesses to maintain accounts while following standard practices.

Building Xenia as a platform and not tying it to a product was a conscious strategic decision. A huge number of existing devices can be supported on the Xenia platform. This keeps the on-boarding cost for our customers low, which is essential for the customer segment we are targeting.

We realize that accounting needs are often industry specific. We have designed Xenia in a modular way to easily incorporate industry specific requirements. The recent changes in the tax regime brought by the government have resulted in various unorganized sectors falling in the tax bracket. We view this as an exciting development as we plan to exploit the vacuum by tailoring Xenia to targeted sectors.

Multiligual support is another key piece of our customer acquisition strategy. Currently, smaller establishments that currently do all their accounting manually, don’t often do it in English. Having the ability to naturally converse in one’s first language would make Xenia appealing to a very wide customer base.

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