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Lokvani Talks To Prasad Thammineni Of Pixily

Nirmala Garimella

pixily.com is an innovative new online service that provides homes and small businesses with their very own digital personal assistant and document management service to effortlessly and securely scan, file, search, organize and manage any and all of their paper and electronic documents – whether they are keepsakes such as old letters and emails, invitations or children’s artwork; favorite recipes; important articles; medical records, bills, invoices, or contracts. 

Customers put Pixily to work by securely sending their paper and electronic documents to Pixily in pre-paid scanvelopes or boxes, self-scan to Pixily, email or upload into their secure web account. Pixily digitizes all documents and makes the content within paper and electronic documents searchable. Paper documents can then be securely shredded and recycled by Pixily or returned to consumers for recycling.  By accessing their Pixily account, consumers can effortlessly organize their documents with Pixily's labeling tools, quickly find information with word searches and securely share documents with others. It is affordably priced beginning at $14.95 a month.

 Located in Waltham, MA, Pixily was founded in August 2007 by Prasad Thammineni, Anand Rajaram and Vikram Kumar. Lokvani spoke to Prasad Thammineni about the company and the Amazon challenge.

 How were you inspired to get into this idea?

 After starting four companies, I went back to Wharton Business School to get an MBA in 2005. After I wrote my last exam in April 2007, I looked at 8000 pages of bulk packs and course notes and asked myself if there is a way I can keep those without having to carry them everywhere I moved. After some research, I bought a document scanner for $800 and spent two weeks scanning all these pages. Even though it was a painful and a time-consuming process, it was well worth it. When my classmates started calling me asking if I could share my electronic copies, I began to realize that there was a demand for a service like this. Few months later Anand Rajaram, Vikram Kumar and I founded Pixily.

 Pixily is one of the finalists of the Amazon AWS startup challenge? What is the challenge about? How was the experience?

 For the second year in a row, Amazon invited start-ups that leverage Amazon Web Services to participate in a $100,000 challenge. This year, about 900 companies applied for this challenge and Pixily was one of the seven companies to have been selected as a finalist. The finalists were chosen based on the originality of the idea, marketplace need, and their implementation of AWS.

The finals happened on November 20th in Seattle. The competition was tough, it was all day long, the process was rigorous and we came very close to winning it. The entire experience has been very valuable and we learnt a lot from the experience. As part of the competition, Amazon shot videos of each of the finalists and has made them available on their website. Visit http://media.amazonwebservices.com/aws-start-up-videos/pixily.html to see the video.

 What kind of documents do customers send you? Give us some examples?

 Any piece of paper that you keep at home or business can be sent to Pixily. In addition to paper that you receive in the mail, customers send us store receipts, school paperwork, medical records, newspaper and magazine clippings, kids’ art projects. Businesses send us invoices, contracts, proposals, documents, receipts, bills and much more.

 How does your service differ from other online documentation storage services?

 The competing document storage services are mainly designed for mid to large size companies. They cost in hundreds of thousands of dollars to acquire, install, and maintain. Moreover, they are hard to use and require training to get started.

Pixily, on the other hand, was designed with the help of our customers. We went into people’s homes and businesses to understand how people deal with paper and the result of which is our simple and very intuitive interface. More importantly, we make all the content in paper and electronic documents searchable, making it easy to find and take action on documents. Finally, our service costs $14.95 a month making it affordable for even homes.

 How do you handle security and privacy issues for documentation?

 Pixily has been designed from the ground up for state-of-the-art security. Your documents, information and data are extremely secure. Pixily performs highest level of background checks on all employees, prohibits recording instruments in the processing center, and tracks every mail through the entire system. Pixily online systems are audited everyday by third-parties namely McAfee Secure and Truste to ensure your information is secure and meets the highest privacy standards. Pixily uses 256-bit encryption, the highest grade, to transmit documents over the network for safe web browsing.

Who is your ideal client?

If you collect paper, Pixily is for you. Specifically, household managers, soccer moms, entrepreneurs, mompreneurs, family historians, scrapbookers, college students, lawyers, accountants, bookkeepers and other document intensive small businesses would benefit from Pixily.

Where do you hope Pixily can go in the future?

Our vision is to help organize all protected information and speed up the actions that individuals and businesses take on information, whether it is finding important documents when on the road, paying invoices, or collaborating on documents.

To know more or sign up for this service go to www.pixily.com

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You may also access this article through our web-site http://www.lokvani.com/

Pixily Founders, Prasad Thammineni, Anand Rajaram and Vikram Kumar.

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