This Startuprad.io interview is in media cooperation with Frankfurt Forward (https://www.frankfurtforward.com/startups/panalis).

We talk to PANALIS Solutions (https://www.panalis.de/en/company/), the startup of the month of April 2018.

We talk to the two founders of PANALIS Reza Eshtiagh (https://www.linkedin.com/in/reza-eshtiagh-8823a549/) and Zafar Khan (https://www.linkedin.com/in/khanzafar/), both managing partners at PANALIS.

The company helps startups, corporates, political parties and associations to track trends in politics and regulations and identify upcoming topics early on, nearly in real time.

PANALIS is currently looking for investors to scale further!

“Frankfurt is more than just a perfect location for our business.”
Reza Eshtiagh

We made it in the UK Top 200 podcast charts with our audio track of this interview

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Transcript below

Announcer: Welcome to startuprad.io. Your podcast and YouTube blog. Covering the German startup scene with news, interviews and live events.

00:20 Joe: Hello and welcome everybody. This is Joe from startuprad.io. You’re startup podcast and YouTube blog from Germany. I’m here again to say congratulations to another startup off the month, this time, April 2019 by Frankfurt forward. And I do have two people here with me this time. Hey guys, welcome. Can you briefly introduce yourself and your startup?

00:43 Zafar Khan: Sure. Hello, my name is Zafar Khan. I’m one of the founders of Panalis Solutions, and I am responsible for finance and administration at Panalis.

00:55 Reza Eshtiagh: Yeah. Hello. Thank you for this opportunity, Joe. My name is Reza Eshtiagh. I’m responsible for the business development and operations. And also a cofounder of Panalis.

01:11 Joe: You’re a cofounder as well?

01:13 Zafar Khan: Yes.

01:13 Joe: Is there another founder here?

01:16 Zafar Khan: Nope.

01:16 Joe: Nope. So I’m in between the founders. That’s pretty cool. We’re actually in a very, very nice location. You guys most likely can see a little bit from the awesome few here in the back. You can also see the river. It’s very nice here. I like it. And talking about Panalis solutions. What does your company actually do? Apparently, it solves a problem, but which one?

01:43 Reza Eshtiagh: Yeah, sure. It’s pretty easy to explain that. Panalis provides political and regulation information in the field of public affairs and enables associations, NGOs or corporates to track their relevant issues and stakeholders. So it’s quite easy to explain how we have a web-based service. So they have nothing to do than just to log in and track the information. And beyond that, we ask our-self, what will shape the next month and years? And you can imagine what I want to say, is to track risks and issues for a future time. And that’s what we are doing with an intelligent algorithm.

02:44 Joe: Have you guys had any analyzes of your current tool? How often Brexit was punched in as a risk?

02:53 Zafar Khan: To say so we did not do a specific analysis on the keyword Brexit. But I can tell you it’s more or less or an issue for almost every organization, which is not only having a business in Germany. But in Europe or other states, out of Europe. So it’s one of the most or high frequent issues, uh, cooperates NGOs and, uh, even political parties have on their agenda. And so it’s a highly, of course. Yes.

03:37 Reza Eshtiagh: And times of content and process complexity. It’s good to have an overview of all relevant inflammation. And, we are doing it with Panalis in a way much better than search engines can do, for example, because it’s specific. And also track information in the very early stage. So they have not known about the trends and of course about the topics for the next month and years as well in the pre-parliamentary stage.

04:18 Joe: And just to make it a little bit more specific because we have a lot of entrepreneurs out there, they are now curious about regulatory and political risks. I heard about it. What can they actually do with it? Can you give a case how they actually applied? They sit in front of the screen and there’s a pop-up. You have a risk or what happens?

04:38 Zafar Khan: Yes, of course. Basically, there are different scenarios for how our customers use the platform. They are two ways you can, whether track issues by defining topics. Complex topics with several keywords search terms and different algorithms to narrow down the results you would like to have actually. And there is another way you can go by checking on stakeholders and activities. So the platform is basically designed as a search engine. But beyond this, there are lots of analytics. Like you have a trend chart, you have activities. While we will have sentimental analysis to see how sentiments are within a political topic or issue. So there are different cases we have. At the same time, you have different types of customers. So we have like corporates of course. It’s a B3 software. We have NGOs associations, but at the same time, we have also customers from the political field, like political parties. The platform was already used by some members of the parliament as well in their bureaus. And so there are so many cases analysis is used currently by the customers. And overall it’s really to manage and track issues and stakeholder activities in you to real time. And a time of very complex regulations and legislative processes.

06:29 Joe: I do get, Oh, do you want to say something? Go ahead.

06:32 Reza Eshtiagh: Maybe let me explain with an example. Let’s say the topic of diesel ban. Driver spinning in Germany as well. In other towns in Europe.

06:46 Joe: We may add to everybody who’s not from Europe. Currently, the particulates in the air are too high in the inner cities of many German cities. So there’s always talked about banning diesel engines from going into the inner city.

07:02 Reza Eshtiagh: So that’s a point and it affects everybody. And especially, of course, the local industry as well. Like, for example, the garbage industry with their diesel cars. So they have to track the information in a very early stage and be prepared for such a change. And that’s important to have exclusive information as well from stakeholders. So that’s a point.

07:31 Joe: And how would such tracking for example for diesel ban actually look like?

07:37 Reza Eshtiagh: So they do have anything to do then. Only to put in their issues in the platform and to track all relevant information they have. It’s an intelligent algorithm. So it’s just considering the stakeholders that matter. And it detects with patterns of course, and with some other algorithm to check what is really necessary to know for the customers.

08:13 Joe: Just between you and me and a few thousand of those years, how does it actually work? Do you have like certain crawlers that go through the web and put everything you have in the database? Or is it more like a real-time alert if something pops up?

08:33 Zafar Khan: That’s basically how it is. So we don’t monitor the just specific sources that we like to cover all relevant political sources within not only Germany but the European Union. As well as other countries, the United States as well. And there be in fact like a search engine, we have different technologies as well as crawlers for example. And we update or be crawled the different sources which are websites. But also official databases like parliamentarian databases or even social media of course. This is used as frequently used for publishing information very fast. So all these sources are being crawled on daily pay or more times per day, of course, and delivered in near to real-time to our customers. And what is important to say is that we currently have more than 30,000 sources. We cover and it’s a really rapidly increasing database. So there are meanwhile more than 50 million publications we have since we started in the middle of 2016.

10:00 Joe: A question that just came to my mind when you’ve been talking with. Actually I had in mind, can you like to analyze the political, most important source in the country? This kind of thrives more or less the political changes that they are like the full runners. And can you give like a few examples? I would assume in Germany it’s the big newspapers. In the US, it’s the big newspapers and the big broadcasters. Do you have that analysis like this or could you do one?

10:34 Zafar Khan: Sure. Of course, newspapers matches, but besides newspapers, in Germany, we have a very old and broad culture of associations for example. And for each branch or for specific fields and areas, you have associations who work whether on a federal or national level. And these are very important influences when it comes to political issues in an early stage. Which means in a preliminary phase as Reza already told us. Where lobbying is being done, for example. So I think associations, NGO`s, but meanwhile even cooperates are influencing or I’m doing the lobby work to cover and support their interest. They have actually within political issues. And these are mainly the stakeholders we are monitoring within Panalis. So I hope that was a good answer to your question.

11:48 Joe: There will actually be a lot of questions we will discuss after this recording is done. I do have a few more questions for you guys. First of all, why you guys are actually here in Frankfurt. What means Frankfurt for you?

12:06 Reza Eshtiagh: I think Frankfurt is more than just a perfect location for our business. Of course, we have several reasons why we are here in Frankfurt. Because the business can scale much better in some in a few other cities in Germany. But also we grew up here in Frankfurt. And Frankfurt Housing is one of the famous districts in Frankfurt.

12:39 Joe: That`s what the party area is like.

12:41 Reza Eshtiagh: And yeah. Of course, we have a network in Frankfurt, a special lead. There are lots of business agents here stayed in Frankfurt. So these are good points to stay here.

12:57 Joe: It’s Germany’s largest association of business agents here in Frankfurt. I would also assume they would have regulatory, political risk. I assume financial services, banks, insurance companies. They’re a big client of yours. Yes, he’s nodding. You cannot hear it, but he’s nodding. Have you ever considered like moving away?

13:22 Zafar Khan: Not really. So Frankfurt is perfectly located even in a geographical way. We have, of course, we have customers in Berlin. Because Berlin is the political hotspot in Germany, where we have the national parliament. But nevertheless, Frankfurt is the perfect location to reach any sport in Germany because it’s located just in the middle of Germany. So even reaching customers in Brussels is perfect for us. Out of Frankfurt, we have the largest central station in Frankfurt, in Germany. Then we have an airport, of course, Frankfurt airport. And so everything or every sport is good, reachable. And since we have an online business, so we do sales by marketing or by telephone. It’s not so important to be at the political hotspot. And as you already said, financial services, the insurance industry.

14:25 And also in Frankfurt we have several and bigger associations. One of our bigger or biggest customers is located just like 200 meters from here. And so it’s not only a good spot for living, but also investments, or finding your stuff. Your team with the startup. We have universities in Frankfurt for example Darmstadt. We have a highly qualified developer’s coming from Darmstadt. So this is overall, these are all aspects which make Frankfurt very attractive for startups like Panalis Solutions.

15:05 Joe: I may add, we have a very good working airport here in Frankfurt. You’ve been talking about financing, how you guys are actually financed. Are your bootstraps, you have investors, you are looking for investors?

15:20 Zafar Khan: In fact, we have private investors more or less mostly business angels. That’s of course revenues, which started in mid of 2016 when we launched our Beta product. We already got a few customers. But currently, we are also looking for investors. Of course, every startup company which would like to grow and expand is looking for investors. So yeah. I mean the financial or investment situation will always be a topic for any startup within the first three to five years. And that’s where we are currently.

16:11 Joe: For everybody who would like to learn more go down here in the show notes. I’ll link you, two guys, LinkedIn account. I’ll link the website and you can learn more there. Thank you very much. It was a pleasure having you guys.

16:26 Zafar Khan: Thank you very much. It was a pleasure to have you here and thank you for this nice opportunity.

16:33 Reza Eshtiagh: Yeah, thank you, Joe.

16:39 Announcer: That’s all folks. Find more news, streams, events, and interviews at www.startuprad.io. Remember sharing is caring.

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