Israel Cauich is an engineer, tech guru, and entrepreneur. He was born and raised in México. Israel was educated at Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán and founded his first company at the age of 17.
Currently, Israel is the CEO and co-founder of SoldAI, an artificial intelligence startup that focuses on improving the assistance that corporations provide to their customers, consumers, and suppliers through messaging and voice solutions that can maintain a natural conversation with people, understand them and help them effectively.
You are listening to the Manos Accelerator podcast in partnership with Google Launchpad. We interview rockstar entrepreneurs who share their exact formulas for success in customer acquisition, growth hacking, fundraising or scaling. And I’m your host, Juan Felipe Campos. Okay, Manos Nation! Remember for every episode there’s a giveaway of digital goods or resources from our partners that other people would normally pay for it. To enter the giveaway, subscribe to the podcast on iTunes now and then message the word “Manos” to m.me/ManosAccelerator. Again, that’s Manos to the website, m.me/ManosAccelerator. To prove it.
Juan: 00:48 Today I am with.
Israel: 00:49 Israel Cauich cofounder and CEO of SoldAi.
Juan: 00:53 Great. Tell us about SoldAi.
Israel: 00:58 Uh I’ve told that we have developed an artificial intelligence platform that is focused to improve the assistance that companies offer to their internal and external customers by responding and requests by voice or chat.
Juan: 01:12 Great, so is your first product kind of a chatbot?
Israel: 01:17 Eh, it is a platform you can use that platform to create chatbots also eh, eh, intelligence services.
Juan: 01:23 Okay. So help me out. Walk me through this. I’m a company, I have a lot of support tickets, opening up customer service, there’s clients all over the place. There’s even my own team that needs help and all of the data. Right now I’m storing it in something like, Atlassian Confluence. Um, there’s like I have kind of a wiki of the information, but people need to be able to access the right information at the right time on the platform that they want. That’s when somebody would go to SoldAi, and it’s a platform where I can build that solution off of your infrastructure.
Israel: 01:56 Indeed, right, we offer this platform as a service, so you don’t need to build that yourself. We do that for you. Um, we take care of everything works perfectly. That’s what.
Juan: 02:06 So you have your own tech but you are working in a way. It’s kind of an agency where somebody would say, I have this problem. And you say, oh great. We have the technology and we have the experts that can actually get you from problem to solution using our proprietary software.
Israel: 02:18 Yeah.
Juan: 02:18 That’s amazing. How long have you been working on this project?
Israel: 02:22 We founded the company in 2015. Okay. Um, we are two years right now.
Juan: 02:29 And how big is the team?
Israel: 02:33 Right now we are at 11 person, but we have just closed a seed round and we’re going to grow the team from 11 to 37.
Juan: 02:41 That’s amazing. So that’s what I was going to ask you is, um, tell us a little bit about where you are right now in terms of either revenue or customer base or funds you’ve raised or maybe some trophies so that our listeners can say, okay, that’s where they are in the journey.
Israel: 02:53 Okay. Uh, right now, uh, we have just closed a fifth round of 1.5 million dollars and we’re working with 24 large corporations in Mexico in six countries, um they are in Mexico, but they have operations in six countries. Some of them. Um 15 of them are in the run of the 500 most important companies in Mexico. So we’re very proud of the work that we are, we are doing.
Juan: 03:22 Congratulations. Yeah that’s amazing.
Israel: 03:22 Thank you.
Juan: 03:24 So you’re actually based in Mexico City, is that what I heard?
Israel: 03:27 Yeah. The company is based in Mexico City. Um, everything that has the with him with the develop of this platform is in Mérida, Yucatán.
Juan: 03:37 So today we’re meeting at the Google Launchpad for the Manos Tech Venture Summit and I’m surprised I’m seeing a lot of companies from all over the world and all over the US meeting today in Silicon Valley. What brings you specifically out to Silicon Valley? If you don’t actually have an office here? Are you here for, as part of the fundraising round, do you frequent coming out here for either talent or events? What brings you up to Northern California?
Israel: 04:01 Um, It’s always been a dream for me to come here because…
Juan: 04:04 Is it your first time?
Israel: 04:04 Yeah.
Juan: 04:07 Oh my gosh. Welcome.
Israel: 04:08 Thank you. Thank you.
Juan: 04:09 That’s great, yeah.
Israel: 04:12 So I’m like a little kid in a toy store, you know? But we, we came here..
Juan: 04:14 Did you get here today?
Israel: 04:20 Um, no, I’m here from two years, two todays.
Juan: 04:20 Okay, you got here two days ago, and when do you leave?
Israel: 04:26 Tomorrow.
Juan: 04:27 Okay, that’s amazing. And today we’re actually doing an after party at DocuSign, so that gets to be another kind of cool moment, of seeing some of these big names.
Israel: 04:35 Yeah yeah, all of the team is excited to go there. But we came here to present ourselves to show you guys the important stuff we are doing because we want to raise a next round next year. Um, we, we want people in Silicon Valley to join us to help us accelerate our growth and be an international company.
Juan: 05:01 So originally you raised funds in Mexico? Right from a like Mexican VC.
Israel: 05:02 Yeah from Mexican VCs, yeah.
Juan: 05:08 Okay. And then now I surely both your VCs and you guys yourself, you want to reach out into a Silicon Valley network, Silicon Valley VC firm with the Silicon Valley connections to now be able to go global and not just stay in kind of that local ecosystem.
Israel: 05:21 Yeah. Yeah. Because in Mexico, uh, there’s a big opportunity over there but it’s just starting and here. Things are, you are doing this stuff for years. Um, we think we. Is the proper time for us to come to here and say hey guys here we are.
Juan: 05:41 Yeah. Yeah. Present yourselves. Yeah. Have you found anything that either your government or a chamber of commerce or a private entity or an accelerator, anything that’s helping bridge make this transition exactly what you’re doing, be more institutionalized or somebody is helping bridge a Mexico City, the Mexican money, Mexican talent to California, Silicon Valley. Are you seeing anything like that or are you coming here totally rogue on your own merit?
Israel: 06:08 We’ve been chosen for a, for a accelerator that is called BlueBox in Mexico. Uh, so we work with these guys. They accelerate us. Um, they see a big potential in us and they’re the ones that invite us to the Manos Tech summit.
”No matter how bad things are going to be, you just keep trying. There is no way that big of a commitment and effort put in something that you love doesn't give you big results.Israel CauichCofounder and CEO of SoldAI
Juan: 06:28 Oh, that’s great. So they helped you kind of cover the expenses of the flight out here, the stay, things like that?
Israel: 06:37 No, no, the the expenses. All come from the startup. Yeah.
Juan: 06:40 Okay. So more of what they did is put the opportunities in front of you and say, there’s this event that’s going on, these are the people that are going and I’m hand curating what’s going on in Silicon Valley. And then where you guys are at, what you need to say you need to go to this event.
Israel: 06:54 Yeah.
Juan: 06:55 That’s kind of the role that they played?
Israel: 06:55 That sadly is.
Juan: 06:57 Okay. All right. That’s amazing. So you’ve been working on this project for a couple of years. A lot of our audiences based in Latin America is based all over the US they’re composed mostly of Latinos. If you were to go back in time and talk to someone like you or even yourself, what is something that you’ve learned today that you wish you could go back in time and tell your younger you before you started this company? Um, specifically about entrepreneurship
Israel: 07:22 Specifically? Well, uh, no matter how bad things are going to be a, you just keep trying. There is no way that a big of a commitment and effort put in something that you love doesn’t give you big results. So that’s the team I will say to be.
Juan: 07:45 And how, how do you, as kind of a follow up question, how do you see those results? For you, it just, as long as you’re doing something you love, the results are just the fact that you get to do what you love and that by itself is amazing. Or is it like no matter what the result is, whether you’re looking for, um, you know, like a certain revenue number or customer base or anything like that, you’re going to get there as long as you’re loving what you do. Help me interpret that.
Israel: 08:07 Okay. Is I’ve been in this path from seven years. I trying a startup, a startup and all they fail. Microfunders leave me. I lost friends. A lot of people say to me that I’m not, uh, an entrepreneur things like that, but I keep going on right now, Eh, with SoldAi. All that knowledge, all that experience, expertise that I was, how you say up to it?
Juan: 08:36 That I uh, gained?
Israel: 08:46 That I gained and this time is making us to be here.
Juan: 08:51 Right. I love it. So the golden nuggets, perseverance, dedication, stick to the script. It ends up working out. Whether it’s in one day or seven years, it happens. You just can’t get off the path.
Israel: 09:00 Yeah, yeah. You will find the right path the right people, the right opportunities all start to connect.
Juan: 09:07 So you guys, so you’re not fundraising right now, right? Because you just closed a round, but you are interested in institutional money from the US, from Northern California. Some of our listeners are VCs who also listening to this with our own investors and the VC arm of Manos Tech Venture, of Manos Accelerator, which is Inspirus Ventures, $50,000,000 fund. What is something that you would say to listeners that are investors, um, as kind of like either a one minute pitch or some metrics that you want to say, Hey, this is where we are. Let me know. Let you know, like let’s stay in touch.
Israel: 09:36 Okay. But well, we own our, we are owners of our intellectual property. We create our technology that is making us like a game changer for clients because we can do stuff that big corporations don’t. We, we want depending on growth. We want the coming year 2018 to raise money to accelerate things. Though if they are excited about what we’re doing, they want to know more about, they can reach, reach us.
Juan: 10:14 Do you have a number in mind that you can share of what that will look like?
Israel: 10:19 Uh we are thinking about five million for the next year, like in the Q3. Yeah.
Juan: 10:25 That’s awesome. Congratulations. I just want to thank you so much for being generous with your time, with your advice, with the things you’ve learned, and thank you for joining us today at the Google Launchpad and this podcast.
Israel: 10:35 Yeah, thank you.
Juan: 10:41 Okay, Manos Nation! Do not forget your chance to win digital goods and resources on every episode right here on the podcast. It’s very simple. You just subscribe to the show on iTunes. Once you’ve done that, message the word “Manos” to m.me/ManosAccelerator. Subscribe on iTunes and then message Manos to the website, m.me/ManosAccelerator. See you on the next one.