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This month Evgeny Predein gave an interview for El Referente sharing latest news about Apiumhub, company’s objectives and new initiatives.
El Referente Interview with Evgeny Predein – CEO of Apiumhub
About the founders
- Evgeny Predein was born in Russia but has been raised in Spain. He got his software engineering degree in Valencia and his Master in Helsinki. In 2012 he moved to Barcelona and that’s where his entrepreneurship journey started. First he decided to work as a software developer to better understand the industry and then once he identified key gaps in the software industry he decided to found his own company, focusing on software architecture and best practices. Right now he owns three companies where he is CEO and Board Member: Apiumhub, Apium Academy and VYou. Also, he is a President of Entrpreneurs’ Organization in Barcelona.
- Christian Ciceri is a Software Architect & co-founder at Apiumhub. He began his professional career with a specific interest in Object Oriented design issues, with deep studies in code-level and architectural-level design patterns and techniques. He has been one of the former practitioners of Agile Methodologies, particularly eXtreme Programming with a great experience in difficult practices like TDD, Continuous Integration, build pipelines and evolutionary design. He has always been aiming at a wide-spread technological knowledge, that’s why he has been exploring a huge amount of technologies and architectural styles like Java, .NET, to dynamic languages, to pure scripting languages and even native C++ application development, from classical layering to Domain-Centric, to classical SOA and Enterprise Service Buses. In his own words: “a software architect should create a working ecosystem that allows teams to have a scalable, predictable and cheaper production”.
How Apiumhub got started
Evgeny Predein and Christian Ciceri are the co-founders of Apiumhub. They worked for big companies like Roche, Aigues de Barcelona, NTR, Intersystems, Ono, Telefónica, Accenture, etc., faced problems like lack of agility, flexibility or even endless timings for any modification, and above all, useless meeting. These hindrances made them exhausted and impossible to feel satisfied with their work, so knowing all pros and cons in the software development industry, they decided to join forces and open a new agile software development company, focusing on quality and best practices.
It was 2014 when the company was founded. Evgeny Predein and Christian Ciceri have always shared the same vision, putting agile methodologies in the center of all processes. And just like many other companies at first, they were doing everything in terms of software that clients asked them to do. However, working on many projects and talking with their clients and friends in the industry, they actually realized that in order to offer the best solutions, they need to focus on their core services: software architecture, web development, mobile app development, DevOps, QA and Product Ownership.
Over the years they have come up with many initiatives along the way:
· In 2018 Apiumhub became a shareholder of Agora Images – Best Mobile App in Spain 2018.
· In 2019 Apiumhub opened Apium Academy, where Apiumhub developers give software architecture courses & workshops.
· Also, in 2019 Apiumhub organised the first edition of Global Software Architecture Summit in Barcelona.
· And in 2021 Apiumhub has launched it’s own product – VYou, an easy to integrate customer identity and access management solution
Evgeny Predein, CEO and Co-founder, and Christian Ciceri, Software Architect and Co-founder, are the pillars of Apiumhub. Altogether their achievement comprises of acquiring a team of leading developers and architects in Barcelona, efficient processes and project management, clients from all over the world, clear strategic vision for growth, network of experts in their field, segregated areas of responsibilities, and a profitable business.
Evgeny and Christian are responsible for different areas of the company. The company considers them as makers & sellers, and dreamers & pragmatists, as they have a complementary set of skills that enhance their sustainable growth. Christian is a tech guru and well-known software architect, whereas Evgeny is a business development leader and an entrepreneur who led his vision to the market. They both have enormously contributed for the sustainable growth of the company. Sharing the same vision and common objectives, they lead the team to a common goal and transmit the same culture they want to create in the company.
After going through sleepless nights, 20 hours working day, financial ups and downs, Evgeny and Christian had achieved what they dreamt of after years of diligence and determination. Apiumhub is a dream come true with a team of software cracks (leading developers and architects in Barcelona), efficient processes and project management, clients from all over the world (consolidated startups and big enterprises, for example: Nestle, Adidas, Axa, Antai, Mango, Decathlon, FC Espanyol, Kognia Sports, Privalia, etc.) clear strategic vision for growth, network of experts in their field, segregated areas of responsibilities and a profitable business.
After all those years of being entrepreneurs, Evgeny and Christian came to the conclusion that there is no magic formula for success. Therefore, instead of giving advices about “how to do things the right way”, Evgeny and Christian decided to share what they have learned over these years:
1. The importance of choosing the right co-founder
2. The importance of the team
3. The importance of marketing and networking
4. The importance of finance and accounting
5. The importance of being agile
6. The importance of tools
7. The importance of focus
Entrepreneurship is about constant learning and never stop growing!
What is the differentiation point of Apiumhub
The key attributes that differentiate Apiumhub in the market are:
- Focused attention to Software architecture so the platform is prepared for scaling
- Innovation in process automation, so there is reduced waste of time on manual tasks
- Efficiently functioning software loaded with a number of features
Apiumhub has a proven process that works. It starts building software with a focus on the architecture, applying best practices, and TDD & CI. This enables it to be truly agile, deliver fast and iterate even faster. It is able to adapt to all sorts of changes and requirements from the client’s side. Starting from the beginning of the development process, it always gives client the opportunity to test the platform.
Keeping the client in the center of the process, Apiumhub works with full transparency. Instead of focusing on delivering the highest amount of features, it rather guarantees to deliver working software with the most important features at the end of each sprint.
Unfortunately, there are not many companies that are specialized in software architecture and DevOps. Apiumhub has talents that are experts in their field and work for leading international companies. Thus, the clients receive functioning software using latest technologies and methodologies.
Barcelona is one of the most attractive startups hubs in Europe. It has many factors that are making it increasingly attractive: quality of life, pool of talent, startup ecosystem, etc. And all of them are quickly positioning Barcelona as a European startup, innovation and tech city. Barcelona has become digital hub for Nestlé, Lidl, Allianz, MediaMarkt, N26, Facebook, Moodle, Microsoft, Siemens, Satellogic, Zeptolab, Bitpanda and many other well-known companies. Barcelona has a good reputation in this industry and for Apiumhub having an office in Barcelona is critical.
Yes, absolutely, right now Apiumhub is opening an office in Madrid and to be honest their remote team keeps growing, having team members from Zaragoza, Alicante, Valencia, Budapest, Saigon, etc. So, let’s see how it goes! But in mid-long term the idea is to open an office in Miami and Dubai where tech industry is growing like crazy.
Apiumhub is 100% self-funded
Sounds like a trendy word, but it is true – Apiumhub is 100% self-made. All initial investments came from co-founders. It is important to understand that Apiumhub is a service company, so initial investment is minimal, with the first client Apiumhub already got ROI.
About the Apiumhub team
All those years Apiumhub had a well-known team of software architects and developers. In 2021 Apiumhub noted high demand in data science solutions and expanded its talent pool, hiring Gema Parreño Piqueras – who is a data science expert in Apiumhub. She is a Spanish programmer who has designed Deep Asteroid, a network to detect the impact of asteroids on Earth. The project was a global finalist in the NASA Space competition App Challenge and was selected as one of the use cases by Google in the Google I / O keynote and TensorFlow. She has contributed to DeepMind’s project Pysc2.
In 2019 Gema was selected as one of the 23 young people under 35 years old leaders of the technological revolution by Business Insider.
Also, this year Apiumhub hired Ferran Ferri – Automation Team Lead from Lidl, who is now building QA team in Apiumhub.
Apiumhub has software development in it’s DNA having solid experience in the market. Evgeny and Christian believe that it is better to focus on what you do the best, rather than do many things on an “ok” level.
Apium Academy purpose
With an aim of becoming prominent in Spain, Apiumhubwants to be known for building proficient software. The company is planning to grow in terms of number of people and their professional level. To achieve that, Apiumhub started to give software architecture courses in Apium Academy to solve the talent scalability problem in software development market. After several months, Apium Academy started to receive software architecture proposals by leading software architects from USA, UK, Germany and Spain, who were also interested in giving hands-on workshops. It was an important push for the Academy and small spoiler: some of the graduates work in Apiumhub. Right now, Apium Academy also offers personalized B2B courses for companies that have their in-house teams, but would like to level up their software architecture skills.
Being part of an ecosystem
With our own product – VYou app, we closely work with startups, incubators and entrepreneurs, offering them an easy to integrate customer identity and access management solution which allows them to launch their MVPs faster and save costs significantly.
Positive COVID effect
To be honest, Apiumhub is one of those lucky companies that started to experience exponential growth after COVID. Right now Apiumhub has a queue of projects and now the problem is not in finding projects rather than finding talents to keep growing. Also, COVID pushed Apiumhub to implement hybrid format and it allowed them to start working with developers from other cities as well. The result: Apiumhub more than doubled the team in one year, is about to open an office in Atocha, in Madrid and is moving to a new office in Paseo de Gracia in Barcelona.
Apiumhub plans and goals
In 2022 Apiumhub is publishing software architecture book with O’reilly and organizing Global Software Architecture Summit. As for the monetary part, the goal is to reach 5 million in revenues by 2023 with 95% retention rate, which Apiumhub currently has. And the main focus will be VYou app, which will help Apiumhub to scale.