05 Nov 2021 Aspire to Tech – Charli AI
Tell me about your company. When were you founded? What do you do? Where are you located?
Our company is called Charli AI Inc. We were founded in April of 2019. Back then, the company was made up of four people, and now we’re about 25 people. We are based, mostly in Vancouver, Canada but the team is International. We have members in California, we have three people in Australia and New Zealand, and we are open to hiring people from everywhere in the world. The product started off as a kind of a virtual assistant for automating admin tasks. For example, if you had a lot of receipts lying around that you never had the time to process and expense. You could just take a picture, with your phone camera of the receipts and Charli AI would process them, extract information, scan the receipts, file them, and later upload them as an expense report.
The company’s mission has evolved since then. Now we’re focusing on the content management space. We’re building a tool to gather and consolidate your digital content from different sources, like Dropbox or Google Drive, and organize them into one place and help you find them easily.
What is the big problem your company is tackling?
The challenge is that we have digital content from many different sources. This has led to digital clutter that we’re all facing, and this is especially true for people who are busy or manage a lot of content – like someone who owns a business or someone who needs to share a lot of documents with their team. Finding them at the right time is difficult. So is sharing them and consuming them at the right time. That is the problem we are addressing. AI is leveraged in a lot of different domains, but not in the content-management document-understanding domain for this application. We are trying to fill that gap.
What are you most proud of in terms of company milestones?
We are proud to have built the company and built the product from the ground up. Two years ago, we were discussing challenging architecture problems. We were working as a team to solve them and proposing solutions. Now we have a working product and it’s in the hands of a growing user data base. That’s what I am proud of. We also had scalability in mind, from the beginning and we allow for the architecture to expand in terms of its AI capabilities, which opens the door for exciting new uses in the future.
How would you describe your company culture? What are three words that you would use to describe your company?
If I had to describe the company culture at Charli AI in three words, I would say:
Supportive. The people who lead the team are very supportive. There’s no notion of micromanagement. Everything is very flexible. We’re flexible in terms of remote work, hours, and autonomy and freedom are given to people. People own their work.
Agile. We are not afraid of changing direction. We make changes as needed and we make them fast.
And the third one is Collaborative. We have great teamwork here. For example, if there is an outage, everyone is happy to jump on a call and address it as a team. If we are launching a new feature for our product, our engineering team, our data science team, and management are able to all come together and to me, that’s what a good culture is.
What is it like to work at your company? Why is it a great place to work?
Charli AI is a perfect blend of senior, experienced professionals, and also young, smart talent. Companies that start with only young and ambitious people are good, they have good energy, but they may get lost along the way due to lack of experience. And vice versa, without young professionals, senior people may miss out on new trends and opportunities. Having that blend and balance is very crucial, and I think we’re at that sweet spot with Charli AI. Then, there are lots of opportunities to learn, both on the tech side and on the business side. As a techie, I learn from the business-people. Not just the lingo but the challenges that they’re facing and how they’re addressing those challenges. And, the business-people learn from the tech-people about the challenges of AI. It’s a great environment for career growth. Finally, I like the product growth approach that we have at Charli AI. This is interesting because you learn real user needs and try to align your product with them and it’s rewarding because ultimately, you’re building a product that is useful to users and addresses pain points.
In their own words – what do your employees say?
Are you hiring at the moment?
We are looking for a product manager. A person that is able to research user needs, translate and prioritize them into product features and work with a product and engineering team based on that. We are always open to hearing from talented people who want to join our team. Check out our career page.