Most tech startups can only dream of the early achievements of InvoiceMate. Before its official launch later this year, the Dubai-based company already has four customers using its product and the prospect of another to be added soon. And these aren’t just a few friends doing them a favour: they include, for instance, a large government institution, SALIC - the Saudi LIvestock and Investment Company.
No wonder Muhammad Salman Anjum is bullish about the prospects for InvoiceMate. He calls himself Chief Mate but in any other company would be called CEO. “We are the world's first ever blockchain-powered invoice-management system,” says Muhammad. He insists that he’s “not using blockchain for the sake of blockchain” but rather because its features are right for the particular requirements of invoicing:
“This is a process of workflow which requires a lot of trusted digitisation ...and blockchain is that enabler. And that is the reason why we have chosen blockchain to give power to our invoice management system. It's the right fit. Organisations are seeing this as a missing link in their existing IT architecture, and that's why they are seeing us as a value.”
The InvoiceMate software integrates with ERP (enterprise resource planning) systems such as Oracle, SAP or Microsoft Dynamics adding a specialised functionality which puts it in competition, not with the ERP systems as a whole, but with invoicing options they may offer as add-ons. But InvoiceMate can also be used on its own, as several of its early customers are doing.
As for the choice of the Bitcoin SV blockchain to power InvoiceMate, Muhammad made that decision after considerable experience with permissioned blockchains and a relatively long history of interest in the sector - even to the extent of having been a visiting expert on no less than three blockchain cruises, starting around 2018.
Part of what swung him in favour of Bitcoin SV was its low transaction fees and the chance to make them predictable to his clients through working closely with TAAL, a transaction processor. TAAL is happy to do deals with InvoiceMate to sell a certain number of transactions for a fixed rate or over a fixed period. That allows InvoiceMate to give its customers certainty about their costs when they subscribe to the service.
The customer doesn’t need to worry about transaction processing of course: they are only interested in the service as they are using it. Indeed, as Muhammad says “they sometimes even don't know which blockchain we are using”.
Speaking on this week’s CoinGeek Conversations, Muhammad also discusses his new role as Head of the Bitcoin Association’s first regional hub, also in Dubai, which covers the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. It’s a job that’s “very close to my heart,” Muhammad says, as he considers himself “primarily an educator”:
‘The whole objective is to educate the different sides of the ecosystem, like developers, like academia, government ...When it comes to the regulators and the government entities, we want them to again learn what are the implications of blockchain in the public sector and at the same time, we can help them in the regulatory framework for the crypto side. So in totality, it's more of an educational role.”
If InvoiceMate can sign up more big customers, that will be a prime example with which to educate those learning about BSV through the Bitcoin Association.