HubHub Member Spotlight: Reckon Digital
Founded by Fabio Natali and Gabriel Scali in 2014, Reckon Digital is a small technology consultancy which specialises in creating software for complex systems.
Joining HubHub in November 2019, the startup is all about streamlining operations that would normally prove tedious, time-consuming or otherwise impossible for other companies to do.
We joined the founders for a coffee one afternoon to hear all about how Reckon Digital came to be, what they’ve been up to and their hopes for the business in the future. To kick-off, Natali and Scali try to give us an overview of who they are, but admit that because what they do is so niche, it’s kind of tricky.
“We are a digital agency that makes software, but we’re not a software company,” explains Scali.
He clarifies: “While we do make software but we are not a software startup in the sense that we are not centred around a product or the construction and marketing of that product. Mostly, we sell software development services for other people in the same way that large technology consultancies do.”
Scali says that the simplest way to summarise Reckon Digital is like “a tiny IBM” – the consultancy side mixed with the part of Accenture. This would make sense as to why the startup touts its vocation as reliable and insightful like a large consultancy, but approachable and dynamic like a small agency.
“We are a tech consultancy but very very small and that’s extremely unusual and that’s why it’s hard to explain: people don’t have references,” he adds. “Essentially, we are always about optimisation and making processes more efficient.”
The story so far
While Reckon Digital is relatively new to the HubHub community, Natali and Scali’s journey started way before then. They first met in 2013 when Scali was already working in London and Natali was based in Italy. Scali offered Natali advice in his desires to relocate to London, and as a result they became close friends.
Both founders have a mutual passion for software, research and academia. Natali is a Python/Django developer who’s not only passionate about clean code, but as a Free Software advocate, he has a strong interest in the ethical issues and challenges of contemporary society and believes in cryptography and decentralised systems as means to defend our digital rights.
With a Masters in HCI, Scali is an Experience Designer and Digital Innovator who’s been coding since the early ‘80s and built up quite an impressive resume ever since, from designing a complex touchscreen dashboard UI in 1990 to working on the visual infrastructure for Channel 4’s on-demand streaming platform, 4OD, in the 2000s.
Due to such shared interests, it wasn’t long after meeting that the two made the decision to join forces and create a brand new business together. At that time, Natali had just closed his own company as a software developer website and so the pair decided it was the perfect time to start Reckon Digital in 2014.
“At the very beginning, it was just the two of us – we started leveraging an existing network of contacts from past work experiences and taking care of projects of a different kind,” Natali explains.
And this was how Reckon Digital was born.
Since starting up, Reckon Digital has worked on a plethora of projects helping out some very prominent organisations, including a critical project for Syria. During the country’s civil war, Reckon Digital has provided software that’s helped asses who in the population should receive help.
More recently, the team has started another project with the Southern African Development Community (SADC), collecting statistical data on the vulnerability of the population, from climate concerns to hunger, and building a portal where all this data gets aggregated. This, the founders say, will be served in the form of an atlas where users can explore data and understand and gain insights in a more engaging way.
What’s to come
In the future, Reckon Digital’s main objective is to grow.
“We are looking for partnership with companies who specialise in areas such as machine learning, data analysis, and modern technologies,” says Scali.
“Most of our work is around optimisation, the very nature of computer science and software developments, and streaming such operations and what we want to do more and more.”
About the HubHub Member Spotlight series: The HubHub Member Spotlight looks to shine a light on the amazing companies and projects that they are running as part of the HubHub community. We’ll profile one startup monthly delving into the story behind what they do and how they plan to change the world.