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Five Spanish tech startups to watch

The Spain Startup South Summit 2014 conference recently took place in Madrid, where fledgling companies from a variety of industries mixed with investment groups and startup accelerators. ZDNet looks at some of the brightest tech startups on show.
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By Steve Evans on
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1 of 5 ForceManager

ForceManager

Founded by Óscar Macià and Xavier Bisbal in 2011, Madrid-based ForceManager is aiming to bring salesforce management more effectively into the mobile era. It offers a cloud-based platform that enables sales staff, managers and directors to access all their relevant data in real-time, from wherever they are.

Features offered include the ability to manage accounts and contacts, monitor and analyse activity and set up automatic reports into sales activities. The company has native apps for Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry and Apple's iPad and iPhone.

The company says that its apps are aimed at getting salespeople to manage their time more effectively so they can concentrate on selling.

Essentially, what the company says it's doing differently is flipping traditional salesforce management on its head - instead of the sales agent taking time out of their schedule to produce reports, metrics are automatically collected and presented to the agent and manager.

The company has raised around €3.3m in funding including a May 2014 investment from Nauta Capital.

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2 of 5 Intelliment Security

Intelliment Security

Intelliment Security began life back in 2007 as a research project at the University of Seville before being spun-off into its own business, headed up by Sergio Pozo and Eduardo Fernández.

The company offers what it calls software-defined security policy management - an abstract and intelligent control pane where security policies are automatically pushed out across the network without the need for human intervention. This, the company says, can replace inefficient one-by-one manual configuration changes that need to happen following one single security policy change, leading to fewer errors.

Intelliment is a great example of a startup that identified a weakness - in this case security policy management - and set about creating a solution to that problem. It is similar to software-defined networking in that the intelligence is shifted to a centralised management system. This means disparate security systems, irrespective of which vendor supplied them, can be managed from one place.

Intelliment Security has pulled in venture funding from Caixa Capital Risc and Institut Català de Finances.

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3 of 5 Logtrust

Logtrust

Formed in 2011 by Pedro Castillo and headquartered in Madrid, Logtrust says its aim is to "democratise real-time big data tools", meaning it aims to collect, analysis and visualise data in real-time. Its cloud-based big data analysis tool pulls together machine data and system and user information to offer security intelligence, business monitoring, compliance and management capabilities.

The company says it treats all information like a database and presents visualisations of large datasets in real-time. It also offers what it calls an 'intelligence sharing' platform, where users can share their information with other customers.

This “democratisation” of big data that Logtrust talks about is what marks this company out as one to watch. Instead of being aimed at IT departments, Logtrust aims its technology squarely at end-users. It offers its data visualisation tools via a website that users can access on a pay per use basis, so they do not have to go to their IT department to get insight from their data.

Its social element is also interesting, encouraging users to share insights, issues and anything else they may find interesting with the wider community.

The company has raised €2.2m so far.

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4 of 5 Prot-On

Prot-On

Another company founded in 2011, this time by Oscar Maire-Richard. Madrid-based Prot-On specialises in document encryption. It says its technology enables enterprises to protect all copies of a file, control who has access to the file and track document usage, such as who has accessed the file.

Prot-On doesn't store the files itself, which is an important point to note, but instead integrates with the likes of Google Drive and Dropbox and just about any other document sharing or management platform individuals and companies are likely to use.

Speaking at the Spain Startup South Summit this month, Maire-Richard said the recent release of intimate photos, stored in iCloud, of hundreds of celebrities could have been avoided with Prot-on, as whoever stole the photos would not have been able to access them.

It’s the completeness of the coverage that draws attention to Prot-on's product. Managers of a document can control who can open it in read-only mode, who can edit it, print it, copy it and manage it, and from where they can do it, such as a Windows desktop or Android smartphone.

It offers a Free version for home use, a Premium edition for €99 per year, and a Corporate edition that includes the ability to manage users' access, create work groups and more in-depth reporting.

It has raised €1.1m in funding so far.

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5 of 5 Signaturit

Signaturit

It may not be the sexiest technology around, but the ability to quickly, securely, and legally sign a document from any device and any location is something businesses across the world would be interested in. Founder Juan Zamora is another example of someone who was frustrated at the lack of tools on the market that did what he required, so he set out to create one.

Founded in May 2013, Signaturit is the result. The technology enables users to electronically sign documents from their mobile device, ensuring a document is legally binding. The platform also offers real-time reports on the status of a document.

The Enterprise package offers company branding, API integration for signing lots of documents and dedicated support. All data is encrypted and every document has a timestamp, so both parties know when a document was signed and that it has not been altered.

It's worth pointing out that Signaturit is not an app, and it doesn't require anything to be downloaded on to the mobile device for it to work; it instead it hooks up to the sender's email server or platform. All a sender needs to do is add .signatur.it at the end of the recipient's email address and they will receive a prompt to sign the document, either via a pre-saved signature or through writing it with a stylus or finger.

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