Ottawa-based startup Yafoy has released Timehub, their invoicing solution for programmers using GitHub. The timing comes smoothy for CEO Olivier Simart as the San Francisco-based Github recently surpassed three million users and five million repositories hosted.
After creating a general online invoicing tool for freelancers and consultants called ProjectLog in early 2012, the startup realized that there was an untapped market for programmers.
“We pitched the idea to a few friends and we did some digging, trying to research,” Simart explained to Techvibes. “We found that nothing formally existed and there was no solution out there based exclusively on Github.”
Noting that programmers sometimes lack the aesthetic capabilities of designers, Simart and some friends designed Timehub as a solution to allow anyone to easily record how much time they spent on a given commit. Users sign up directly through Github and can automatically view their projects to create professional-looking invoices.
“Which is especially useful for programmers because they usually send invoices by excel or even worse than that,” said. “So the whole thing is that they have a centralized place where all the invoices live and it will prepare a nice invoice for a total at the end.”
Eventually Yafoy will integrate payment capabilities into Timehub so programmers can even be paid directly though the platform. The important question is whether there will be a formal partnership involved with Github. Simart says he’s optimistic something will be done and that the startup is hard at work in that realm.
Yafoy is also working to refine its user experience while making a larger push on the market front. With time and visibility the team is trying to engage as much as possible with their customer base. It’s a product designed by long time contractors for contractors.
“We want to actually talk with the user base as much as we can,” said Simart. “We want to take time, sit back, see what people think and see what people would like to see.”
Given that there are now over three million users on Github Simart doesn’t see 200,000 registered users on Timehub as too large a challenge. In the future they’re also looking at potential partnerships with third-party platforms that bring together programmers with clients.
The company has bootstrapped their way to both of their product launches thus far and they don’t intend to charge their customers very much. Users can create five free invoices before they must spend money. Instead of a model used by companies like FreshBooks (where a small percentage is taken) Simart says he just wants to cover his server and bandwidth costs.
“Our idea is to be different in the sense that you’ve worked hard to get the money so there is no point for us to take any money from you,” he said.