May 17, 2020
Brendan Roberts founded Aider in 2017 after more than 15 years helping small businesses with their communications and IT needs. Roberts hacked together a specialty voice assistant using off-the-shelf technologies in 2017 to prove that it could help address common problems faced by small businesses. He then launched Aider as a specialty assistant for small business managers more than a year ago in New Zealand and Australia and then in July expanded to North America.
Aider helps small businesses by integrating with a variety of third-party solutions they already use today ranging from accounting to inventory and marketing. The assistant makes it easier to access the information in those systems today and soon will also enable the execution of voice-directed actions. The assistant can be accessed via the Aider mobile app or through popular general-purpose assistants such as Alexa and Google Assistant. In December, the company closed a seed round of funding which included Coca-Cola's investment arm.
Previously, Brendan was a co-founder of 9 Spokes an IT services company in New Zealand. Before that he spent many years in telecom at Vodaphone in New Zealand and Carphone Warehouse in London. We talk getting started, the role for specialty assistants, build or buy decisions for technology, managing through COVID when you see your customer's revenues fall off a cliff before they do, and more.