Everyone looks for them, but in reality very few have seen them. They have become almost a rarity throughout Europe. Hence, the 500 euro notes (which were not printed at the beginning of this year) are known as "the bin laden", referring to the long-persecuted jihadist terrorist. In Alcobendas, however, one appeared some time ago. "He found a person on the floor of a business and gave it to the Office of Lost Objects," says Antonio Pardo, head of the local police of the Madrid City Council. Since no one claimed it, after three years, it was returned to the person who found it, says Pardo.
Annually they arrive at the consistory, located to the north of the Spanish capital, more than 1,200 objects that have been lost. Of them, only one third are usually given to their legitimate owners, says the police chief. Wallets, clothes, backpacks, watches, computers, tablets and mobiles are the items that crowd the shelves. Since January of this year a solution has been found to connect, almost instantly, with people who have lost some belonging to whoever has found it. At least that's what the four founders of Foundspot are looking for, an application that wants to become the Office of Lost Objects of the future. "In such an advanced world we can talk to anyone anywhere on the planet, but why is it not possible to connect instantly with people who have lost something with whom they have found it?" That was the question that the developers of the project launched when they ventured to develop the idea. Today, your company helps find forgotten items on Iberia group flights (Iberia, Iberia Express, Vueling or Air Nostrum) and in Madrid taxis.
The idea of this solution began to be worked on in 2014. In 2017, the tool was commercialized among large companies and public administrations. "We started with a free platform, which is still in operation today, but now our focus is on the paid version", explains José Postigo, CEO of the firm and one of its creators. In 2018, its first full year in operation of its version for companies, Foundspot billed almost 150,000 euros. The firm – in which they have invested 20,000 euros and employs 13 people – has achieved benefits. "They are anecdotal, given that practically all of the revenues have been invested in adding functionality to the platform," says Postigo. But this year he hopes to go from strength to strength.
Since January 2019, the City of Alcobendas has joined the list of customers of the company. Foundspot, in fact, is an old acquaintance of the consistory. The firm grew there thanks to an acceleration program (StartUp Alcobendas), which drives emerging technology companies. "The platform works thanks to an algorithm that works to find matches between records of lost things and records of found things. And in an instant the connection is made between whoever loses and who finds, "explains Postigo.
For example, a person who has lost something first thing you have to do is enter the lost property page (both Iberia and City of Alcobendas) and give some details of the lost item. In the end, an email must be provided. But this is the first part of the story. On the other hand, the companies that have hired the application must also classify the objects found on the platform.
In this way, the system makes a kind of "match" when the characteristics of the object coincide and sends an email to the user to pick up his lost item or proceed to send it to any destination on the planet. "We are automating the processes," says Postigo. Currently, more than 500 people a day enter the Foundspot platform, through the different companies with which they work. "Our idea is to consolidate ourselves in the transport sector, mainly airlines, and in the public sector (town halls). But we would like to expand to the hotel sector ", concludes the CEO of the company.
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