Chicago Tech Startup: Phaxio

April 17, 2012 | By | 1 Comment

Phaxio provides a back-end utility for companies who partner with organizations that still heavily rely on fax machines. Many traditional industries, like restaurants, medical labs, law firms and human resources departments still rely on faxes for “real time communication.” The inability to connect through digital means creates a technological gap that prevents companies from partnering and connecting with the wide array of mobile apps and online tools that are used elsewhere. Phaxio provides a low-level API that handles the mechanics of telecommunication, and can be implemented on the back-end of a consumer application. It allows software developers to create online B2B applications that seamlessly communicate with their “off-line” partners. TINC Magazine recently spoke with Phaxio Co-Founder, Howard Avner, to find out more.

TINC: What is Phaxio?

Phaxio makes it simple for applications to send and receive faxes. Phaxio gives software developers modern development tools that they’re comfortable using to manage how their applications react to fax, while Phaxio handles the complicated mechanics of telecom and fax technology.

TINC: How does it work? Does it convert emails to faxes, and faxes to emails?

Phaxio is a low level API (Application Programming Interface). Therefore, if a developer was looking to build a service that would send and receive faxes from email, they’d be using us to do the actual heavy lifting of communicating the faxes. Here’s a common use-case:

You want to order some food from an app on your phone, so you punch in your order and head to the restaurant to pick up your food. Now the app knows what you want but it need a way to contact the restaurant. Phaxio takes the information collected by the application and sends it, by fax, to the restaurant.

TINC: Do developers need a faxing solution that is different from regular people?

Phaxio doesn’t actually help developers send/receive faxes, it helps their software send/receive faxes.

TINC: Is it the complexity of the system that makes this something that the public can’t use?

Initially you’d need to be a developer to use our service. However, because our pricing model allows our prices to be significantly lower than most consumer fax solutions, we’ve explored building a couple of tools that will let non-developers use Phaxio.

TINC: Why is this superior to other email fax conversion and transfer systems (like eFax)?

Efax has a program for developers but the technology they use is old and outdated. We built our API to service developers building with new technologies. Phaxio was built to bridge the gap between the speed at which software processes requests and fax technology.

TINC: Everyone hates faxes, especially people in technology. Why focus on the fax technology?

Faxing is still used in numerous industries because the barrier for use is so incredibly low (i.e. remove from box, plug into wall…) and because businesses are comfortable using fax. Phaxio aims to remove many of the issues that software companies face when trying to integrate with existing businesses. Essentially, businesses have existing processes with which they are comfortable and new software is often seen as a disruptive to that workflow. If you can fit into a business’s existing processes, then you’ve significantly lowered your clients’ risk in working with you. Fax is a great way to get your foot in the door.

The following information about Phaxio comes from the Chicago Startup Catalog:

Funding Level: Pre-Series A
Industry Type: Telecommunication
Employment Size: 1-10
Founders: Josh Nankin, Howard Avner
Founding Date: 2011

Filed in: Company Profile, Featured | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Comments (1)

  1. I’m not sure about the fax industry enough to make a solid judgement on the service. Is faxing really a “remove from box, plug into wall” type of communication system – as opposed to a scan paper and email system? Is it easier or is scanning and emailing more efficient in the long run? I guess the underlying question is if the company stays paper or goes digital in their communication process. Interesting.

Leave a Reply

Trackback URL | RSS Feed for This Entry