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JackBe's Technology Cuts to the Quick

By Raymund Flandez
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, August 30, 2004; Page E05

Several years ago, two Mexican brothers took out credit card loans to start JackBe Corp., providing software that helps companies perform business over the Web more efficiently and securely.

Now, with 2 million end users depending on their technology, Luis and Jacob Derechin moved their headquarters to McLean from Mexico City in April.

JackBe's software lets companies enhance their Web-based applications, chief executive Luis Derechin says. (Cathy Kapulka -- The Washington Post)

In Profile

Name: JackBe Corp.

Location: McLean

Big idea: Provides software that enables companies and government customers to build swift, secure and user-friendly Web-based applications without requiring plug-ins.

Founded: January 2002. In November, the company won a Mexican government contract to use its product, NQ Suite, for large-scale countrywide deployment.

Web site: www.jackbe.com

Who's in charge: Luis Derechin, chief executive and co-founder; Jacob Derechin, chief technology officer and co-founder; Bob Goodrich, vice president of sales and marketing; Jose Antonio Garcia Miranda, vice president of Latin American sales.

Funding: The Derechin brothers first funded JackBe using credit cards and small investments from businesses they knew. In June 2003, Intel Capital, a division of Intel Corp., and Darby Technology Ventures invested a total of $2.5 million. JackBe is on its second round of fundraising.

Employees: 35. Thirty are in the Mexico City office; five are in McLean. The company plans to increase U.S. employees to 50 in the next two years.

Partners: Unisys Corp., Gedas, Sonda Pissa, Consistent, DigitalFocus, Softtek.

Big-Name Clients: Tupperware Corp., Citigroup Banamex, Gigante, Secretaria de Hacienda y Credito Publico, Acciones y Valores de Mexico S.A., Cemex

Origin of company name: Based on the nursery rhyme. JackBe says its technology is nimble.

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Jacob Derechin, the company's chief technology officer, wrote the software; he had worked as an information technology consultant for several companies, including his brother's direct sales business. Luis Derechin, JackBe's chief executive, founded his first company when he was 18 and calls himself a serial entrepreneur.

As more businesses began migrating online, Luis Derechin said, "companies began experiencing some pain because they weren't quite getting what they wanted." Customers, he said, want to be able to do the kinds of things on the Web that they can do on a desktop application.

JackBe's NQ Suite software aims to resolve that problem. Luis Derechin said the technology allows companies to enhance their Web-based applications, such as forms used for online banking or shopping, by improving speed and reducing the steps necessary to send data that customers enter.

As an example, customers doing an online banking transaction would see the immediate feedback of an error message if they mistyped an address format in a field.

The company emphasizes that its software does not rely on plug-ins, programs that have to be downloaded in order to run another operation. This can add to the complexity of creating business applications and, in some cases, may increase security risks.

The product costs $50,000 to $125,000 depending on the complexity of its use.

Companies use the technology because they're able to have all of their internal applications accessible through the Web, Luis Derechin said. Employees anywhere can access company databases.

"Our clients are achieving returns on investment in a small amount of time -- less than six months, which is good these days," he said. JackBe's goal is to generate more than $5 million in revenue in 2005.

© 2004 The Washington Post Company