Sri Lanka doesn’t break into the international tech scene very often. You won’t find many Sri Lankan products making waves at CES, giving Silicon Valley investors sweaty palms, or dominating markets in the APAC region. It’s understandable. We’ve got a small, young industry compared to our neighbours. We’re fighting an uphill battle. But the beauty of tech, is that sometimes you can find a backdoor, if you know what you are looking for.
Despite its relative size, Sri Lankan software products have found a place in the international tech community. Some of them are well known, while others, not so much. We’ve listed a few products that you may or may not have heard of that are used around the world.
Hiveage is an online invoicing and billing software used by freelancers from over 140 countries. Launched in 2014 by Vesess, Hiveage was the successor to CurdBee, an inhouse invoicing application developed by the company for their own needs, which they opened up to the public. They integrate with major payment gateways, even adding support for Bitcoin payments.
Vesess is a Sri Lankan based development and design company that creates products and services for small businesses.
With its headquarters in Silicon Valley, Emojot operates out of four countries: USA, Australia, New Zealand, and Sri Lanka. Emojot was founded in 2014 by Shahani Markus and Manjula Dissanayake as an emoji based audience sentiment tracking platform. The company allows businesses to track how their customers feel by collecting feedback using emojis, as opposed to text questionnaires or feedback reports, for example.
Emojot raised a seed round of a million USD in April of 2016. They raised their second round of half a million USD in December 2017.
Millenium IT was founded in 1996 in Colombo as a Sun Microsystem reseller. It later started building software trading systems for the American Stock Exchange. Following that, a contract with the London Stock Exchange (LSEG) saw the company being acquired by LSEG in 2009.
Today, Milllenium IT’s capital markets suite is in operation in more than 40 client sites around the world. Their office is based in Malabe, Sri Lanka.
WSO2, founded by Sanjiva Weerawarana in 2005, generally has a lot going on, like the new programming language called Ballerina that they are working on. But what they did get a bit famous for in their early years was open source software of theirs being used as a key element by eBay in their transaction software. The WSO2 enterprise service bus (ESB) was used by eBay to handle over a billion transactions a day. It wasn’t clear why eBay chose this particular piece of software by a Sri Lankan company, but they saw something about it that they liked.
WSO2 has offices in Sri Lanka, the US, UK, and Brazil.
There are dozens of Sri Lankan companies doing big thing here and abroad, but it’s great to see software products get such wide traction in the international market. With more investment coming in, and better opportunities for entrepreneurs, there may be a lot more of our software crossing borders.
Cover image courtesy salleurl.edu