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This founder sold key payments tech to Amazon, and now he's back with a new AI startup to ensure jobs are done right the first time


Leo Rocco Confidence

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The founder who sold his company's key mobile payment software to Amazon is back again with a new venture.

Back in 2009, Leo Rocco founded GoPago, a mobile ordering and payment company that counted Starbucks among its customers. Set up as a rival to Square, GoPago was backed by JP Morgan before Amazon acquired the company's core technology and team in 2013. Unusually, the company was split in two at the time of the acquisition: The remaining technology and customer base was sold to DoubleBeam, which was itself acquired by Verifone.

After the acquisition, Rocco worked with Amazon as an adviser for two years, where he says he learned a lot about how to get things done at a big company. Now, Rocco has started a new company called Confidence Systems, where he serves as CEO. He's brought on a team of industry veterans, including former leaders at companies like Amazon, IBM, Salesforce, and Fiserv to lead this new venture, as well.

Confidence Systems builds AI-powered software that helps customers make sure they comply with protocols and regulatory requirements by giving feedback that makes sure users are doing their tasks correctly. The company boasts that it can eliminate the time companies may waste in going back and fixing mistakes, while also making it easier to train a new employee on the right way to do things.  

"It's about getting work done consistently – something that all businesses struggle with, the driving of consistency," Rocco said. 

For example, hotels might use Confidence Systems to make sure they're following the correct cleaning protocols, banks may use it to make sure they are complying with regulatory standards like FINRA, airlines may use it to follow maintenance schedules, and manufacturers may use it to confirm the quality of products. 

"Workers, teammates, they know that they're operating from a place that is healthy and safe," Rocco said. "I think there's a huge opportunity in essentially having Confidence Systems provide confidence in all these different areas, whether it's places like Airbnb, hotels, manufacturing."

While several companies like Google, Microsoft, Monday, and Atlassian build technology to help with managing tasks, Rocco says Confidence Systems differs in that it uses AI to help users focus on making sure they complete their tasks correctly. He sees Confidence Systems as a complement to the task management products that are currently out there, like Atlassian's Jira.

Confidence Systems will officially launch early next year

Rocco, a career software engineer, was most recently the chief product development officer at financial services technology company Fiserv. He previously served in similar roles at Cielo and First Data Corporation, and says that he's proud of his track record in helping those companies stay ahead of the curve with the pace of technology. 

"I like to fiddle with things, build things," Rocco said. "I've been doing it for a good amount of time. That's my introduction and essentially my area of expertise. It's been about innovating, it's been about product development, it's been about reimagining the way things are, and introducing a smarter way to operate more efficiently."

With GoPago and Amazon, Rocco says he learned more about how major companies operate, how they're structured, and how they release products to market. At First Data, a nearly 50-year-old company, he helped transform it to a leader in payments and banking technology since he led product development there. 

"Taking all those and learning on what's possible, bringing all those together, understanding the whole feedback loop, helping them do product development better, all that stuff brought together is the culmination of being able to get to that point," Rocco said.

Rocco now believes the time is right for Confidence Systems, as the pandemic has made it more important than ever that tasks get done quickly, efficiently, and the right way on the first try. The company plans to make its product generally available in the first quarter of 2021, with several schools and the Californian city of San Mateo as customers.

The schools, in particular, plan to use Confidence's products to make sure that its staff follows sanitation protocols as students return to in-person education amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. What those customers are actually after, Rocco suggests, is the security of knowing that everything is happening exactly according to plan.

"People actually want peace of mind," Rocco said. "Consistency is a problem across everywhere. People have not mastered consistency. Now with AI, there is an opportunity to take the reins on it, get together, and deliver on that process."

Got a tip? Contact this reporter via email at rmchan@businessinsider.com, Signal at 646.376.6106, Telegram at @rosaliechan, or Twitter DM at @rosaliechan17. (PR pitches by email only, please.) Other types of secure messaging available upon request. 

SEE ALSO: Atlassian's US salaries revealed: How much the $55 billion software giant pays engineers, product managers, data scientists, and more

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