This is the electronic age; everything is going digital. Online interaction in banking, travel, shopping, and education is now commonplace. Elections, however, are still lagging in the adoption of technology to bring democracy to the digital age. Scytl, based in Barcelona, is the leader in secure online voting and election modernisation. CEO Pere Valles is confident that every country in the world will slowly but surely move to electronic voting and more efficient election-management technology at some point in the near future.

As Pere explains, the company originated from a research group at a Spanish university, and now has more than 25 offices all around the world. “We started in 2001, as a spin-off of the Autonomous University of Barcelona, with only 10 people with a very strong scientific and academic background. When we saw what happened in the 2000 US elections in Florida between Bush and Gore, we agreed it was the right time to introduce secure technology into the election processes, not only in the US, but globally.

“Since 2001, we'’ve grown fairly consistently at an average of 60 per cent per year. Of our 25 offices, seven of these are R&D centres where we focus on software development and election-specific R&D. These centres include Barcelona, Athens, Toronto, Oklahoma, Tampa, Brasilia, and Lima. In addition, our commercial offices support our customers and partners across five continents.”

Pere has a long history in the technology industry. He worked for a number of large tech companies in the US and is well placed to lead Scytl in the industry. “I'’ve been working in the technology industry for over 20 years— the last 10 years at Scytl, where I started as CEO in 2004. Prior to that, I was in the US in various financial positions in the technology and telecommunications markets.

“I worked first for KPMG in mergers and acquisitions for telecom and technology in Los Angeles and Miami. Then, in 2000, I went to work as the CFO for one of my clients, a company called GlobalNet in Chicago, a NASDAQ publicly traded telecommunications company and one of the pioneers in the VoIP [!voice!] space in the US. I was there for four years until we sold the company. I then decided it was time to come back to Barcelona, where I was born and raised, and I joined Scytl as the CEO.”