Publican is a software-as-a-service ("SaaS") company. Our team of legal experts, data scientist and AI engineers is on a mission to transform the future of doing business with the government.

In 2021 Publican is founded by Jan De Leyn, a lawyer with a very strong expertise in public law (especially public procurement law). He was soon joined by co-founder Dirk De Hertog, a Machine Learning (ML) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) expert with over a decade of experience in AI. With the creation of Publican they primarily set out to use (legal) predictive analytics to solve issues in respect to public tenders, but its the intention of Publican to venture into other domains as well, like i.a. environmental law and tax law.

Meet our Team

Jan De Leyn

Co-founder & CEO
Jan is an experienced and highly specialized public procurement lawyer. His track record covers advising and representing large but also small and medium-sized enterprises in the award and implementation of projects in the public sector. Furthermore he has written numerous articles on public procurement law. He is also a regular speaker at different seminars.

Dirk De Hertog

Co-founder & CTO
Dirk De Hertog has extensive experience as a researcher (PhD KU Leuven), a software engineer (Colruyt) and a data scientist consultant (Dataflow, Keyrus). Most notably, he previously founded Avantopy, a data solutions lab focused on Natural Language Processing, Machine Learning and data engineering. Dirk puts his experience and the entire weight of the technology developed at Avantopy into the development and growth of Publican.

Besart Elezi

Full Stack Developer
Besart is a young and passionate web developer with a love for creativity. He has a Bachelor's degree in Communication Management: Branding & Advertising (Thomas More) and he completed a Full Stack Web Development training at Becode. In the past he has worked as a Graphic Designer, a Communications Manager, and as an Online Marketeer. Due to these past careers he obtained lots of different and unique skills, which really complement his can-do attitude.

Our brand

Our name "Publican" is derived form the Latin word "publicanus".

In antiquity publicans were public contractors, who often supplied the Roman legions and military, managed the collection of port duties, and oversaw public building projects. In addition, they served as tax collectors for the Roman Republic (and later the Roman Empire), farming the taxes of the Roman provinces, and bidding on contracts.

In other words, a publican participated in public tenders "avant la lettre".

This refers to our first solution of providing artificial intelligence in relation to public tender issues and thus, using technology to bridge the gap between the old and the new. Our logo, a modern interpretation of a laurel leaf (in ancient Rome a symbol for victory), is also a reference to this connection of ancient (the law) and future (artificial intelligence).

Moreover, Publican is a reference to "public law" with which we have a special affinity and for which our long term goal is to develop more solutions than only for public tenders.

Our values

Uncompromising integrity and security
We adhere to the highest standards of integrity, quality and transparency in all that we do. Moreover, with data security of critical importance to any organisation, Publican's robust security protocols ensure no documentation risks being exposed.
We navigate constantly changing market conditions in order to help our customers and partners succeed.
Bold action
We are confident and willing to push boundaries to pursue innovative and unconventional solutions.