Kuona, the intelligent SaaS platform that uses machine learning to automatically optimize product prices, promotions, and inventories for consumer packaged goods (CPGs) and retailers, announced it has raised a $6 million seed round led by COMETA, with participation from Seaya Cathay Latam and FEMSA Ventures. The new capital will be used to expand Kuona’s presence and team in key geographies, including Latin America, Europe and the United States.
Based in Monterrey, Mexico, Kuona was founded by Chema Sanroman and Agustín Magaña, who combine decades of experience in data science, artificial intelligence (AI), and CPG revenue and pricing management. Launched in 2017, the company set out to help the competitive CPG and retail industries better adapt to the ever-changing consumer market dynamics by leveraging data-driven tools to predict demand and track customer behavior.
Today, most CPG companies run thousands of promotions per month, spending millions of dollars, and eighty percent of these activities do not turn a profit. Kuona helps CPG and retailers dramatically increase the ROI of their promotions while maintaining or increasing their sales. By integrating with its clients to capture real-time data and leveraging neural networks for simulations with a high precision level (up to 97%), Kuona is providing a much more effective and cost-efficient solution. After opening its latest office in Brazil, the company is already profitable and operates in five countries while serving major customers around the globe, such as Coca-Cola and OXXO convenience stores.
“When it came to optimizing promotions, we looked at a number of companies before settling on Kuona,” said a spokesperson from OXXO. “Our team chose Kuona because of their expertise in the industry and the accuracy of its neural networks, which translates into better results. The company’s automated approach puts it ahead of other solutions, and its cloud-based and flexible nature allow us to adapt it to our specific needs. As a result of our successful partnership and our confidence in the future of the company’s offerings, FEMSA Ventures has invested in the round.”
“Our product is truly global in nature and also has versatile omnichannel capabilities, effectively serving modern trade (supermarkets, convenience stores), traditional trade (mom and pop stores), and major e-commerce organizations,” said Chema Sanroman, CEO and co-founder of Kuona. “While consumer markets vary greatly, we can adapt to the data available in each country. Kuona’s unique proposition of automatic data capture with high levels of granularity and accuracy has proved its value to customers, many of whom previously relied on Excel and paper-and-pencil era techniques to try and predict demand — an approach that generated low-quality predictions.”
“Accelerating digitization means revenue managers have an increasing amount of data to inform their decisions,” said Federico Gómez Romero at Seaya Cathay Latam. “However, without the right tools, information remains fragmented and leveraging it is exceedingly difficult. Kuona’s unique product, purpose-built for the CPG and retail industries, offers a fully automatic process from data integration to the final recommendation. In Kuona we’ve found an exceptional team building an innovative technology and business model that will have a lasting, positive impact well beyond the Latin American market. We look forward to working with them to leverage our corporate ecosystem to expand globally.”
“Kuona’s retention rates and upsell ratios are best-in-class, demonstrating the tangible value clients are finding in the solution,” said Rafael de Haro, Co-Founder & Managing Partner at COMETA. “Speaking to Kuona’s clients, we were able to assess how crucial the platform’s outputs have become for their decision-making processes and how variables such as margin and sold quantity expected impacts have determined the accurate timing and execution of campaigns. Having successfully acquired and retained clients across a handful of industries and over five different markets set the company on track to becoming a global player. We are excited to partner with Chema, Agustin, and the whole Kuona team and look forward to supporting them on this journey.”
Kuona currently offers two products, which include:
- Kuona Price and Promotion Optimization: Enables companies to calculate automatically the real performance of historical and current activities and optimize future ones
- Kuona Perfect Order: Creates the optimal sales order that increases sales, diminishes merchandise returns and out-of-stock per points of sale
Kuona Analytics is an enterprise SaaS that helps some of the world’s largest consumer brands and retailers optimize their pricing, trade promotions and inventories using artificial intelligence. Kuona operates in the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Peru, and Ecuador. The company participated in the Y Combinator Fellowship program and is backed by several US-based funds, including Stage Venture Partners and Muse Capital. Learn more at: https://kuona.ai
COMETA is a venture capital firm that invests in early-stage technology companies serving Spanish-speaking markets. COMETA’s portfolio of companies includes Bitso, Cabify, Gaia, Kueski, Simetrik and Welcome Tech, among others. Learn more at: https://cometa.vc. Contact: [email protected].
About Seaya Cathay Latam
Seaya Cathay Latam is a Venture Capital fund, based out of Mexico City, backing startups redefining industries and society across Latin America. A partnership between European VC platform Seaya and global venture capital firm Cathay Innovation, Seaya Cathay Latam is the direct link for local, purpose-driven entrepreneurs to the worldwide resources needed to build and scale resilient businesses that lead markets. Our joint platform grants access to over 150 leading multinational corporations and experience in the global expansion of 17 unicorns such as Chime, Pinduoduo (NASDAQ: PDD), Wallbox (NYSE: WBX), Glovo (acquired by Delivery Hero) and Cabify. To learn more, please visit www.sclatam.com or follow us on LinkedIn.
About FEMSA Ventures
FEMSA Ventures is a Venture Capital fund backed by FEMSA and dedicated to building collaboration bridges between FEMSA’s business platform and entrepreneurial ecosystem. FEMSA Ventures aims to improve and transform people’s lives through innovative ideas and world-class entrepreneurs. As a strategic partner, its years of experience in the beverage, retail and logistics industries in Latin America and the US offer a unique value for companies to drive growth.
Founded in 2018, FEMSA Ventures’ portfolio includes companies operating in a variety of industries such as conversational commerce, logistics, e-commerce, retail and fintech.
FEMSA Ventures aspires to be one of the leading venture capital firms in Latin America. www.femsaventures.com