The Colombian startup Celes has secured $1 million in initial funding to expand its sales team and develop its AI-driven retail solution for small and medium-sized businesses.

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Luis Almanza, the company’s CEO, along with Luis Ballestas (COO) and David Florian (CTO), founded Celes as a data analytics consulting firm. Over time, they identified recurring problems and created a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution that is currently used by over 400 points of sale serving 3 million end consumers, connecting nearly 20 ERP and POS systems in Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, and Ireland.

Celes aims to become an authentic “operating system” that analyzes and manages the vast data in the retail sector, transforming it into a source of cash flow rather than a technical challenge for businesses.

Four years ago, CEO Luis Almanza, COO Luis Ballestas, and CTO David Florian founded the company as a data analytics consulting firm. However, they identified that retail businesses faced challenges in managing stockouts or excessive inventory, understanding customers, and setting appropriate prices.

To provide a solution, the entrepreneurs developed a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution that is being used by over 400 points of sale serving 3 million end consumers, connecting nearly 20 ERP and POS systems in Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, and Ireland.

With their solution integrating artificial intelligence and analytics directly into ERP and POS systems, Celes aims to support the growth of companies in the retail sector, especially those that are not industry giants.

Primeline, the company’s allies in Ireland, MatterScale, Rockstart, and angel investors participated in the capital injection.

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Why is it relevant for venture capitalists in the region?

  • It offers a focus on long-term value creation: Seeking investments with strong growth potential and creating a strategic plan to add value to the company over time. This can involve providing operational support, access to a network of contacts, strategic advice, and additional resources to drive growth and success.
  • Portfolio diversification: Seeking appropriate diversification in the investment portfolio within the sector. Investing in companies with different business models, at different growth stages, and in different market segments can help mitigate risks and maximize overall performance potential.

Why is it relevant for startups in the region?

  • Access to financing: The presence of venture capitalists in the region provides startups with a crucial opportunity to access additional financing that enables them to grow and develop.
  • Validation and visibility: The endorsement of a renowned venture capital firm can provide additional validation to startups in the region. Being backed by an investment company can increase credibility and visibility among other investors, potential customers, and strategic partners, opening doors to new business opportunities and collaborations.

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