The investment, co-led by LEAP Global Partners and Rakuten Capital, with participation from Morro Ventures and Salkantay Ventures, aims to bolster Leal’s customer engagement platform across Latin America. This brings Leal’s total venture-backed capital to $20.5 million, following a $10 million Series A round two years prior.
Leal’s platform enables Latin American merchants, e-commerce sites, and financial institutions to create customer databases, offering cashback and rewards on everyday purchases. By integrating with 160 different point-of-sale (POS) systems, including major players from the United States and Europe, Leal facilitates the tracking of customer behavior and purchasing patterns, even for cash transactions which are traditionally hard to monitor.
Founded in 2016 by Martinez and COO Florence Frech, Leal faced significant challenges during the pandemic, losing 85% of its merchant base due to prolonged lockdowns. However, the company has since rebounded, expanding its rewards program across Mexico, Colombia, and Central America, and now collaborates with over 1,000 brands in 15 industries across eight countries. Leal boasts more than 6 million users, with 3.5 million active users joining in the last 12 months alone.
The new funding will support Leal’s ambition to achieve $10 million in annual recurring revenue, focusing on market penetration in Mexico, omnichannel communications, and enhancing its technology with artificial intelligence (AI) for personalized rewards and benefits. Plans also include leveraging generative AI for improved chatbot interactions between brands and consumers, particularly through WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, to facilitate more dynamic and effective consumer engagement.