Kouna, a SaaS platform for brands to optimize prices, promotions, orders, and inventory through artificial intelligence, announced the raising of US$6 million in a seed round led by Mexican VC Cometa, with participation from Seaya Cathay Latam and Femsa Ventures, also from Mexico.

TechCrunch broke the news today, highlighting one of the characteristics of this Monterrey-based startup: the optimization of promotions, an aspect where mass consumer brands and retailers would allegedly not have good guidance -in the sense of not knowing which promotions work better than others-, a problem that Kouna promises to solve thanks to machine learning, the field of artificial intelligence that has proven more effective in recent years. 

In a press release, the company says that its founders, Chema Sanroman and Agustín Magaña, have decades of experience in data science, AI, and CPG revenue and pricing management. They argue that eighty percent of CPG companies’ promotions do not generate profits.  ” Kuona helps CPG and retailers dramatically increase the ROI of their promotions while maintaining or increasing their sales,” the company states. 

Launched in 2017, after five years of receiving small investments, the company says it is profitable today, and they have clients such as OXXO, the small store chain, and Coca-Cola FEMSA, both linked to Femsa Ventures. A spokesman for OXXO says their satisfaction with Kuona’s results led Femsa Ventures to want to invest in the startup. 

Chema Sanroman, CEO of Kouna, said his company’s proposition “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.”

What will they do with the new capital? They plan to continue to grow throughout the region (today, they operate in the US, Mexico, Brazil, Peru, and Ecuador) and set a more ambitious goal: to reach Europe. 

Main image: AdobeStock


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