Leal, a Bogota, Colombia-based retail expertise firm that gives buyer engagement in Latin America, raised $5 million in a spherical that CEO Camilo Martinez known as a “pre-Collection B.”
LEAP International Companions and Rakuten Capital co-led the spherical and had been joined by Morro Ventures and Salkantay Ventures. The spherical comes about two years after the corporate raised $10 million in Collection A capital, co-led by Rakuten and IDC Ventures. In complete, the corporate has secured $20.5 million in enterprise capital.
Leal companions with business-to-consumer manufacturers, e-commerce websites and monetary establishments throughout Latin America to allow retailers to construct a buyer database after which provide cashback and rewards merchandise to loyal prospects on on a regular basis purchases.
To do that, Leal has constructed integrations with 160 completely different money register techniques. Most POS techniques are native, however Leal has been working to combine with main gamers in america and Europe that aren’t extensively utilized in Latin America because of price, Martinez instructed TechCrunch.
Retailers can even observe the client conduct and buying patterns of shoppers who historically pay with money, a cost methodology that’s notoriously troublesome to trace. Additionally they have entry to marketing campaign administration instruments for focused communications.
Martinez began the corporate in 2016 along with Florence Frech, COO. On the time, Martinez says the corporate was on “an unimaginable development journey.” Then the worldwide pandemic occurred.
“We misplaced 85% of our merchants,” he stated. “We had been closely depending on bodily retailers. Lockdowns, for instance, had been among the many strongest, after Asia, for instance, for six months. Beginning in 2021, we virtually needed to rebuild our enterprise as a result of we had no prospects.”
Leal acquired his groove again. In 2021, the SaaS advertising firm launched a brand new characteristic that permits grocery customers to scan paper receipts and earn Leal Cash that may be redeemed for items and companies like gasoline or meals supply by way of Rappo. A yr later, Leal expanded its rewards program all through Mexico, Colombia and Central America.
As we speak the corporate works with greater than 1,000 manufacturers throughout 15 industries and eight international locations. Its shopper record contains Subway, Verifone and Chevron. Leal has greater than 6 million customers, up from 1.5 million in 2020, with 3.5 million lively customers becoming a member of within the final twelve months.
“We have developed a number of gamification so we are able to serve our shoppers in several methods,” Martinez stated. “There’s an engagement journey and smarter dialog instruments, so you do not get transactional messages, you get extra human-like conversations. We have now additionally been engaged on numerous advertising options to have interaction shoppers in order that we are able to get nearer to their way of life and supply them with extra worth.”
With the brand new funding, Leal plans to achieve $10 million in annual recurring income, give attention to extra penetration in Mexico, omnichannel communications and a collection of instruments that embrace smarter information assortment and interactions, and advantages automation to maximise conversions .
It would additionally work to develop expertise to enhance its synthetic intelligence fashions for additional personalization of app rewards and advantages. Martinez additionally desires to make use of generative AI for improved chatbot interactions between manufacturers and shoppers.
“Two of the channels we will probably be strengthening are WhatsApp and Fb Messenger, so we are able to produce other assets on the right way to talk with shoppers,” Martinez stated. “With AI and GenAI we are able to make higher predictions with the info. We are able to broaden the experiment and launch tons of of various campaigns that present prospects what resonates with shoppers, after which repeat it with completely different AI fashions. We will even work on creating content material in order that our platform turns into extra private, automated, requires much less human intervention and is plug-and-play.”