The Ukraine-powered startup Competera just closed a successful seed funding round, raising $3 million from STRATMINDS, Flyer One Ventures, Verras Capital, SMRK Fund, Transform Partners Fund, and a group of angel investors, which includes AI Ukraine founder and chairman Alex Medovoi. Founded by Alex Galkin and Alexander Sazonov, Competera specializes in developing AI-powered price optimization services for retailers worldwide. The startup's flagship product is its intelligent pricing platform, powered by a neural network trained on a combination of proprietary and industry data. The Competera Pricing Platform is meant to be an all-in-one solution that helps enterprise and marketplace retailers determine and update optimal prices throughout the entire pricing cycle.
First launched in 2018, the Competera platform offers users an easy-to-use dashboard with direct access to real-time market data, automation options, and several recommendation engines. The neural network's algorithms are based on deep learning techniques that take more than 20 different factors into account to generate optimal prices, including inflation, seasonality, competitor behavior, and promotional impact. Recently, the startup launched Competera X, a self-serve version of the platform directed at individual sellers in digital marketplaces such as Etsy, Amazon, and Shopify.
“While working as a retail pricing expert at a Big Four management consultancy, I noticed that retailers were plagued with inefficiencies when seeking pricing services to maximize margins and revenue. I knew there had to be a smarter and faster approach to pricing optimization efforts leveraging data and AI,” explains Alex, who now serves as the company’s CEO.
Since its conception, Competera has garnered over 50 customers from 18 countries, including the US, UK, Germany, France, and Italy. The company also boasts a perfect customer retention record partly because it has optimized about $60 billion in revenue for clients in 20 different sectors, translating into an average 6 and 8% increase in gross margin and revenue, respectively. Moreover, it has achieved this while saving its customers millions in consulting fees. Behind the scenes, Competera has deployed over 930 sub-models trained on over 10 billion transactions and 9 million products.
“We have effectively managed our spend, ensuring each retailer's readiness for AI pricing before investing resources to develop tailored POCs and scale across their business,” explains Alex. “Our singular focus on pricing maturity and delivering clearly defined business outcomes has allowed us over the years to enhance the platform and grow our customer base while maintaining a perfect retention rate. We are now poised for the next phase of organizational growth as we scale to serve our growing portfolio of global brands.”
Competera's success story coincides with the shift that the retail pricing solutions sector is experiencing, going from the dominance of traditional consulting firms such as Deloitte and McKinsey to the rise of agile SaaS companies offering scalable and cost-effective self-serve digital solutions. Gartner recently recognized Competera as a representative vendor of the retail pricing sector while simultaneously declaring that price optimization would be one of the principal use cases for AI in business. To keep on with this trend, Competera plans to use the raised funds to further its AI capabilities, expand its selection of services, and scale its operations to keep up with global demand while prioritizing the US market.