Why We Invested: Celes

may. 16 - 2024
Why We Invested: Celes

The Problem with Traditional Inventory Management

In the dynamic landscape of retail and consumer packaged goods (CPG), effective inventory management is key for achieving success. Retailers often struggle with outdated systems like Excel spreadsheets and manual processes, leading to inefficiencies in forecasting, ordering, and inventory control. This antiquated approach hampers decision-making and results in unnecessary costs and lost revenue due to inventory imbalances.  

Today, retailers constantly struggle to maintain optimal inventory levels, and for most of them this problem translates to:

  • 5% - 18% in lost sales for stockouts
  • 20% - 30% trapped cash for overstock
  • 3% – 9% lost gross profits for deficient promotions

On the other hand, the retail intelligence, inventory management and AI & analytics market exceeds $100 billion, as it serves both retailers and brands.

Empowering Businesses with Data-Driven Insights: Celes Solution

Celes is a leading B2B SaaS enterprise solution that leverages AI to help retailers plan, simplify and optimize their purchasing, distribution, and promotion operations. They are doing this with demand planning, inventory optimization and pricing strategies. With Celes, businesses can mitigate the risks of overstocking and stockouts, ultimately boosting profitability and operational efficiency.

Celes integrates seamlessly with retailers' existing ERPs and ePOS, and leverages AI to provide optimal replenishment recommendations and actionable insights. By analyzing real-time data and customer behavior, Celes enables accurate demand predictions, minimizing the risks associated with inventory mismanagement. With a diverse client base including retailers and CPGs or manufacturers, Celes has demonstrated its scalability and effectiveness in transforming inventory management practices.

The Power Behind Celes: Meet the Founding Team 

Celes is led by a visionary team with over 45 years of combined experience in finance, operations, and tech:

Luis Almanza, the CEO, has a career primarily focused on financial positions, including work as a stockbroker, financial consultant (with a focus on the retail industry), investment banker, and CFO for mid to large companies in Colombia. Luis Miguel Ballestas, the COO, co-founded Come Ya in 2014, a food delivery app in Colombia, and served as its COO until its acquisition by iFood in 2016. Following the acquisition, he became the Country Manager for iFood in Colombia, leading successful operations expansion from three cities to national coverage. David Florian, the CTO, brings over 16 years of experience specializing in data management for notable Colombian enterprises such as Ecopetrol, Nutresa, and Bancolombia.

Celes & FEMSA’s Strategic Synergy 

As our expansion strategy advances across all Business Units in FEMSA, our operations are inevitably growing and becoming more complex. Technology plays an important role as a facilitator, enabling our processes to become more efficient and empowering teams to make smarter decisions. Both Supply Chain and Commercial teams across our businesses are actively seeking solutions that integrate artificial intelligence to optimize their decision-making process without compromising the financial side. These solutions should allow them to analyze a broader range of variables when making supply and pricing decisions, ultimately enhancing our ability to anticipate and respond to market demand with agility and precision.

With Celes, FEMSA can ultimately increase efficiency, which in other words means having the right products at the right time and place, allowing them to sell more while reducing inventory levels.  Also, Celes’ model is constantly evolving with data, offering guaranteed improvements over traditional approaches and its intuitive interface facilitates agile and efficient decision making.

We are excited to support Celes on its journey to redefine inventory management, empower businesses, and drive value across the retail and CPG sectors.