Why We Invested: Yalo
The adoption of AI for automation is sweeping across industries and geographies. Companies are eager to automate business processes to enhance productivity, reduce costs, and elevate customer experience. Within this landscape, sales, marketing, and the entire customer journey has garnered significant interest for leveraging AI automation to transform the way businesses interact with clients.
In Latin America and Emerging Markets, the mass adoption of messaging apps like WhatsApp creates a vast opportunity for firms to not only automate processes but bring them to where customers already are. Yalo, an AI-driven conversational commerce platform, capitalizes on this potential, acting as a digital bridge between companies and clients, transforming the way businesses engage with their customers through multiple interfaces, including WhatsApp.
While digitalization has been on the agenda for many enterprises, their efforts often face challenges in customer adoption. Consumers are hesitant to adopt multiple specialized apps, leading to limitations in the effectiveness of these initiatives.
However, Yalo overcomes this challenge by leveraging the already widespread usage of WhatsApp in the world. With over 2.2 billion unique mobile users in the world, tapping into this existing platform becomes a key success factor for solutions like Yalo. In addition, Yalo uses AI to recreate the offline relationship between companies and their clients, enabling them to engage more effectively and achieve better business results and enhanced customer experiences.
Yalo offers a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution in conversational AI, providing critical workflow automation with marketing and commerce applications for businesses across various verticals. Their platform is able to intelligently engage and manage any workflow that the customer might need.
Recently, Yalo introduced new generative AI capabilities to its foundation intelligence offering, including an AI-powered sales assistant that creates personalized shopping carts based on customer preferences and past purchases, as well as a more general advisor that can be trained on any customer data or manuals. The advisor can train employees, provide insights into data trends, and give customers personalized advice.
Yalo has also continued to streamline shopping through personalized and simple conversations in any interface, offering tailored product recommendations and the ability for customers to buy in just one chat. These innovations aim to enhance customer relationships, increase sales, and help enterprise companies scale their businesses while delivering a seamless shopping experience.
Yalo’s competitive advantage lies in its ability to provide a comprehensive AI-driven platform that effectively manages the entire customer journey. Instead of multiple, disaggregated point solutions applications that are not able to personalize, Yalo leverages the data that exists within each interaction to offer a contextual and personalized experience throughout the journey.
Yalo's team comprises seasoned professionals with extensive experience in the technology sector. Yalo's Founder and CEO, Javier Mata, is a seasoned entrepreneur with a strong background in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Before Yalo, he provided technology solutions to food and beverage companies in emerging markets. He was also the CEO of Rentudo, a NYC-based startup. Phil Sebok, Chief Revenue Officer (CRO), brings two decades of experience of high growth, SaaS sales environments to Yalo, including over a decade working with Salesforce as head of Commerce Cloud LATAM and previously, General Manager of Vlocity in Latin America, a cloud CRM provider that was sold to Salesforce for over $1.3 Billion. John Stockton leads the Product teams at Yalo, having over two decades of experience from various Senior Product Leadership positions, most recently leading Product at Magento Commerce and at Adobe. Santhana Parthasarathy is Yalo’s Head of Engineering. Santhana is an experienced leader with previous experience from Salesforce, Hello Sign (Dropbox company) and most recently, Active Campaigns. Their collective expertise and drive has contributed to Yalo's impressive growth.
Investing in Yalo aligns strategically with FEMSA Ventures' vision of accelerating digital transformation efforts within our business units and leveraging technology to make informed decisions, automate processes, and improve internal workflows. Yalo's conversational technology has already shown significant impact potential in accelerating digital transformation in various areas.
One example is Coca-Cola FEMSA’s partnership with Yalo in 2019 that achieved rapid success in building a billion-dollar conversational commerce business within a year, on top of Yalo. By leveraging WhatsApp and AI technology, Coca-Cola FEMSA reached and sold products to over 1.6 million stores, enhancing productivity and data intelligence. Coca-Cola FEMSA’s continued focus on creating deep and long-lasting relationships with store owners was optimized, and more importantly preserved, with Yalo’s partnership by maintaining real conversations through their main communication channel.
At FEMSA Ventures, we are excited about joining forces with Yalo to revolutionize the future of commerce and customer engagement in Latin America and beyond!