Ex-Snapcart chief eyes seed round in 2020 for new venture Shoplinks (By Business Times)

TERESA Condicion may have stepped down as chief executive of the Indonesian consumer analytics startup Snapcart, but she is not hanging up her entrepreneurial coat or fund-raising hat.

The 42-year-old plans to raise seed funding around mid-2020 for her new personalised marketing startup, Shoplinks. Ms Condicion announced the formation of Shoplinks in an Oct 1 press statement, while simultaneously revealing her departure from Snapcart effective end-September.

Headquartered in Singapore, Shoplinks will provide secure data sharing, data matching and AI-enabled analytics platforms to brick-and-mortar stores and brands in the retail and consumer packaged goods (CPG) space across South-east Asia.

Shoplinks' aim is to facilitate data sharing and analysis between CPG brands and the region's litany of small offline retail stores, helping both sides design targeted promotions for customers, Ms Condicion said. This could involve analysing a consumer's spending history and coming up with targeted SMS and email promotions, for instance.

"If you go into a retail (store) and there are promotions for everyone, you don't get to know about 90 per cent of what's promoted in the store… You get to know one or two items, but maybe that's not relevant to you. This non-personalised aspect of retail is a very big gap in terms of achieving a high ROI (return on investment)," she explained.

Ms Condicion is now building up her minimum viable product, while hiring engineers and data scientists for Shoplinks. She expects to have a team of about 10 employees in the next few months.

The marketing veteran is all too familiar with the hurdles that prevent small and mid-sized retail chains in emerging markets from trying out personalised marketing. She spent 17 years working at Procter and Gamble, including as its head of South-east Asia consumer and retail analytics. From her experience, she sees the need to plug the information gap between brands and retailers.

"Who funds the promotions? It's the brands. But who has the data? It's the retailers… Typically the brands push promotion money to the retailers to try and drive traffic. What we are trying to do is to make this existing process a win-win-win, for brands, retailers and customers," she said.

While it may sound like Shoplinks is up against Snapcart, both startups tap different datasets, Ms Condicion said. Snapcart collects consumer data by rewarding them with cashback for scanning their receipts.

Shoplinks, on the other hand, plans to tap "dormant" customer data that retail stores collect through loyalty programmes, customer relationship management tools and point-of-sales software. "It's more of a pure B2B (business-to-business) play," she said.

It remains to be seen if both startups will operate in the same markets. Ms Condicion is still mulling her launch market, but tentatively has Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore in her sights. Meanwhile, Snapcart operates in Indonesia, the Philippines and Brazil, with big-name clients including Nestle. It launched its app in Singapore last year, but withdrew from the market this year.

Ms Condicion is one of the four co-founders of Snapcart. The four-year-old startup has raised over US$10 million from investors including Vickers Venture Partners and SPH Ventures. She assumed the CEO post in March this year, previously serving as the startup's chief data officer.

Ms Condicion said that her exit was due to differences over how to take the company forward, but declined to elaborate on specific reasons. Instead, she emphasised her vision to serve smaller businesses, rather than just working with established MNCs.

"Democratising that (data analytics) capability, not just for the large retailers but also the smaller retailers and brands, is what I want to achieve. That requires a lot more innovation and a lot more risk, because it's a very big goal. That is not for everyone," she said.

About Shoplinks

Shoplinks builds precision marketing capability for offline and online FMCG Retail. Shoplinks offers FMCG brands and retailers an intelligent, digital end-to-end marketing platform that simplifies the distribution of personalised coupons. This helps brands optimise their promotions and shoppers to claim great deals both online and offline
""Democratising that (data analytics) capability, not just for the large retailers but also the smaller retailers and brands, is what I want to achieve."

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