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How EFSI benefits SMEs in Europe - Innovation Nest case study: Antavo


“We’ve been through a lot, from changing countries to working day in and day out in our living room,” says Zsuzsa Kecsmar, Chief Marketing Officer and co-founder of Antavo. “We ran a website development company before Antavo. With time, we shifted to marketing software which allowed us to have a longer-term relationship with our clients, which is something we really preferred. Initially we focused on software specialized in attracting new customers through marketing, but today we work on customer retention, producing marketing software to help retailers and fashion brands build loyalty schemes.”

Working through marketing agencies, Antavo’s software has helped more than 30,000 businesses across 5 continents, including big names like ToysRUs, LUISAVIAROMA and Björn Borg.

“Customer loyalty programmes have existed for hundreds of years, but they’ve always been limited mainly to the transaction. We go beyond that to engage with the customer also when they’re not buying the product – like for example if they go running, building association between certain activities like running or doing sport and a given brand. This links the product with the customer’s lifestyle beyond the transaction and strengthens brand loyalty. Data is obviously key, the driving factor behind the most successful, most personalized loyalty schemes. We’ve seen excellent results, like an 8% increase in sales for some client.”

In early 2018, Antavo attracted an important investment from Innovation Nest, a venture capital firm supported by the EIF under the EU’s Investment Plan for Europe. “They came in to take us from the pre-seed stage to the point where we were attracting serious investors, helping us grow the company, offering market insight and really speaking our language. It’s definitely what we would call ‘smart money’. As a result, we grew our client base and have been working on developing, testing and validating new sales strategies, doubling our staff in the process.”

Having made great progress on both the content of their services and their sales machine, in 2019, Antavo intend to grow the retail sector side of the business, alongside fashion. “Is everything now working optimally? No, I would never say that,” Zsuzsa adds. “The minute you solve one problem, another one comes up. But even if we’re in uncharted territory and it often feels like a rollercoaster, we believe in our team a lot. Things take their time, but nothing can crack us. We can change direction, we can adapt and we can find solutions to keep moving forward.”

Company: Antavo Loyalty Management Platform

Type of business: ICT

EIF financing: InnovFin Equity, EFSI

Financial intermediary: Innovation Nest

For further information about EIF intermediaries in Hungary, please refer to: http://www.eif.org/what_we_do/where/hu


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