Xseed’s technology and its spin-off “GU Trade” move beyond borders
Innovating in its products and services is Xseed’s recipe to consolidate its growth both locally and abroad. An example of this is “GU Trade”, aimed at the mass consumption and distribution sector, which became an independent company and now advances in its internationalization.
The product, born in 2014 with the support of the ANII (National Research and Innovation Agency), made the jump as a spin-off in 2015 and only a year later was launched abroad.
The solution (web and mobile) is aimed at mass consumption companies and distributors that counts with a team on the ground, for example, merchandisers. Through GU Trade, the team can relieve key information so that companies can make “better decisions at the point of sale,” as said by Marcelo Blanco, CEO and Co-Founder of Xseed and GU Trade. The platform processes information about stock, products expiration dates, Share of Shelf (SoS), Out of Stocks, as well as promotion coverage at the point of sale. It also includes the competition, in aspects such as: product launches, promotions, and price comparisons.
Currently, the firm has about 40 clients (mostly international), including Bimbo, which uses GU Trade in all its operations in Central America, Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador. “This enabled us to make our way into each of those countries markets, so we decided it was time to open and establish a company in Costa Rica. This year, we also opened an office in Peru” Blanco said.
After settling abroad, GU Trade’s goal is to strengthen its expansion first in Colombia, Peru, Argentina and then the Central American region, Panama and Paraguay. Today, 60% of GU Trade’s total billing comes from Costa Rica, the next step is to grow in the rest of the countries to further diversify income origin.
The plan to keep climbing consists of attracting new clients and form alliances with local partners.
Meanwhile, GU Trade already plans to add new functionalities to the tool, such as artificial intelligence and augmented reality to take the next “big step”, Blanco said.
The new technology paradigm, including Internet of Things (IoT), motivated part of the change in Xseed’s focus. From being a software factory that created specific solutions for customers, it evolved to become a “strategic technology partner,” said Andrés Goyén, Chief Operating Officer (COO).
Now, the strategy is to advise companies about the design of technological products based on their experience and knowledge, to then develop them with emphasis on user experience.
At the end of the process, products can be apps, web platforms, bots or IoT developments, technology in which Xseed is preparing its first prototypes.
Due to this turn of focus, the company chose US as a destination to grow abroad. In the first semester and with ANII’s support, part of Xseed’s team traveled to San Francisco to start working with local startups.
“It’s interesting for us because it’s a market where we can help entrepreneurs who typically raise money quickly but have a very short period to make the Minimum Viable Product, so many times they don’t count with the necessary time to constitute a team that know each other, or that has the expertise and speed necessary to reach the result. So, working with a strategic partner such as Xseed, who already went through this process many times, is a fairly optimal solution”, Goyén analyzed.
The bet for the second semester is to open the markets of New York and Chicago. For this, they are seeking agreements with digital advertising agencies, firms that, like Xseed, are focused on “experiences” and product creation. The goal is that, in 2018, part of the billing comes from abroad, Goyén said.