South Central Ventures invested 1 million euros in Pixyle AI
Regional investment fund South Central Ventures invested 1 million euros in Macedonian startup Pixyle AI, supporting them on their way to expanding globally.
A seed investment of 1 million euros from South Central Ventures will help the Pixyle AI team to expand and make a mark in the e-commerce fashion industry.
Pixyle AI is an image recognition solution specialized for fashion retailers, enabling them to improve efficiency in catalog management, deliver a better online shopping experience and boost e-commerce sales.
The company was started by Svetlana Kordumova back in 2018. With a desire to use her scientific AI knowledge to improve the online shopping experience, Svetlana worked on an algorithm to help people find precisely the clothes they want.
A year later, Svetlana managed to find the first customers and test her solution in a production environment. Ever since Pixyle AI has processed over 250 million images improving the product attribute accuracy by 95% and increasing overall conversion by 10% on average.
In 2020, Svetlana joined forces with Roland Simon, a former Swiss EP Entrepreneur in Residence from The Netherlands. Roland shared how they met:
As an entrepreneur in residence, I shared my experience in marketing by doing talks, workshops, and mentorships in Skopje. That's how I got in contact with my - now - cofounder, Svetlana. She already had built a great product and an amazing team. I facilitated a workshop that helped her build Pixyle's startup brand. After that workshop, occasional mentoring sessions grew into more regular meetups. At some point, I went from Skopje to Štip once a week to work more closely with the team. This allowed me to dive into Pixyle's business and for Svetlana and me to test if we like working together! In 2020, after two incredible years in North Macedonia, our time as an expat family ended, and we moved back to The Netherlands. Svetlana then offered me to join her as a cofounder, which I happily accepted. Fast forward two years later, and now we're building a great company out of North Macedonia and The Netherlands, transforming how people discover products online!
After much hard work, testing, and failure, Svetlana and Roland knew they needed support to continue developing and expanding their product. So, they started negotiations with South Central Ventures (SCV) for a seed investment. Svetlana explains what the process looked like:
We spent a good six months from the first negotiations to closing. However, I'd been in contact with SCV for years before we even started serious conversations about investing. Businesses are built on relationships, and getting funded is no exception. It's been challenging keeping the day-to-day business running while also investing severe time in building relationships with investors. Fundraising is truly a juggling act. I'm excited that we closed the round now with a fantastic VC fund, and I look forward to further growing our business!
As an investment fund with a long-term regional presence that actively participated in developing the startup ecosystem throughout the Balkans, SC Ventures sees Pixyle AI as the missing link in the e-commerce landscape, as Eli Zhabevska, Principal of SC Ventures Skopje office describes:
We strongly believe that enhanced product attribution data is solving some of the crucial pain points in the e-commerce industry. E-commerce continues to thrive, and more options are available to consumers, placing product discovery as pivotal when the performance of retailers is considered. We've been extremely impressed with Pixyle's ability to enable e-commerce retailers to increase revenue and operational efficiency and provide better service for all shoppers. The company has a remarkable culture, drive, and agile team that has built a product applicable to various verticals, which is already recognized in the market and ready to scale. Pixyle AI is set to become the AI partner of choice for all e-commerce companies, and we are thrilled to support them on their journey.
With the investment secured, the Pixyle AI team has much work ahead of them. Svetlana is excited but aware that they will need to expand their team to achieve everything they want.
We're on a mission to transform how people discover products online by helping retailers build better search with visual AI. In the past years, we've started working with outstanding brands and retailers, including Tandem (Spain), Otrium (Netherlands), and Miinto (Denmark). We can make an even more significant dent in the e-commerce universe and expand globally. Therefore, we're looking for talented people in the region who want to be part of this exciting journey!
We congratulate the Pixyle AI team on this remarkable achievement! We're looking forward to supporting them in their endeavors and future success. Go for it Pixyle AI team!