Colombia’s Celes Closes USD 3 Million Seed Round for AI-Driven Inventory Management Platform

Celes, a Colombian startup specializing in AI-based inventory and promotions management for retailers, has successfully raised $3 million in seed funding. This financing round was led by Femsa Ventures, the venture capital arm of Mexican conglomerate Femsa, which operates in the beverage, retail, logistics, and distribution sectors across Latin America and Europe.

The investment round also saw participation from MatterScale Ventures, Rockstart (Batch 6), Primeline Group (an Irish corporation), Wayra Hispam, Kuiper VC, NOA Capital, and Storm Capital. Additionally, individual investors like Santiago Gómez, co-founder of Simetrik, Fabián Carrillo, co-founder of Cluvi, Leonardo Borrero, and Felipe Santamaría, co-founder of Rockstart, contributed to the funding.

Founded in 2019 by Luis Almanza, Luis Miguel Ballestas Ayala, and David Florián, Celes initially focused on data analytics consulting for large companies and has since evolved into a SaaS solution provider. Headquartered in Barranquilla, the company aims to use the new funds to enhance user experience and bolster its expansion strategy across Latin America, with a particular focus on strengthening its presence in Mexico.

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Luis Almanza, co-founder and CEO of Celes, remarked on the significance of Femsa Ventures’ investment, highlighting its role in advancing the digital transformation of the Latin American retail sector. “This investment not only validates our approach and solutions but also accelerates our mission to bridge the technology gap in the region, providing our clients with a competitive advantage,” Almanza stated.

Celes leverages artificial intelligence and predictive analytics to optimize inventory and restocking processes for retail stores. The company’s AI capabilities are designed to address the digitalization challenges faced by many Latin American businesses, enabling them to compete more effectively on a global scale. Part of Celes’ mission is to assist mid-sized retailers, aiming to become a comprehensive “operating system” for retail data management. The company seeks to optimize inventories, improve pricing strategies, and enhance customer loyalty for retailers in the region.

To achieve these goals, Celes plans to expand its sales team across various segments such as pharmacies, hardware stores, supermarkets, and clothing stores. Additionally, the company intends to invest in developing new functionalities and marketing strategies to increase its market presence. One of the planned innovations includes the Celes Bot, an AI tool that will facilitate retailer interactions with the software via WhatsApp by answering queries related to retail data.

Femsa Ventures expressed confidence in Celes’ potential, citing the startup’s alignment with its investment objectives. “Celes offers a promising solution for the inefficiencies faced by the retail supply chain. With a dedicated founding team exhibiting ambition, passion, and discipline, Celes aligns well with Femsa Ventures’ goals,” the company stated.

Celes has expanded its customer base across Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Guatemala, Argentina, and Ireland, and is currently making inroads into the Mexican market. Felipe Santamaría, co-founder and CEO of Rockstart, praised Celes’ progress, stating, “Celes is composed of a great team that has managed to create a complete and solid product, validated by national and international clients, and highly scalable.”


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