Interview With Vania Rivero, CEO Of Price Lab

Vania Rivero’s company is reshaping the retail landscape in Latin America. Prior to founding Price Lab, she experienced firsthand the chronic challenge of managing paper prices on shelves and the consequent operational inefficiencies. In this interview, Vania reveals how Price Lab’s digital tags and real-time updates tackle the pricing predicament, underscores the pivotal role of software and data insights in their value proposition, shares the impact of the 500 Startups program on their journey, and unveils their strategic plans for expanding across Latin America.

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Vania Rivero

Tribu (T): Vania, can you tell us a bit about your background and how it led you to start Price Lab?

Vania (V): With a background of 6 years as a product manager, split between a department store and The North Face in Peru, I was consistently immersed in the operational intricacies of the retail landscape. From day one, I recognized a recurring issue, one that I myself encountered daily and was able to quantify. Then, during the pandemic, I chanced upon a similar solution in Europe. This discovery became the catalyst to launch Price Lab. However, I took the foundational concept and pivoted the business model and digital architecture, tailoring it to address the specific market needs in LatAm.

(T): How did you come across the problem of paper prices on shelves and decide to address it with digital tags and real-time updates?

(V): During my time working in the retail industry’s commercial sector, I found myself in constant coordination with store managers, requiring manual price adjustments on shelves and promotional signs. This dependency on their availability resulted in rampant price discrepancies and untimely promotions. Consequently, sales were lost, and my daily operations were plagued by inefficiencies. The pandemic acted as a catalyst for embracing digital innovation, fostering collaborations with major corporations to uncover streamlined processes. This crucial moment marked the launch of Price Lab, driven by a vision to revolutionize retail through digitization.

Vania Rivero, Price Lab

(T): What has been the reaction from the market so far regarding your innovative solution? Have retailers been receptive to adopting your technology?

(V): The market response to our innovative solution has been highly encouraging, as retailers seek agility and omnichannel pricing capabilities. Collaborating with clients including Claro, Repsol, Ketal Supermarkets, Oregon Foods, and more, we’ve witnessed a strong resonance. Evidently, pricing stands out as a paramount determinant influencing customer purchasing decisions, further motivating retailers to embrace innovation and digitization for their physical stores.

(T): Could you explain where you see the primary value of your product? Is it more in the hardware aspect of the digital tags or in the software and data insights you provide to retailers?

(V): Our primary value lies in the software and data insights we provide to retailers. Unlike our competitors who emphasize high-margin hardware sales, our focus is on a digital architecture that enhances our value proposition. In one month, we’re launching our AI-powered solution for dynamic price management, enabling clients to achieve greater pricing accuracy and quicker sales objectives while optimizing margins and reducing inventory levels. This innovative offering will significantly expand our market reach, allowing clients to harness the software’s benefits without the need for additional hardware.

(T): How has your experience in the 500 Startups program influenced the growth and development of Price Lab?

(V): My participation in the Somos Lucha program of 500 LatAm, alongside Price Lab, was an incredibly transformative journey. Within this experience, I discovered not only a talented team but also newfound friends and mentors who consistently challenged and supported my growth. The environment fostered through this program emphasized the significance of persistence, discipline, and resilience as key factors in achieving our objectives, profoundly influencing Price Lab’s growth and development.

(T): What are your future plans for expanding Price Lab’s presence in Latin America? Are there specific countries or markets you are targeting?

(V): Our future plans involve expanding Price Lab’s presence throughout Latin America, with ongoing expansion into Chile and plans to launch operations in Mexico next year. Our focus remains on strategic growth, aiming to establish our footprint in key markets across the region, building upon our current presence in Peru and Bolivia.

Price Lab’s electronic price tags, powered by software for quick response times and commercial insights

(T): Could you tell us about your team and the expertise they bring to Price Lab? How have they contributed to the success of the company so far?

(V): Our team comprises industry leaders who have been instrumental in Price Lab’s success. As founder and CEO, I bring expertise in retail and pricing strategy, as well as entrepreneurship, being a second-time founder. Kevin Sono, our CTO and a second-time founder as well, translates my vision into reality with his proficiency in full-stack development, honed through his previous ed-tech venture. Our combined experience has been a driving force in shaping our company’s accomplishments.

(T): How do you leverage artificial intelligence and data in your solution to provide valuable insights to retailers? Can you give us some examples of the benefits your technology offers?

(V): We harness artificial intelligence and data by analyzing retailer data and using specific business criteria and rules to offer optimal pricing recommendations for each product, aligned with their sales and margin goals. These personalized recommendations cater to store, category, and product objectives. This new AI “add-on” in the Price Lab platform seamlessly integrates with our existing technology, providing real-time communication of the recommended prices to digital tags, enhancing the retailer’s pricing strategy and allowing for dynamic adjustments in line with market conditions.

(T): Are there any specific industries or types of retailers that you believe could benefit the most from adopting Price Lab’s pricing optimization solution?

(V): While originally focused on physical retailers selling everything except clothing, Price Lab’s pricing optimization solution (AI), extends its benefits to encompass e-commerce as well.

(T): Lastly, as you are currently raising your pre-seed round, what are your immediate and long-term goals for Price Lab’s growth and development?

(V): Expand our presence throughout Latin America and focus on developing the best AI engine for pricing in the market.

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Vania Rivero


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