Melbourne AI Startup

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How a Melbourne-based AI startup took the Australian retail world by storm in just 18 months

Melbourne AI Startup

When asked about Kepler Analytics, a Melbourne AI startup, Godfrey’s CEO was quoted saying If you’re a retailer and you don’t roll out Kepler, you’re ****ing stupid.

“That’s the real reason why Kepler’s customer base has grown to 2,000+ stores in just 18 months since a commercial launch – our customers are fanatical about what we offer” says David Mah, one of the founders of Kepler, to 61-bit.

Melbourne AI startup captures traffic, behaviour and demographic data from multiple in-store sensors to help generate relevant reports and recommendations for different staff in their clients’ businesses, depending on the area-of-operation and hierarchy. Combining this data with other sales and operational data helps the AI look for patterns and trends that humans would otherwise miss.

“One of the biggest challenges we faced was scaling our hardware. We had to figure out how to manufacture thousands of sensors quickly and install them in our clients’ stores around the world,” says David Mah. The good news is that most of the hardware challenges have since been resolved.

Kepler is obsessed about helping brick-and-mortar stores revive their sales in tough trading environments. David Gordon, the CEO  says “We have given much thought and effort to ensure that the presentation of data can provide retailers with daily operational benefits right down to the store manager level. That’s the core of what makes us so unique.”

The start-up has raised $1.6M in seed funding to date and is growing at a blistering rate of 21% month-on-month. We are close to achieving profitability, which is rare for a startup in this phase of growth.

Melbourne AI Startup

The Kepler Team

We see a huge opportunity in growing Kepler overseas and are considering taking on external investors to help bring the business to a whole new level. Advisors and clients, too, have encouraged us to raise more investment to accelerate growth globally. “I think what we’ve built is something really special,” says Tony de Fazio, an executive from the Shaver Shop, “They are capable of growing 10-fold in no time.”

Getting technology through the doors of retailers is typically a mammoth task but two of the co-founders David Mah and David Gordon worked hard to convince some of the largest retailers in the country to test their system in early 2017. The efforts of both co-founders paid off as these retailers stayed on as clients and have successfully achieved additional sales growth due to the system.

They take inspiration from the Chairman of Alibaba Group, Jack Ma, who taught them that “guesswork and subjective assumptions are no longer an option” and “retailers who aren’t data-driven will be swept aside by those who are”.

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How a Melbourne-based AI startup took the Australian retail world by storm in just 18 months
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