French AI marketing emails startup Kiliba has announced a €7 million seed round to expand technical integrations in its product.
Headquartered in the leafy Paris suburb Boulogne-Billancourt, Kiliba's co-founders Amaury de Larauze and Arnaud Becker set out in 2020 to find machine learning algorithms to reliably automate most marketing emails, while also handling ad targeting automatically.
Some 18 months later, the Kiliba team is confident its machine learning can reel through 22 common marketing scenarios, writing styles and vocab which can also be automated in various languages and customised to the client's specific branding.
"Artificial intelligence takes care of everything," said Amaury de Larauze, "digital retailers just have to connect Kiliba with their CMS."
The CMS (content management system) is the biggest task for Kiliba post-seed raise.
Obviously there's no hard, fast rule as to which CMS Kiliba's customers will use (right now, the product is being pitched mainly to e-commerce vendors,) so picking the right CMS platforms and putting software engineers to go with them could be a huge challenge.
Luckily, Kiliba thinks the market for its machine learning product has just about come of age, not least due to the sheer volume of data analysis that now goes into targeting advertising messages, which Becker says leaves "over 80%" of emails unread; e-commerce companies simply don't have the time to do ad targeting properly.
Becker continued: "Kiliba leverages CMS data and artificial intelligence to unlock precise and efficient targeting, tripling the opening rate. And recipients are more attentive and likely to be interested in the message."
Kiliba's certainly not the only startup taking up the AI-to-marketing email offer - on this side of the Atlantic there's Sabracane's Mailify, Pure360 in the UK and the wider automated marketing and customer engagement play at Phrasee, also UK-based.
Right now Kiliba has more than 400 customers using its product but has some bold ambitions going forward. By 2025, it aims to have secured 1% of the European market for machine learning-authored marketing bulletins, rising to 10% by 2032.
Key to this strategy is targeting the right e-retailers. Kiliba says it will tailor its outreach to e-retailers with less than €10 million annual revenue.
Armed with the €7 million funding round, Kiliba also plans to take on more data scientists and sales representatives to underpin CMS development. Three French institutional investors participated: Otium Capital (evergreen firm managing Smartbox founder Pierre Edouard Sterin's assets,) FrenchFounders and Bleu Capital, alongside assorted angels.