Meet CODE_n finalist Avansera Oy

03/31/2014  |  CODE_n Alumni, CODE_n14 Startup CONTEST, Entrepreneurship

“Can you see the future? It is in your hands.” That is how Avansera Oy presents itself. The Finnish startup, that combines historic behavioral data with calculated future intent, can predict what consumers will buy.

Cormac Walsh, CEO and Founder of Avansera Oy, talks in today’s interview about how Big Data can benefit the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods companies and retailers. As one of the Top 50 finalists, he also tells us his experience at CODE_n’s hall during the CeBIT.

Cormac Walsh

Cormac Walsh is the CEO of Avansera Oy

Why create a startup like Avansera Oy?

There is a strong need from the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) industry to see what shoppers are doing in the physical world; this is the core of the need for our customers. To provide the necessary context, let us look at the current market analysis business. Consumer behavioral data is collected through online activity related to online activity, or through questionnaires and focus groups. These approaches are limited in terms of reach and accuracy. Online data collection related to online behavior misses the behavior in the physical world, whereas traditional questionnaires and focus grouping have low accuracy and are very expensive (non-scalable).

In Avansera Oy, we deal with both of these issues. By providing accurate and scalable consumer digital services specifically relevant to the physical world, we can offer a high-value service at a lower price point than the traditional competition.

In an average week in the EU, there are over 600,000,000 grocery trips, not much of this physical data is currently being collected. At Avansera Oy, we want to collect as much of it as we can, and use it to benefit industry and society.

What are the unique offerings that set Avansera Oy apart from its competitors?

We see the actual behavior of consumers in the physical world, and we see what consumers are going to do in the near future. With this data, we produce the best available descriptive analysis of the FMCG industry. In addition to this, we apply our predictive techniques to allow modelling of sales strategies for our customers.

Fast-Moving Consumer Goods are retail products that are sold quickly, like soft drinks and grocery items. How can Big Data affect this industry in the small and medium-term?

We see that Big Data can produce monetary, social, and environmental benefits related to the FMCG industry.

Monetary benefits can be enjoyed by retailers, producers, and consumers, through the increased relevance of offers and supply chain streamlining.

Social benefits can be enjoyed by consumers, as they can get far better value for their available grocery budget; for example, we can optimize a shopper’s shopping list and home inventory to better plan a week’s recipes, saving considerable amounts of money.

Environmental benefits are realized through the reduction of FMCG waste. It is estimated that in the EU alone we waste 90 M tons of food every year. Some of this waste can be removed through better supply chain planning and better distribution of consumer offers to relevant consumers. This is a major and pressing benefit of Big Data.

What would be the benefits for the consumers?

Consumers can enjoy better value (saving serious money) and choice! Just look at our consumer Apps!

What are your expectations for the future of Avansera Oy?

I see that we are in a position to not only take a major share in a growing market, but to also create a new market for companies that have typically been unable to afford consumer market research.

What were your impressions about CODE_n ? 

CODE_n was a fantastic opportunity for Avansera Oy to get our message out, and to meet similar companies in this space.