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With investments of over three million euros in the launch of the new all-in-one automated marketing platform, entrepreneur Rareș Bănescu takes Retargeting Biz to the next level, also focusing on expanding to countries outside Europe.
“You have to invest continuously in technology,” says Rareș Bănescu, chief executive officer (CEO) and founder of Retargeting Biz, which already operates in four European markets in regions with high development potential for online commerce. After constantly innovating in recent years, the entrepreneur is now preparing for a new stage, focused, among other things, on expanding the customer segment to large online retailers and expanding not only in Europe. But what is at stake behind this strategy, which comes with an investment of about three million euros?
And what’s new? In mid-September, the Romanian application Retargeting Biz announced the launch of a new all-in-one automated marketing platform, dedicated to online stores and their customers. “What we did was follow the market trends. The current product meets virtually all the needs of an online store, both small and medium-sized, as well as large and very large. We will continue to invest in the development of the application, both in the constant updating of current services and in the addition of new services for online stores “, says the entrepreneur about this product.
The evolution of Rareș Bănescu’s company so far has been closely linked to that of online commerce, one of the areas with significant pandemic increases. According to the estimates of the main players quoted in a GPeC study, e-commerce is expected to exceed € 6.5 billion by the end of this year, one billion euros more than in 2020.
In retrospect, the businessman says that “it was a good time”, both by increasing the value of current customers’ accounts and by bringing new customers online, who until the pandemic were loyal only to offline commerce. “The pandemic did not frighten us, but on the contrary, we continued to prepare for the launch of the new version of our platform. At the same time, we will expand. We are already present in Hungary, Bulgaria and Greece, where we have local teams and a customer base. Being a SaaS (software as a service, no.) And already having the platform translated into several languages, the international expansion is a direction that we follow and in which we invest “, points out the entrepreneur.
Specifically, it is of interest to both European countries such as Italy and Spain, as well as countries outside the Old Continent, with great potential for online commerce. According to him, the investment in a new market differs depending on its maturity, but also on the expansion model it opts for, with the local team or by coordinating the activity from a distance. That is, from tens of thousands of euros to several hundred thousand.
At the same time, the company aims to attract a larger number of customers. “During this year, we have a portfolio of 700-1,000 customers, most of which are already in the new platform. In the next period we will come with an upgrade for the ads area (Facebook, Instagram and Google), with a feedback module and NPS (net promoter score, nr) very useful for online stores in relation to their end customers. These two developments are already underway and we estimate their launch in the coming months “, says Alina Mitrică, commercial director of Retargeting Biz.
In terms of turnover, Bănescu relies on a volume of approximately 12-13 million lei (2.5-2.7 million euros) this year, up from 10 million lei in 2020 (over two million euros ). At present, foreign markets account for about 35-40% of total turnover, with higher values for the market in Greece, where the government has financed the digitalization of business and the opening of offline to online trade. “It is true that the pandemic has favored online commerce, but the growing trend has existed anyway and will continue. We still have a long way to go before the market matures in the United States or in Western Europe. Romania is far from a mature market for e-commerce, so there is a lot of potential. We encounter the same situation in Greece, Bulgaria and Hungary “, says Alina Mitrică.
Regarding the advantages of online stores that implement the Retargeting Biz solution, they are the automation and personalization of marketing campaigns, the management of the main marketing channels from a single platform, but also the efficiency of the human and financial resources used.
For most e-commerce platforms there is already integration, so activating the online store is quick, in a few clicks. For the other platforms or sites, the technical and customer support team from Retargeting Biz of course comes with several solutions.
“Being a very complex platform, the process took two and a half years, and several teams worked on its realization, both internal and outsourced. In numbers, an average of 15 software engineers worked on the platform at the same time, in addition to the resources of business intelligence, testing, design, UX / UI (user experience and user interface, no.), Project management and content “, details Banescu.
Currently, the Retargeting Biz team consists of over 50 people, of which 35 are in Romania, and the rest – in foreign markets where the company operates.
Rareș Bănescu started the Retargeting Biz business in 2012 (at a time when online stores had also started to grow rapidly), but another year passed before the actual implementation of the software solution. After another year of presence on the market, he managed to attract a first investor – the businessman Mugur Frunzetti, the founder of Floria.ro, who invested 500,000 euros for the development of the platform, thus becoming a shareholder with a 30% stake. Meanwhile, Frunzetti sold his shares, Rareș Bănescu being the majority shareholder in the current shareholding structure.
In another dialogue with ., Rareș Bănescu said that this business materialized following a personal need from the time when he himself worked in e-commerce and wanted to communicate personally with each user, depending on his actions. From the very beginning, the software solution promoted by Retargeting Biz has been listed as innovative in the e-commerce market in Romania and in the region, being an automated marketing platform designed to help online stores attract new traffic and improve their performance. in terms of sales.
The entrepreneur has even received offers to sell the company and says that when he considers this move opportune and advantageous, he will probably do it. “But we don’t sell cheap, because we know how much we value.”
This article appeared in issue 125 of . magazine