Maddyness – yzr, the algorithm that helps companies make decisions
Sébastien Garcin, co-founder and CEO of Yzr, presents his SaaS platform for data scientists working in the BI (Business Intelligence), marketing or finance teams of companies.
Who are the founders?
I am a designer, self-made digital and data expert. I accompanied large international groups in their digital and data transformation (Nestlé, McDonald’s, Axa…) before joining L’Oréal as marketing and data director in 2017. My partner, Jean-Philippe Poisson, is a graduate of Sciences Po Aix and HEC. He co-founded – and sold in 2016 – Elia Consulting, one of the French leaders in digital transformation consulting.
We had the opportunity to collaborate as client-supplier on data projects and we realized that we shared the same observations about the lack of rationality of business decisions within the management committees, and this while technologies have never been so accessible.
Where did the idea come from? What was the starting point?
In the twenty years I’ve been working on the digital and data transformation of large companies, I’m still surprised by the lack of rational elements that go into the decision-making process. I have always been told that there is a lack of data to really explain the business of these companies and that there are no calculation methods to do so.
However, the data is there and this method exists, it is called statistical modeling. I have applied this methodology to the modeling of growth factors of major brands and… it works! It works, but it’s complicated to implement because of the large volumes of unstructured data that need to be integrated into these models. But it works so well that I left my job at L’Oréal to create Yzr with my partners.
With Yzr, we develop algorithms that automate the statistical modeling of brand growth factors and, in particular, advertising (on and offline), promotion and distribution. At Yzr, we aim to become the ultimate technology for making smarter business decisions.
Can you introduce us to your tool?
Yzr is composed of two applications. The first is a SaaS platform for data scientists working in BI, marketing or finance teams. Thanks to this platform, data scientists will be able to standardize and make reliable large volumes of poorly structured marketing data.
The second is a modeling algorithm. Based on the restructured data, our algorithm performs three tasks: it explains the contribution of each lever to sales growth, it proposes the optimal breakdown of marketing, promotional and sales budgets and it predicts the incremental sales generated by this new mix.
Who are your main competitors in your market today?
We have three categories of competitors. The panelists, the media agencies that essentially model media data, and some strategy and specialty consulting firms.
What is your business model?
We are an “algorithm as a service”. Our tool can be used by subscription. We are currently developing a freemium offer to give free access to some of our functional bricks to the community of data scientists. In fact, we are looking for beta testers!
Any financial news?
We are in the process of closing a seed round of 350,000 euros from business angels and corporates to platform the algorithmic core (which is already functional and has proven itself with the first advertisers). We are already preparing our Series A funding round for the last quarter, which we estimate at around 2 million euros.
What other tools do you use on a daily basis?
We are fans of the Google office suite, which saves significant time collaborating remotely. We use Slack a lot to stay in touch, even though we have a hard time disciplining ourselves to reply in threads!