Made in Emerging Europe

Czech and Slovak e-commerce software firms come together to form Central European powerhouse

Both Slovakia’s Luigi’s Box and Czechia’s Persoo develop personalised search and product recommendation solutions for e-commerce, fully leveraging the capabilities of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.

The rapidly growing Slovak e-commerce software firm Luigi’s Box announced this week that it had acquired Czech competitor Persoo in a multi-million euros deal that it hopes will solidify its position as a leader in search optimisation in the Czech and Slovak markets.

Founded in 2014, Luigi’s Box, which enhances e-shops with personalised search and product recommendations using artificial intelligence, has been profitable for four years and ranked in Deloitte’s Fast 50 in Central Europe for two consecutive years.

The acquisition of Persoo—also founded in 2014, which will become an integral part of Luigi’s Box, marks a new phase of growth.

“This opportunity came at just the right time in the evolution of Luigi’s Box,” says co-founder and CEO of the Slovak firm, Gejza Nagy.

“We’ve been working on the acquisition with Persoo for several months. We share similar company cultures, product visions, and perspectives on the e-commerce scene and its future development. We’re excited that the Persoo team will become part of ours, gaining more experts in the field, strengthening our position in Europe, and working together on new goals. As for our clients, the transition will be seamless and effortless.”

Synergy in search

Both firms develop personalised search and product recommendation solutions for e-commerce, fully leveraging the capabilities of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.

Last year, for the second consecutive year, Luigi’s Box ranked among the fastest-growing tech companies in Central Europe, while Persoo was featured in the 2023 Technology Fast 50 in Czechia. Luigi’s Box has experienced significant year-over-year growth in recent years, and nows serves over 3,500 e-shops.

Together with Persoo, they will provide services to clients including Alza, Muziker, Koší, pharmacy networks Benu and Dr. Max, and companies like Makro or Mountfield. Integrating Persoo into Luigi’s Box aims to bring new innovations and optimisations to the e-commerce market.

“We have been observing and inspiring each other with Luigi’s Box for several years,” says Pavel Pinkas, co-founder and CEO of Persoo. “The idea of joining forces had come up multiple times over the years, and by the end of last year, we successfully completed the merger.

“A major advantage is that our customers will benefit from the product synergies. I am pleased that Persoo will become part of Luigi’s Box, making us an even stronger player in Europe. I look forward to combining our strengths, expertise, experiences, and ideas.”

Investor support

Optimising search with AI and machine learning is crucial for e-shops. On average, sales made through these functions represent a quarter of total turnover, and in some segments, more than half.

With proper setup, according to Luigi’s Box’s experience, only one to five per cent of search results end up being unsuccessful.

In contrast, for most websites that do not address optimisation, this figure averages 10 to 20 per cent, and in some cases, even up to 40 per cent. Persoo’s solution has increased the search conversion rate for companies by an average of 10 to 15 per cent, previously supported by investments from Presto Ventures and Lighthouse Ventures.

“We supported Persoo in 2019,” says Roman Nováček, partner at Presto Ventures. “Since then, the company has undergone many changes and developments, propelling it forward both in terms of product and through its successful initiation of international expansion. We are glad to have been a part of this growth and believe that together with Luigi’s Box, they will continue to thrive in Europe.”

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