Product sampling is one of the most popular tools used by marketers to acquire customers and test their products. It helps brands give users a taste and feel of the product by providing free samples. The problem, however, with product sampling is that even today, brands have to rely on offline channels to do it (for example: setting up a stall for a new beverage product in a hyper store) which means they cannot target a specific audience and have no way to measure the outcome.
Quantum, a Jeddah-based marketing startup is solving these problems with its online platform that enables brands to acquire new customers using digital sampling and different other tools. It has today announced closing of its seed round with $2.6 million from Tech Invest Com and Vision Ventures, who co-led the round. 500 Startups and a few angel investors also participated in the investment.
It was founded by Omar Malaikah who started the company in 2018 after realizing that the marketers don’t have enough online tools to launch and grow brands. To help brands reach a targeted audience, Omar started a pilot by dropping samples of products from Unilever and Proctor & Gamble to targeted customers of ecommerce platforms like Nana, Zada Fresh, Wssel, and Careem, and the results were ‘remarkable’.
Quantum quickly evolved into a data-powered marketplace for brands to acquire new customers using services like targeted sampling and ecommerce media buying. The Saudi startup offers these services by partnering with ecommerce websites and apps with large traffic, focus groups, and live events. According to its website, it currently offers over 100 channels, including Careem, Mumzworld, Nana, and Al Nahdi, to help brands reach their target audience.
Omar Malaikah, CEO of Quantum, commenting on the investment, said, “We are privileged to have leading investors who understand our business model and back our vision. During Covid-19, we worked closely with our clients and helped them continue their marketing activities by taking advantage of Quantum’s technology to further grow their business. Our strategy is to continuously deepen our capabilities and provide a seamless digital process to create proven product trials that utilize consumer-behavior analysis. Marketers can take real-time decisions to optimize their campaigns, reduce costs, and scale their business to the next level.”
How the platform works is that brands are matched with a specific target audience across Quantum’s partners after they create a brief, sharing their objectives and the audience they want to reach. Once approved, the campaign begins with Quantum handling the logistics and distribution (in case there are samples), and offering real-time reports and insights.
Quantum has delivered over 6 million targeted samples to date for local and international brands including Nestle, Pepsico, Mondelez, Kimberly-Clark, Goody, Savola, Sadafco, and many others. It is currently operating in 12 cities across Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, and has plans to expand to UAE and Egypt, by using the new funds. The capital will also be used to help Quantum further improve its proprietary technology and grow the team.
Tameem Alghunaim, the COO of Quantum, said, “By synergizing marketing, supply chain, and data analytics, our algorithm optimizes brands’ reach to deliver the right marketing material to their target audience across the MENA region. We have recently signed exclusive deals with leading ecommerce companies in the region and have a healthy pipeline of clients and partners.”
Hashim AlAwadi, CEO of Tech Invest Com said, “Quantum’s technology segments and builds accurate consumer profiles based on demographics, interests, shopping habits, etc. This enables targeted sampling based on the brand’s consumer persona over several distribution channels in a single campaign. Real-time performance data, leading to increased efficiencies and ROI, brings value to brand owners and ecommerce partners, as well as end consumers.”
Kais Al Essa, Founding Partner and CEO of Vision Ventures said: “Quantum bridges a critical gap in the region by digitizing the offline marketing activities with real-time metrics and numbers. It has never been done before. The value Quantum brings to brands is second to none and we anticipate its abilities will only increase with the use of big data and analytics down the road.”