Global platform Cosmose AI has partnered with the Near Foundation, the Swiss non-profit supporting the governance and development of the NEAR protocol, announcing a strategic investment from the foundation and valuing the company at $500 million.
Founded in 2014, Cosmose AI is a company that uses AI analytics to track in-store foot traffic, predict how people shop offline, and engage with shoppers online. By gathering insights from smartphones, it helps understand people’s offline shopping habits and “drive footfall across 20 million venues in Asia,” said the announcement.
Comose works with major companies, such as LVMH, Richemont, L’Oréal, and Estée Lauder. “It also offers AI-driven recommendations to its users encouraging them to shop in nearby stores saving time, money, and the environment,” it added.
The amount invested in Cosmose was not disclosed but it raised the company’s valuation to $500 million, up from $100 million when it closed its $15 million Series A in 2020, which was led by Tiga Investments, OTB Ventures, and TDJ Pitango.
The company said that,
“With this new investment, Cosmose is set to apply Web3 principles and further advance the AI-driven retail ecosystem. […] Cosmose will continue to innovate within the Web3 ecosystem to create seamless experience for shoppers and increase sales for retailers.”
Processing Online Payments (Without Blockchain) is ‘Absolutely Crazy’
The partners are building a payment system that allows users to shop with crypto at low transaction fees, thus saving money for buyers and sellers alike, TechCrunch reported.
“I’m not sure if you know how expensive and slow it is to process online payments. It’s absolutely crazy,” Miron Mironiuk, Founder and CEO of Cosmose AI, told the news outlet. It includes additional fees paid by the customer and charged by intermediaries.
Blockchain is a solution to these problems. Near is meant to make online payments faster and cheaper for consumers and vendors served by Cosmose.
Cosmose said it would leverage the power of Web3 to ensure that users maintain complete control over their data and benefit from the ecosystem that they help create, therefore ensuring “the highest level of privacy for users.”
Two of the company’s products, Cosmose Media and KaiKai, will “advance Web3-driven innovations” through this partnership.
KaiKai, an app that allows users to find products close to them and pay through the app, is leveraging NEAR Protocol. It created its crypto, Kai-Ching, to be used for payments, cash-back, and rewards.
Per the Cosmose CEO, for certain products, KaiKai lowers annual transaction costs 50 times compared to PayPal or Stripe.
“Imagine how much you could save if all payments are moved to blockchain,” Mironiuk said.
He added that more than 50% of the KaiKai app’s users are Gen-Z, who are “super comfortable” with using crypto because they know they “own it,” Cryptodaily reported.
According to the announcement, the company has been building on Near since 2022. “Together we’ll build a future where one billion users benefit from the ecosystem they’re part of, with complete control of their data and superior AI-driven personalization,” Mironiuk said.
Marieke Flament, CEO of the Near Foundation, added that,
“The company has already been building on NEAR testnet for some time and with this additional support, Cosmose will have many more opportunities to grow and expand their offerings with Web3 in a way that is sustainable, transparent and infinitely scalable.”
Near and Cosmose are also reportedly working on a system that enables users to see how they are being tracked, including location data and time spent in a store.
Meanwhile, Cosmose said it expanded its product offerings and geographical footprint since the 2020 fundraise, making the platform available to customers in mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, and Southeast Asia.
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