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Interview Rencontre

Mary-Queenie Adam : “Trends by Luckydodo is not merely participating in the market; it is actively shaping it”


Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC)-based start-up focussing on ai-backed business intelligence saas platform, luckydodo, is making its way on the international scene by marking its presence in mena and african regions. The co-founders, Mary-Queenie Adam and Stephane Adam, have used their thorough knowledge on banking and data analytics to offer businesses a fresh understanding of market trends.

Can you give an overview of the creation of the platform Trends by LuckyDodo and the inspiration behind its inception?

Trends by LuckyDodo was founded on the realization that the current market research methodologies were not keeping pace with the dynamic and fast-evolving consumer behaviours, especially in the Middle East & Africa. We recognized a significant gap in real-time, hyperlocal business intelligence that could empower brands to not just understand their consumers and competitors but also to anticipate market trends. The inspiration was to create a platform that leverages AI to harness nearly live data, offering brands granular insights into their consumer bases in any market.

The platform successfully closed its pre-seed funding round with a $1 million investment. Can you describe the fundraising journey to achieve this milestone and the challenges you faced?

Raising our $1 million pre-seed investment was a remarkable chapter in our start-up’s story. The journey was intense, involving a series of strategic pitches to discerning angel investors and family offices across Mauritius and Africa, where we had to cut through the noise and prove the indispensable value of our real-time business intelligence platform.

The crux of the challenge lay in dispelling misconceptions about volatility and the under-documented nature of emerging markets. These markets are often overlooked, yet they brim with untapped potential. Our task was to convince investors to see what we see: a future where these markets are harnessed through the kind of granular, hyper-local data that Trends by LuckyDodo provides.

What turned the tide was not just our relentless drive but the undeniable expertise of our founding team. With our deep roots in banking and data analytics, combined with Sheen Gurrib’s illustrious academic background from Oxford and Cambridge, we brought a blend of practical insight and theoretical excellence to the table. Our Head of AI, a former visiting researcher from Stanford, and a CTO with an Emirates consulting pedigree added further to our narrative of credibility and future-forward thinking.

Our success is a testament to the strength of our product, the trust in our team’s acumen, and our unwavering commitment to transforming the landscape of business intelligence.

How has this recent funding round impacted the strategic direction and goals of your company, particularly in the context of expanding to MENA and Africa?

The infusion of $1 million in pre-seed funding has been a pivotal point for Trends by LuckyDodo, particularly shaping our strategic thrust into the MENA and African regions. This capital boost is more than just an influx of resources—it’s an endorsement of our vision to reshape how businesses understand and interact with emerging markets.

The funding is enabling us to scale up our operations robustly, enhance our Aidriven insights, and build a more resilient data analytics framework that’s critical forbreal-time market intelligence. It’s propelling us into bustling markets such as Dubai and Kenya, where we’re not just entering but adapting our services to meet the distinctive needs and unlock the potentials of these vibrant economies.

Moreover, the impact of this funding extends beyond infrastructure—it’s about people and partnerships. We’re rapidly increasing our market presence in sub- Saharan Africa with the backing of global powerhouses like Uber, McDonald’s, and Shell, who recognize the potency of our platform. We’re also excited to announce that an ex-Uber Manager with extensive experience in East Africa is joining our ranks, bringing invaluable expertise that will further solidify our expansion efforts and our commitment to these markets. Through these strategic moves, Trends by LuckyDodo is not just entering new markets—we’re setting a new standard for business intelligence where it’s most needed.

As you are a DIFC-based start-up also expanding to Africa, do you see a real interest from foreigners to harness the potential of the African market?

Absolutely; there’s a burgeoning interest from foreign investors in Africa’s untapped potential. As a DIFC-based startup, we’re at the crossroads of East and West and are witnessing increased curiosity and eagerness from international entities looking to harness the African market’s robust growth and demographic dividends.

In a rapidly evolving tech landscape, how do you envision the role of your start-up in shaping the business intelligence field, both locally and globally?

In the fast-paced realm of technology, where data is the new currency, Trends by LuckyDodo positions itself as a trailblazer in the domain of business intelligence. Our start-up is not merely participating in the market; we are actively shaping it. Locally, we empower partner brands with cuttingedge tools for superior decision-making. Globally, we are pioneering the adoption of real-time, hyper-local data for insightful strategic planning.

Our mandate is to consistently push the frontiers of what’s possible with AI and data analytics, transforming complex datasets into actionable insights that reveal the pulse of consumer behaviours and market fluctuations. But our vision goes beyond just amassing data; we aim to democratize business intelligence.

We’re committed to making intricate data accessible and comprehensible to all tiers of business stakeholders. Hence, we’ve taken the initiative to distil the rich insights gleaned through our business intelligence platform into consumable reports. By marrying the data from our website, LuckyDodo, with our analytical prowess, we’ve created ‘Business Trends’—a resource tailored for every business professional.

In collaboration with leading newspaper publishers in each operational market, we’re bringing these insights straight to the hands of those who can leverage them the most. After our successful maiden edition with Business Magazine in Mauritius, we are excited about our upcoming collaboration with Business Daily in Kenya (part of the Nation Media Group), slated for release on the 1st of December 2023. This is how Trends by LuckyDodo is not just contributing to but defining the future of business intelligence, both at home and on the global stage.

Could you share any plans for future growth, partnerships, or services that are on the horizon for your start-up?

As we look to the horizon, the roadmap for Trends by LuckyDodo is both expansive and dynamic. Our immediate future is marked by strategic growth and diversified expansion. We are not only scaling our technological infrastructure but also cultivating rich partnerships that span from Fortune 500 giants to emergent local businesses across the Middle East and Africa. This allows us to enrich our data pool and ensures our ecosystem is both vast and nuanced. Moreover, our offerings are set to evolve—our plans include the development of predictive analytics capabilities. This advancement aims to provide our clients with foresight into market trends and consumer behaviour, enabling them to make proactive, rather than reactive, decisions.

But our growth is not solely defined by our technological advancements and market expansion. It’s the rapid adoption of our platform by renowned global brands that underscores our potential and fuels our journey forward. Our foray into new territories is accompanied by a vision to establish ourselves as the de facto tool for business intelligence, one that’s indispensable for any company looking to thrive in an era where data leads strategy.

In essence, Trends by LuckyDodo is poised not just to meet the future but to actively define it. With each partnership, each market entry, and each innovation, we’re not just scaling a business—we’re architecting an ecosystem where intelligence becomes the foundation of business excellence.