Roberto Kafati
Founder and CEO
View from the Top

Disruption to Build Commerce 3.0

By Cinthya Alaniz Salazar | Mon, 09/12/2022 - 10:00

Q: What are Deuna’s priority markets and what is your strategy to appeal to these different locations? 

A: We want to focus on solving Latin America’s ecommerce pain points so merchants can connect directly with end consumers without depending on third-party platforms over which they have no control. Deuna’s client-centric approach aims to address the acceptance-conversion-fraud triangle, a challenge that has the potential to catalyze the growth of merchants and e-commerce brands alike. 

We began operations in Ecuador and have since expanded to Colombia, Chile and most recently Mexico. We are still a Silicon Valley company but are focused on Latin America because we believe in positioning ourselves where scarcity exists to generate the most added value. Mexico, in particular, represents a distinctly important market for Deuna and for that reason, we decided to concentrate the majority of our resources in the country. Well over half of our salesforce now resides in Mexico. This is a result of the overwhelming but welcome reception we have received from the Mexican business community. Our immediate priority is to concentrate on integrating or initiating pilot programs with the Top 15 companies in the country. We continue to grow our pipeline but before we can move on to the next cohort, we need to scale our teams to keep up with demand. We have already grown our engineering and product teams three times over but demand still heavily exceeds our capabilities, necessitating an aggressive recruitment campaign. 


Q: What concerns does Deuna have as it attempts to scale efficiently across the region?

A: Prioritizing resources during periods of excessive, unprecedented demand is definitely a problem that has led to strategic decisions. We have been consistently clear with our internal messaging, namely that Mexico is our No. 1 priority. This is observably reflected in the presence of our most senior members who have flown in from 13 countries to convene, strategize and confront challenges as they arise on an equal footing. We are all focusing on utilizing our resources as efficiently as possible to avoid delaying integrations with new and pipeline clients. 


Q: How will Deuna’s acceptance-conversion-fraud triangle help it to differentiate itself within the Mexican market space?

A: There is no single player offering the combined value of the triad; rather, there are multiple specialized players addressing only one element. The inability or reluctance of Latin American companies to coalesce these needs under a single service has magnified these problems, which is the reason Deuna decided to launch its operations in the region instead of in the US. 

The individual challenges of online checkout in Latin America are a much larger problem than we originally forecasted, with cart abandonment standing at 70 percent. Of the 30 percent that make it to checkout, 50 percent are likely to have issues with payment processing. Furthermore, companies should expect that of those approved purchases, at least one will likely result in fraud. This data paints a challenging landscape of Latin America’s emerging e-commerce market but it is a large opportunity. Before Deuna, the market had failed to incentivize the formation of a synergized, economies-of-scale solution that addressed these value propositions simultaneously. 

Building on this intelligence, Deuna’s Shopper DNA allows consumers to remain logged-in across various sites from the same device. It is different from any other check-out option in the world, which normally falls back to sending consumers a one-time password (OTP) to their email or cellphone. Our system ties everything about a consumer together, helping augment fraud detection without increasing false positives, which are common due to the broad fraud rules that hurt acceptance rates. We will continue to work alongside clients and payment processors to build even better, more precise integrations to continue augmenting conversion rates. 


Q: What led to the internal development of Deuna’s own fraud tech with a “custom rule?” 

A: We have clients with over US$100 million in annual revenue that are experiencing problems bringing in new consumers, so they advertise a promotional discount to incentivize participation. While innovative, this also encourages users to create multiple accounts. Because Shopper DNA registers activity from the same device, we can identify this practice. This is something no other company in the market is doing. We can also track when a device is generating or accessing multiple Shopper DNA accounts, which is an automatic flag for suspicious behavior, such as using stolen credit cards. 

Altogether, our tech solutions are decisively oriented to the specific needs of the Latin American market as informed by our regional clients. This approach has given us an edge to address fraud.


Q: What role will Deuna have in advancing Mexico’s burgeoning e-commerce market toward the realization of Commerce 3.0?

A: Our tech is very modular and we have been recognized by clients for offering different options to integrate them. We have a multitude of different application programming interfaces (API) that clients can connect to without changing their infrastructure. This is important to advance Commerce 3.0, which aims to democratize commerce by allowing sellers to use any solution without forcing them to do anything they do not want to do. This approach is very different from that taken by multiple other platforms and payment processors.


Q: What are Deuna’s short-term objectives for Latin America?

A: In the short term, we have to meet growing demand. We are still accepting new clients. We need to build the capabilities to grow in our current markets but my priority is Mexico. Our objective today is to grow in Mexico by getting more brands in the pipeline to really improve e-commerce in the country through direct-to-consumer channels.



Deuna is a Silicon Valley-based SaaS startup focused on offering a solution to the Top 3 challenges merchants have today: conversion, acceptance and fraud. 

Cinthya Alaniz Salazar Cinthya Alaniz Salazar Journalist & Industry Analyst