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PORTRAITS

We feature artists, Michelin-starred chefs, designers, racing drivers, fashion designers and even beekeepers. All of them all movers and shakers in their field of endeavour, be it the luxury world or the region's cultural, economic or social spheres. Read their unfiltered accounts of their lives, careers, dreams, ambitions and projects.

December 2021

Antoine Bahri

  • Boosting local business
  • Monegasque entrepreneur Antoine Bahri was inspired by the power of digital technology to create Carlo, a cashback app that rewards customers who buy locally.
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© Jean-Michel Sordello

Monegasque entrepreneur Antoine Bahri was inspired by the power of digital technology to create Carlo, a cashback app that rewards customers who buy locally. After spending two years working in the family boutique, watchmaking brand Bahri Monaco, the young man moved to Barcelona to study for an MBA. “While I was there I teamed up with some fellow students and launched LISTO, a payment method for the catering industry. The app allowed users to monitor consumption in real time, pay with one click or divide the bill.” This early experience taught Antoine how digital technology works. Once he gained his MBA, he returned home. “I was aware of the challenges facing local businesses in Monaco. I wanted to contribute to the local economy by designing an innovative customer loyalty scheme.” The idea of the Carlo cashback app began to take shape. With every purchase made in a participating store, the customer receives 5% cashback in their virtual wallet, which can only be spent in the Principality. The merchants boost their sales and the start-up makes a 3% commission on every sale. In just a few months, transactions on the app increased from one a day to fifty. The app proved itself and in spring 2020, during the lockdown, they launched a new platform. “We wanted to support local businesses during the Covid crisis, so we designed a website that sells gift vouchers to be purchased in advance and redeemed later. The Prince’s Government liked the idea and decided to subsidise each voucher by 10%. The merchants were delighted and the operation was a huge success.” Princess Grace Hospital and the Monegasque government have now asked the company to create Carlo digital gift cards to reward their employees. “This has helped accelerate our growth. Today we have 300 participating businesses and more than 19,500 users, with a total local spend of €11,000,000 through Carlo. Our ambition? To duplicate this model internationally. Our goal for 2022 is to be present across five European cities.”

By Caroline Stefani