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ECommerce Tech Company Saara Inc Raises Seed Funding from 021 Capital

Saara Inc, an eCommerce technology company that addresses the issue of high product returns for online brands, has announced the closure of a seed funding round led by 021 Capital with additional participation from 9Unicorns and Lets Venture.

According to Crunchbase, South Asian venture capital firm 021 Capital has made 21 investments to date and has helped several startups expand, build a strong team and infrastructure and strengthen the supply chain ecosystem.

“One of the major challenges that the eCommerce industry faces are high returns. We are taking a unique approach using AI-ML that improves the bottom-line of businesses by reducing returns, helps them meet sustainability goals, and reduces their overhead costs. With this capital from our investors, Saara will continue to assist direct-to-consumer brands increase their profitability, introduce more market-disrupting products to build a stronger ecosystem,” said Sachin Garg, Saara CEO and Founder.

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ECommerce Tech Company Saara Inc Raises Seed Funding from 021 Capital

Saara Inc, a California-based eCommerce technology company, has raised seed funding led by 021 Capital and witnessed additional participation from 9Unicorns and Lets Venture.

The funds will be utilized by Saara to expand its geographic footprint globally, provide a one-stop solution to online brands for all their returns and exchange-related requirements, product development, and acquire global talent to add to its leadership roles.

Saara is an AI-powered solution that helps eCommerce businesses become economically and environmentally more sustainable by reducing and automating product returns.

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Saara Founder and CEO Sachin Garg Joins Forbes NEXT 1000

Saara Inc CEO and Founder Sachin Garg have joined Forbes NEXT 1000 fueled by nominations from worldwide and screened by top business leaders and entrepreneurs. The evaluation was made based on parameters such as revenue, business model, funding, impact the business creates, and story behind the start of the business.

“I would like to thank Forbes for acknowledging and supporting what we are trying to do here at Saara, especially with market-disrupting products like EcoReturns. It motivates us to push ourselves further towards making eCommerce more sustainable, both economically and ecologically,” Garg said.

He plans to leverage the listing to market the brand to a wider audience to help them gain profits and meet their sustainability goals, simultaneously staying connected to future partners and investors.

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Augmented Reality Boosts Online Shopping Sales up to 200%

For shoppers who’ve yearned for an immersive, personalized experience that’s open 24/7, mobile augmented reality (AR) technology is the real-time deal of the next era. Bangalore-based startup Adloid is leading the charge with a platform that turns two-dimensional search and discovery into a full-fledged 3D experience, whether someone is in the market for automobiles or bikes, household furniture, consumer electronics, or personal lifestyle products.

“Our AR platform gives consumers and companies personalized virtual shopping and training experiences, expanding the horizon of what AR can do for any brand or company,” said Kanav Singla, founder and CEO of Adloid. “We’re making the benefits of this technology more accessible and contextual to create an immersive experience for customers or employees on an e-commerce Website or within applications, directly from someone’s mobile device.”

Unlike earlier AR tech that relied on clunky headsets with varied compatibility, Adloid’s AR platform runs on any smartphone, allowing customers to experience products at scale, in context. Once the online shopper logs in through their phone, the device’s camera scans their real-world surroundings and virtually mirrors the retailer’s or manufacturer’s product.

“People can see how a new sofa or chair would fit into their home or apartment with a click of their smartphone,” said Singla. “Consumers can virtually try on jewelry, makeup, and other products. Remote workers can see if that laptop, screen, and desk configuration will fit in their home office. It’s as if the actual products are in front of you.”

He added that manufacturers were interested in using the AR platform within training modules for industrial machinery service technicians, providing them with hands-on learning in a virtual setting.

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Adloid raises $4 Mn in pre-Series A

Adloid, an AR builder platform, has raised $4 million in its pre-Series A round led by Chiratae Ventures (Formerly IDG Ventures), and Lenskart Vision Fund. EaseMyTrip co-founder Prashant Pitti, Seeders, and 100x Entrepreneur have also joined the new round.

With this round, Adloid is rebranding to Metadome, a metaverse that will provide the no-code infrastructure to creators and brands for the virtual world.

Started by Shorya Mahajan, Prashant Sinha and Kanav Singla, Metadome provides AR deployments across automobile, home-decor, beauty and accessories, and consumer electronics. The startup works with industry leaders such as Hewlett Packard (HP), Tata Motors, Hero MotoCorp, Asian Paints and others, to create immersive 3D & AR experiences for their customers.

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Adloid Raises $4 Mn For Its Metaverse And AR Builder Platform

Metaverse and augmented reality (AR) builder platform Adloid has raised $4 Mn from Chiratae Ventures (Formerly IDG Ventures, India), and Lenskart Vision Fund as part of its Pre-Series A funding round to fuel its growth and product evolution.

The round also saw the participation of EaseMyTrip cofounder Prashant Pitti, Seeders, and 100x Entrepreneur.

The startup has also announced its rebranding to Metadome, a metaverse that will provide the no-code infrastructure to millions of creators and brands to build immersive experiences for the virtual world.

“The company will be expanding its product and tech teams and inviting the creator community to build a metaverse which can host 1 Bn experiences a day by 2023,” it said. The startup also plans to strengthen its customer success and delivery in North America and other geographies to support its enterprise offerings.

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SAP.iO Launches Future of Automotive Startup Program in Bangalore

December 9, 2021 SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) announced the launch of a new virtual startup program focused on the future of automotive at SAP.iO Foundry Bangalore. Five startups have been selected by a panel of SAP experts, partners, and customers in India to join the cohort. The SAP.iO program is designed to accelerate early-stage B2B startups that can extend SAP’s portfolio and deliver additional innovation to customers.

“With investments in electric vehicle infrastructure, digital manufacturing and direct-to-consumer distribution, the automotive industry continues to witness a massive transformation,” said Manish Prasad, Vice President, Metal, Mining & Automotive Industry at SAP Indian Subcontinent. “The SAP.iO program brings together industry and startup communities to build robust intelligent and scalable technology solutions that address current business challenges and accelerate growth and agility for the automotive sector.”

SAP.iO’s growing network of top-tier startup programs enables entrepreneurs to extend SAP’s portfolio with innovative software solutions for SAP customers. Throughout the 12-week program, the startups will gain valuable mentorship from SAP executives and leading industry experts, as well as access to SAP® technology, application programming interfaces (APIs), and opportunities to collaborate with SAP customers.

The SAP.iO Foundry Bangalore cohort includes the following startups:

  • Dave.AI is an AI-powered sales augmentation platform that helps brands drive sales with improved and interactive product discovery experiences using a virtual sales avatar.
  • Rezo.AI automates conversations over voice, emails, WhatsApp, social media, and chats using artificial intelligence for efficient and effective customer interactions.
  • Plutomen provides augmented reality and virtual reality solutions for remote assistance and collaboration to help transform the industrial frontline.
  • Electrono is a digital solutions enterprise with expertise in research infrastructure management, remote engineering, design consultancy, and Industry 4.0 solutions.
  • CamCom leverages computer vision and associated technologies to improve the visual inspection process.

About SAP.iO
SAP.iO delivers new partnerships and products for SAP by accelerating and scaling startup innovation as well as incubating employee ventures. SAP.iO brings together innovators from every region, industry, and line of business to transform how businesses run. Since 2017, SAP.iO has helped 330+ external startups and internal ventures accelerate their growth while enabling thousands of SAP customers to access innovation. For more information, visit https://sap.io/.

Vonage : Adds Conversational Commerce Solution To Its Product Portfolio With Acquisition Of Jumper.ai

Vonage, a global leader in cloud communications helping businesses accelerate their digital transformation, today announced that it has acquired Jumper.ai, a Singapore-based leader in omnichannel conversational commerce solutions.

Jumper.ai’s team will join Vonage’s Product and Engineering group. With this acquisition, Vonage gains significant technology and developer-focused talent, as well as expertise in conversational commerce, complementing the programmable, flexible and intelligent capabilities of its singular Vonage Communications Platform and robust portfolio of APIs.

Conversational commerce is an in-demand retail trend that capitalizes on the growing convergence of shopping and conversations on platforms such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram, using the chat feature to create a seamless shopping experience. Consumers can engage in personal conversations to inquire about product and pricing information and build trusted relationships with retailers.

The Jumper.ai platform creates omnichannel, messaging-first customer engagement and shopping journeys across social, messaging, and web (WhatsApp, Messenger, Apple Business Chat, Instagram, Twitter, SMS, LINE, Google Ads, Brand websites, and more). According to an April 2021 Conversational Commerce forecast by Juniper Research1, the total addressable market in this space will be worth $27 billion by 20251. As social messaging becomes more important to consumers across the globe as a quick and direct way of connecting with their favorite brands, Vonage will incorporate Jumper.ai technology to expand its total addressable market and complement its robust portfolio of APIs with a packaged AI-enabled conversational commerce offering.

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UK experienced largest peak season parcel growth in Europe, finds report

Parcel Monitor, the sister site of cloud-based e-commerce delivery platform Parcel Perform, has published a study outlining the e-commerce logistics performance of different regions including the UK, Germany, France and Poland. According to Parcel Monitor, Europe’s e-commerce revenue is projected to exceed US$450bn by 2021, with e-commerce users surpassing the 500 million mark – the equivalent of nearly 60% of the region’s population shopping online.

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Tech Behind AR Startup Adloid

2016-founded Gurugram-based Adloid has been powering retailers, including the likes of Tata Motors, Asian Paints and Tanishq, with augmented reality(AR) and deep technology to provide better customer experiences. According to Founder and CEO Kanav Singla, the 55-employee strong Adloid team has helped retailers, in the automobile, home décor, eyewear, jewelry and cosmetics industries, helping them reduce returns by 18 percent. The startup enables companies to augment trails and product catalogues, offering a close-to-real-life shopping experience. The AR technology is tailor-made for every client, allowing access through all devices– smartphones, tables and desktops.

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SAP.iO Announces Six Innovative Indian Startup Participants in the First SAP.iO Foundry Bangalore

SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) today announced its first SAP.iO Foundry accelerator in Bangalore and the six participating Indian startups. The SAP.iO program is part of SAP’s innovation strategy and designed to accelerate early-stage business-to-business startups that build innovative software and deliver high value for SAP’s customers.

The new Bangalore location demonstrates continued commitment of SAP.iO Fund to investing in breakthrough early-stage enterprise software startups, which capitalize on emerging trends and have the potential to unlock significant value for SAP and its customers.

“SAP.iO Foundry Bangalore reflects SAP’s commitment to the dynamic Indian ecosystem,” said Scott Russell, president of SAP Asia Pacific Japan (APJ). “We believe these startups have the ability to positively contribute to India’s growth potential by offering a variety of advanced solutions for SAP’s customers in India and the wider APJ region.”

The Bangalore accelerator is the ninth location of SAP.iO and is part of a wider and exclusive global network of similar programs. Other locations include San Francisco, Singapore and Berlin.

“We will be working hand in hand over the next three months with these innovative startups to help them accelerate and deliver winning outcomes and incremental value to our customers,” said Lalitha Bhaskara, head of SAP.iO Foundries APJ.

The SAP.iO Foundries program is a global network of equity-free startup accelerators, which help promising startups integrate with SAP solutions and accelerate their entry into a curated, inclusive ecosystem whose offerings can be easily accessed and deployed by SAP customers.

The SAP.iO Foundry Bangalore cohort includes the following startups:

  • Adloid provides end-end solutions and tools for augmented reality and virtual reality applications for the retail industry.
  • FocusLabs provides a suite of logistics solutions built on artificial intelligence–based algorithms for route optimization, load planning and smart inspection.
  • Jumper.AI provides omnichannel customer-focused conversational commerce and engagement to enterprises and large-scale direct-to-consumer brands.
  • Parcel Perform provides logistics data and value-added services to businesses to supercharge the postpurchase customer experience.
  • Saara provides image-recognition tools to automate inventory processes and reduce supply-chain costs.
  • Schrocken Inc.’s pharmaceutical contract manufacturing platform provides transparency, control and compliance adherence to enterprises outsourcing manufacturing.