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Alternative Data: Why You Need it & Where to Start

Today’s most critical asset in helping companies make better strategic decisions? Data. And in order to be a successful data-driven company with a competitive edge, internal data just won’t cut it. Companies must incorporate alternative data sources into the mix in order to take advantage of data-based insights, identify microtrends before they become exponential, and to successfully make key strategic business decisions. A perfect example of an alternative data source to tap into? Insights generated by SAP Partner NWO.ai whose solution harnesses machine learning techniques and human metadata to identify global cultural shifts early and throughout the lifecycle of trends.

The biggest challenges facing the alternative data era

As the complexity of companies and their source systems are growing at a rapid pace, business leaders are facing extreme difficulty in effectively managing these expanding systems of data. The complicated and time-consuming onboarding of data is simply not an option for organizations that need to operate efficiently and with agility. Organizations need a seamless and simple solution for accessing and onboarding data, while simultaneously preparing their systems for the cloud.

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NWO.ai Selected to Participate in Season 7 of La Maison des Startups LVMH

NWO.ai, a leading strategic intelligence platform that is revolutionizing the future of external data for enterprises, announced it has been selected to participate in season 7 of La Maison des Startups LVMH.

La Maison des Startups LVMH is a unique initiative in the luxury industry, helping fast-track industry startups to navigate LVMH Group and start new conversations with Maisons on a global scale. The program welcomes international startups each year to drive business with LVMH Maisons and build the future products and services of the luxury industry.

NWO.ai’s participation in this exclusive program will enable LVMH Maisons to potentially spot emerging consumer trends and understand the drivers behind them before these trends become exponential. Further, these advanced capabilities will give LVMH Maisons the ability to leverage these insights from disparate alternative data sources with zero setup time.

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Lixo raises €3.5 million from Demeter Partners, Raise Seed For Good and 50 Partners

Lixo, a Paris, France-based SAAS developer of analytics tools for the waste management and recycling industries, announced closing a seed funding round at €3.5 million ($4M).

The money was raised locally from France from investors including Demeter PartnersRaise Seed For Good and 50 Partners, joined by angel investor Amaury Bierent (Ovive and Optyma).

Lixo, founded in 2019 by CEO Marjorie Darcet, developed technological solutions for the waste management industry, helping with waste tracing and recovering it. The tools uses computer-vision and sensors in order to sort the waste and analyze its quality composition in real time. The company says it works with french partners, including waste collectors such as Veolia and Brangeon, sorting centers such as Tiru, ​​Sotraval, Kerval, recyclers Norske Skog , Freudenberg, Wellman and cross-functional and national players such as Citeo or Valorplast.

Hanko.io’s new FIDO2-based passwordless IAM solution features biometric capabilities

German startup Hanko.io has released a new passwordless Identity and Access Management (IAM) solution. Hanko Identity uses FIDO2 and WebAuthn technologies to entirely eliminate passwords from the login process.

Instead, the tool enables logging in via a technology that Hanko calls Passlinks, essentially magic links sent to a user’s email. The Passlinks technology works via Hanko’s Authentication API and creates a session for that user while simultaneously validating ownership of the email account.

After signing in via Passlinks, users will then be able to set up WebAuth login locally on the device, using biometric authentication.

For context, WebAuthn technology is currently supported on all end-user devices running Windows 10 and 11, Android, and most Apple devices.

According to the company, Hanko Identity is particularly easy to implement in a company’s own technology stack, while also being highly customizable through its white-label capabilities.

In addition, since the solution does not require the use of passwords at any time, tech teams will not have to deal with forgotten passwords, phishing attacks, or the compromising of user data through server hacks.

“The integration of two-factor authentication or biometrics on top of passwords can complicate the user experience and is often a more extensive software project that will cost time and, therefore, a lot of money,” comments Hanko CEO Felix Magedanz.

“We are happy that with Hanko Identity, we managed to build a solution that eliminates all these problems.”

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Estonian startup Teamscope gets €1.3 million boost to take executive hiring to new heights

Founded in 2015, Teamscope has just raised €1.3 million from Estonian and foreign investors as a convertible loan to expand its executive hiring SaaS platform. The Estonian-born company has headquarters in London.

On a mission to help leaders develop teams and make better hiring decisions, the Teamscope platform organises the recruitment process so that decisions can be made based on data – reducing the issues of bias and reducing the risk of hiring errors.

Tech in the recruitment sector has been booming in the past months and Teamscope is one of the latest to enter the arena bringing data-based capabilities to recruitment decisions. The Teamscope platform takes into account the suitability of the candidates for the team in terms of their values, competencies and personality traits.

Co-founder and chairman of the board Tõnis Arro said: “I have been a headhunter for decades and have increasingly found that hiring decisions are the worst kind of management decisions. Hiring is based on gut feeling, and if the candidate is also individually strong, his / her suitability for the team is not assessed. And that’s the main reason for failed hiring decisions…Teamscope transforms a standard, intuitive hiring decision into a data-driven process, helping to reduce hiring risks. With Teamscope, every executive can become a professional recruiter.”

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Pulkit Jaiswal and Imogen Low from nwo.ai named to Forbes 30 Under 30 2022

Using machine learning and human metadata to identify global shifts early and throughout the trend lifecycle, nwo.ai enables corporations and governments to get insights on sectors ranging from consumer products to global war. Low, a Westpac Bank Trust Scholar, ran SAP’s Machine Learning efforts in APAC at age 17. Jaiswal, a drone pioneer and serial entrepreneur, developed geopolitical trading signals for hedge funds. The company has $3.5 million in seed funding.

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Circular Economy Becomes Reality For Retailers Thanks To This French Startup

Need a new outfit for a party, a wedding, or an awards ceremony? Want something special to perk up a grey day? Don’t buy it – rent it. By doing so, you’ll be part of a circular economy revolution to use more and own less.

Imagine having a wardrobe full of clothes you only wear once or twice – but instead of discarding them in landfill, you just return them to the brand you got them from and rent a whole new set for the season ahead.

Imagine renting just about everything else you only use once in a while – equipment for camping, sports or home workouts, tableware for a Christmas bash, musical instruments and clothes your kids will soon abandon or outgrow anyway, medical devices, tools, luggage for your next world tour – you name it, if it’s not perishable, rent it.

A Circular Vision

That’s the vision of Lizee, a French startup providing eCommerce and logistics software as a service. They believe that the manufacturing of goods will be cut in half during the next 25 years.

“Together with our supply chain partners, we offer a turnkey solution for brands and retailers that want to quickly transition into the circular economy by renting and reselling their products,” said Tanguy Frécon, the company’s co-founder and chairman. “Brands are realizing that it makes business sense to produce fewer goods but make them more robust so they last longer. Producing for reuse derives a different type of margin. The products become the resources.”

Lizee’s offering comes just in time as retailers are facing groundbreaking regulations in France that forbid the destruction of clothing, cosmetics, electrical items, and other goods that haven’t been sold. The ban is part of a wide-ranging anti-waste law passed by the French parliament last year.

Tanguy Frécon is convinced sustainability and profitability go hand in hand. The rent and resell business model is a new channel for brands to interact with their existing customers and reach new target audiences.

“With these new circular business models brands and retailers can deliver their sustainable transformation, clear inventory without discounting, target new consumers, and boost margins,” said Frécon.

A Skyrocketing Business Model

The market is massive. Back in 2019, Tanguy was inspired by McKinsey’s State of Fashion Report which named end of ownership as one of the key consumer shifts retailers should prepare for. The report stated that “the lifespan of fashion products is being stretched as pre-owned, refurbished, repaired, and rental business models continue to evolve and consumers have demonstrated an appetite to shift away from traditional ownership to newer ways in which to access product.”

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Software and Robotics startup arculus acquired by Logistics Giant Jungheinrich AG

On November 10, 2021, arculus, a Munich-based startup specializing in autonomous mobile robots, was acquired by major automation and intralogistics provider Jungheinrich AG for an undisclosed amount.

Founded in Ingolstadt in 2016 by Dr. Fabian Rusitschka and now with headquarters in Munich, German arculus is revolutionizing traditional production line manufacturing as the world’s first software and robotics company to offer a complete modular production platform, from concept to operations.

Almost every company that sells a physical product has a production line, though these have hardly changed since Henry Ford developed the techniques of mass production in 1926. Using AI-powered software and autonomous mobile robots, arculus transforms manufacturers’ one-dimensional assembly lines into scalable, flexible assembly modules. Planning, simulation, operation, and optimization can all take place within this one software system. The platform’s core functions include digital route planning based on real-time traffic data and anticipatory route planning to prevent congestion.

Since its inception in 2016 arculus has grown from strength to strength. After receiving Series A funding amounting to €16 million in May 2020, its acquisition by Jungheinrich a little over a year later is a clear marker of the startup’s success. Having conducted a successful pilot project in Supermarket 2.0 with Aldi Ingolstadt, arculus has a proven track record in AMR (associated management resources) and smart logistics.

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Why Renting Is The New Buying – Industry Insights by SAP

In this episode, Tanguy Frécon, Co-Founder & Chairman at Lizee shares how Lizee helps brands and retailers reach both their growth and sustainability goals by expanding their rental business and extending the use of their products.

Consumers want to engage with brands that are sustainable — but there can be no sustainability without profitability. Lizee, one of the startups in the SAP.io Sustainable Futures program, enables brands to produce fewer, more durable, more sustainable goods and reach even more customers without sacrificing revenue. Tanguy Frécon, Co-Founder & Chairman at Lizee, speaks with host Tom Raftery about the real and potential benefits to retailers as they shift from a linear to circular retail economy.

Catch the episode here…

SAP Startup Spotlight: NWO.ai

SAP invests in a lot of promising startups, and it’s sometimes hard to keep track of all of them. E-3 Magazine has selected the most interesting companies to showcase in our SAP Startup Spotlight Series. In this article, we will take a look at NWO.ai. In this interview, co-founder and co-CEO Pulkit Jaiswal talks about what NWO.ai has to offer, how it is connected to SAP, and what’s next for the startup.

E-3 Magazine: Why did you start NWO.ai?

Pulkit Jaiswal: Prior to beginning my journey with NWO.ai, I was an entrepreneur in the drone industry. During this time, I understood the power of providing actionable insights as-a-service to large enterprises, powered by data that was previously untapped. Shortly after that, I started building signals that predicted geopolitical volatility for trading purposes, recognizing how global relations and natural disasters could disrupt standard patterns. After achieving a profitable run, I realized the asymmetry in data that exists between hedge funds and large companies – hedge funds often know more about specific industries than companies within them. Essentially, NWO.ai was born out of the realization that I could provide corporations with the same level of access to data and reveal actionable insights.

How could your solution potentially help customers navigate the COVID-19 pandemic?

Jaiswal: As we speak, global supply chains are crumbling while the cost of raw materials for most consumer goods has skyrocketed, in part due to rising inflation and a parabolic adoption of e-commerce. Moreover, geopolitical instability has reached an all-time high, and living with uncertainty is the new normal for businesses today. COVID-19 has created a new social, political, and economic world order – one that is increasingly driven by cultural narratives and online discourse. In fact, the online narrative is single-handedly driving demand for certain consumer goods and creating completely new product categories at an exponential pace. NWO.ai’s natural language processing engine enables clients to surface the fears, motivations, and demand drivers underlying various signals, providing them with unprecedented access to the Why behind a narrative. Whether it’s figuring out which new product categories are about to break out or finding anomalous interest in demand for certain products, NWO.ai has successfully helped clients stay ahead of the curve, enabling proactive rather than reactive decision-making processes.

How are you connected to SAP?

Jaiswal: We are thrilled that NWO.ai has premiered as one of the first data providers to join the SAP data marketplace. This new feature, part of the SAP Data Warehouse Cloud, enables businesses and IT users to directly consume partner data offerings that are available on SAP Store. We also have former SAP executives at the helm of our company: our COO, Miroslav Dimitrov, directed the SAP.io Foundry in Berlin, and our CTO, Imogen Low, led machine learning efforts for SAP in Singapore.

How has SAP.io’s involvement impacted your journey?

Jaiswal: Besides our collaboration with SAP DWC, we are also lucky to have graduated from SAP.io’s Berlin Foundry Program. As part of the program, we had the chance to interact with and learn from various industry experts, stakeholders, and potential customers, which in turn helped us achieve a product-market fit.

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NWO.ai Partners with SAP to Support the Consumer Goods Industry

NWO.ai is offering its Consumer Intelligence solution on the data marketplace for SAP Data Warehouse Cloud, enabling the tracking of cultural and consumer behavior shifts globally.

The data marketplace is a new feature of the SAP Data Warehouse Cloud solution which enables businesses and IT users to directly consume partner data offerings that are available on SAP Store.

NWO.ai provides clients with a significant competitive advantage and helps them stay close to their customers, according to the vendor.

Specifically, consumer product companies can now leverage Consumer Intelligence from NWO.ai to:

  • Analyze and identify potential demand growth drivers
  • Track global cultural shifts by analyzing billions of data points in under 60 seconds
  • Understand consumer sentiment and the leading indicators behind it
  • Deep dive on microtrends associated with products and categories
  • Identify the influential voices and brands that drive the consumer narrative

As a partner in the SAP PartnerEdge program, NWO.ai is empowered to build, market, and sell software applications that supplement and build on SAP software and technology.

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How Startups Are Monetizing the Booming Food Waste Business

Tech platforms Misfits Market, Too Good to Go and Goodr connect food companies with opportunities to divert their waste and improve their bottom lines at the same time.

Why it matters:

  • Nearly one-fourth of the food produced in the U.S. ends up going to waste, which also results in wasted resources spent by businesses to produce and transport food items.
  • Reducing food waste represents a tremendous opportunity for helping people in need and protecting the environment, while boosting food companies’ own profitability and sustainability.
  • Technology platforms such as Misfits Market, Too Good to Go and Goodr are successfully scaling up their operations as they tackle this challenge from different angles, seeking to provide benefits to both food businesses and consumers.

A handful of technology startups are seeking to tackle the challenge of reducing food waste at the grower, retailer, restaurant and consumer levels by matching surpluses with willing buyers.

Misfits Market, Too Good to Go and Goodr are leaning into the booming food waste management business, which generates an estimated $34.22 billion in global sales, and is on track to expand at a 5.4% compound annual growth rate over the next few years, according to Grand View Research.

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Can Artificial Intelligence Take The Guesswork Out Of The Customer Journey?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is shedding light on one of the most examined yet least understood experiences of modern life: the customer journey. From shopping malls and sports arenas, to train stations and city streets, C2RO is an AI-powered video analytics platform that captures anonymized data about people’s movement so organizations can improve the customer experience.

“We analyze human behaviour in physical spaces, and transfer it into actionable data,” said Tim Heaney, vice president of sales at C2RO. “With a fact-based understanding of the amount of people coming into a space, how they move through it with whom, where they linger, and what they touch and eventually purchase, organizations can manage physical environments more efficiently to improve the customer experience and business results.”

Real-time data eases commuter experience

A transportation organization used data from C2RO to improve subway train and bus terminal planning.

“Based on the number of people boarding and leaving trains at certain times and days, as well as which direction they’re headed at terminals, transportation managers could alleviate traffic crunches,” said Heaney. “They could reverse escalator directions to help people more easily exit or enter terminals. Aligning vehicle dispatches to actual passenger traffic flows reduced wasted trips. It also means fewer people waiting in the cold or forced to stand in crowded cars and buses.”

Real-time data is particularly valuable to manage other operations such as shopping malls and entertainment venues during peak usage times like rush hour, holiday shopping, or performances. Companies can also use historical data for future planning.

Heaney added that monitoring in-person occupancy levels has helped organizations meet social distancing mandates during the pandemic.

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Anticipate & Track Global Cultural Shifts with NWO.ai | Now available on SAP Store

SAP Data Intelligence, SAP Analytics Cloud, and SAP Business Technology Platform customers can now turn unstructured data into insight with NWO.ai‘s platform that aggregates, analyzes, and produces actionable reports on human-generated data.

Check out Consumer Intelligence by NWO.ai on SAP Store 

The Industry Problem

As consumer behavior and habits change abruptly (as evidenced by the COVID-19 pandemic), companies cannot keep up and make sense of the vast amount of external data created every single day.

NWO.ai’s Solution

NWO.ai uses diverse data sets and views them in context to define trends as they emerge and evolve in relative terms. NWO.ai’s platform shows how a product, company, trend, or concept increases/decreases in its saturation within a global context with regards to mindshare, using news, social commentary, and searches.

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How CPG Brands Keep Up with Retail’s Fastest-Moving Consumer Demands

Nobody understands the frustration of consumers who can’t find the products they’re looking for more than the experts at Teamcore, an artificial intelligence (AI)-based startup with operations in Latin America and the United States. Teamcore’s cloud-based software platform uses machine learning to power intelligent workflow automation that tells consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies and retailers why products aren’t selling and what they can do about it fast.

“We help CPG companies and retailers make sure products are available when their customers are ready to buy,” said Sergio Della Maggiora, founder and CEO of Teamcore. “Whether someone is shopping online or in a physical store, our retail execution platform based on intelligent workflows helps connect data across the supply chain – from warehouse to shelf, virtually or in-store – so companies don’t miss out on sales opportunities.”

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