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Startup of the Month: VNTANA 3D Commerce Solution & Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality (AR) has been entangled in the recent whirlwind of metaverse chatter on the internet. Though, as a practical tool, the power of AR to substantially move sales for retailers is evident. Over the past couple of years, we’ve seen rapid advancement in AR capabilities and brands are seeing the benefit of applying this technology in their sales and marketing strategies. Signaling the widespread adoption of 3D and AR technology for brands and retailers, VNTANA experienced a 500% expansion in customers and partners in 2021. Fashion League talked with VNTANA to get a better understanding of what the future of 3D and augmented reality looks like in fashion.

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London-based startup Mention Me helps businesses to turn customers into engines for business growth

Pushing your brand to new customers and getting it known and recognised is one of the hardest parts of starting or growing a business. Increasingly common e-commerce businesses that have no physical presence can’t rely on footfall, on people just popping in on their way past – something that even physical shops experience less and less as our society becomes busier and we tell ourselves more frequently that we don’t have time – and it’s vital for them to be able to get word of their existence to online shoppers. But being active on social media and buying banner ads here and there isn’t enough.

London-based customer advocacy startup Mention Me has created a platform through which businesses can increase customer acquisition, drive growth, and increase revenue. The startup currently works with over 450 brands, using unique and sophisticated data analysis to fuel sustainable growth through referral marketing and customer retention.

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Hexa Selected for the LG Nova Program

LG’s innovation center — LG Nova among friends — today announced that it has selected the first 50 companies for its Mission for the Future global challenge competition. From 1,300 applicants, the company picked its first cohort to start building opportunities with the startups. Nova itself is a counterpoint to profit-focused corporate venture capital outfits, and is instead focusing on abilities to collaborate with the LG conglomerate across the board, in a few key verticals: the metaverse, connected healthcare, smart homes, electric vehicles (EV) and the wonderfully fuzzily named tech for good.

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Adverity Can Deliver 368% 3-year ROI- Forrester Consulting

Customer study shows organizations can save up to $2.3m in time savings on marketing analytics activities and improved efficiency in data management and operations over three years when using Adverity’s end-to-end marketing data analytics platform.

Adverity, a leading intelligent data and analytics platform, announced the findings of a new study that quantifies the average potential return on investment (ROI) for companies using Adverity’s end-to-end platform at 368% over a three-year period. The Total Economic Impact (TEI) study, commissioned by Adverity and conducted independently by Forrester Consulting, reveals potential impact for companies using Adverity to help improve and speed up the way they make insights-driven marketing decisions.

Forrester Consulting conducted the study with access to a tenured Adverity customer to project a three-year financial analysis based on interviews with the customer decision-maker and examination of costs, benefits, flexibility and risks using the TEI methodology. The customer, a global manufacturer of consumer electricals works across a variety of brands, operates in multiple locations and runs thousands of marketing campaigns across all their global brands annually.

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SegmentStream nabs $2.7M to enable marketing analytics without cookies

SegmentStream, a U.K.-based marketing analytics company is working to help enterprises thrive in a post-cookie era.

Third-party cookies have long enabled enterprises to track the online activity of their users to deliver personalized ads and then measure the success of those campaigns. The practice has been very effective, but internet giants have also been on a quest to end the software’s use over privacy concerns. Apple’s Safari and Mozilla’s Firefox already block cookies, while Google plans to discontinue them by 2023, which could upend the whole way of digital advertising.

“All existing marketing analytics and multitouch attribution tools – including Google Analytics, RockerBox, AttributionApp, Bizible, Datorama – analyze marketing performance using deterministic ways of stitching retrospective conversions with traffic sources, which doesn’t work in a new ‘post-cookie’ world due to intelligent tracking prevention, cross-browser/cross-device customer journeys, and other cookie-tracking limitations,” Constantine Yurevich, cofounder and CEO of SegmentStream, told Venturebeat.

As a result, he said, most website sessions (and therefore advertising clicks) do not receive any attributed value, which creates issues for marketers when evaluating the impact of their marketing channels and campaigns. Plus, the lack of information about the assigned value of each advertising click prevents smart bidding algorithms of popular ad platforms (such as Facebook Ads) from properly functioning.

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VNTANA Posts 500% Customer Growth In 2021

VNTANA, the industry leader in 3D eCommerce technology, reports a record year for customer, revenue, partnership and employee growth in 2021. The company saw a 500% expansion in customers and partners, confirming the continued industry adoption of 3D and Augmented Reality (AR) technology for brands and retailers in eCommerce.

VNTANA’s patented optimization algorithms allow brands to use their existing 3D designs to instantly create high-fidelity, fast-loading 3D assets that are automatically optimized for use across web, social media, advertising, game-engines and the metaverse. This is a game changer for brands across fashion, footwear, furniture, tools, sporting goods and more that are looking to optimize the consumer shopping experience.

“The rapid growth of VNTANA highlights the industry’s increasing need to innovate and adapt to meet the evolving requirements of the online consumer,” notes Ashley Crowder, co-founder and CEO of VNTANA. “3D and AR tech is a way for brands to engage with their partners, vendors and customers across multiple channels and provides opportunities for integrations into current eCommerce strategies. We’re excited about the potential for VNTANA to work alongside retailers to reap the benefits that this technology provides to the bottom line.”

To meet the needs of its customers, VNTANA’s staff also doubled in 2021 and will continue to grow through 2022, with plans to expand its sales, marketing, customer success and engineering teams. VNTANA’s 3D Scanning Partner Program is also projected to increase company partnerships in the coming year.

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Jebbit Raises $70 Million Strategic Growth Investment From Vista Equity Partners

Jebbit, provider of the world’s leading zero-party data platform, has received a $70 million strategic growth investment from Vista Equity Partners, the leading global investment firm focused exclusively on enterprise software, data and technology-enabled businesses. The growth capital will help the company scale across all departments to further accelerate its mission to help brands deliver personalized digital experiences that collect data that is willingly and intentionally shared by a consumer (“zero-party data”).

Jebbit’s no-code platform enables companies to build beautiful interactive product and personality quizzes, lookbooks, trivia, lead generation forms and more that gather zero-party and first-party data. Jebbit experiences help brands drive higher engagement, lead capture and conversion while maintaining data privacy and security. In a world where cookies and ID’s will no longer be a reality, Jebbit’s solutions empower companies of all sizes to gain deep customer insights that fuel engagement and increase sales. Jebbit’s easy-to-launch, no code quizzes offer seamless integration and scalability, making them ideal for small- and medium-sized business as well as large global enterprises, across a wide range of industries, including consumer packaged goods, retail and commerce, travel and hospitality, and financial services.

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Collaboration platform CloudApp raises $9.3M to enhance workplace productivity

Visual work communication tool CloudApp has raised $9.3 million in Series A funding led by Grayhawk Capital and Nordic Eye. The round also includes previous investors Kickstart Fund, Cervin Ventures, New Ground Ventures, Bloomberg Beta and new entrants Peninsula Ventures & Forward VC. It also features CloudApp customers Peter Kazanjy, the CRO of Atrium, and Derek Andersen, the CEO of Startup Grind and Bevy.

Founded in 2015, CloudApp aims to help teams share information faster through instantly shareable videos, gifs and screenshots. The tool is an all-in-one screen recording software that captures and embeds HD video, marked-up images and more into workflows. Every file users create is securely stored in the cloud, and accessible via CloudApp’s native Mac and Windows Apps, or shareable on the web through secure password-protected links.

The goal of the company is to help teams avoid having to schedule extra calls or emails and instead communicate their message through simple shareable videos. CloudApp sees itself as a visual voicemail that can be read at any time without disrupting workflows. The tool supports dozens of integrations, including Slack, Atlassian, Trello, Zendesk and Asana. Since its launch, CloudApp has garnered more than four million total users. Notable CloudApp clients include Adobe, Uber, Zendesk and Salesforce.

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Mention Me secures £18.5 million Series B investment led by Octopus Ventures

Mention Me, the customer advocacy platform, has secured a $25m Series B round, led by Octopus Ventures. Lead investor from the prior round Eight Roads Ventures also participated.

The London-based scale-up helps businesses turn referrals into a strategic channel for acquiring high-quality customers, while gathering valuable first-party data that amplifies wider marketing activity.

Mention Me will use the funds to support its vision to make every brand think advocacy-first by expanding into the US, investing in its partner network (which includes Klaviyo, TrustPilot, Ometria and SAP) and developing its product offering. This includes further development of Mention Me’s approach to applying AI and machine-learning to referral data, so brands can more effectively identify their biggest fans and optimise the wider customer experience to drive customer advocacy.

The platform’s unique Referral Engineering® technology has already delivered more than 4.5 million referrals totalling more than USD $1.5 billion in revenue for clients globally. Sports brand Puma, international franchise Pret a Manger, InsurTech unicorn Bought By Many, Europe’s leading online florist Bloom & Wild and international fashion retailer ASOS are among its 450-strong client base.

The funding will also be used to grow the team following a series of senior hires. This includes Roy Robinson from Boxever as CPO to lead product development, Ash Rama, previously at Trustpilot, as VP People and Rebecca Hooley joining from private equity firm Livingbridge as CFO.

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Sampler enters grocery retail with UNFI deal

Sampler is launching a grocery retail offering by partnering with UNFI, North America’s largest grocery wholesale distributor.

Since the pandemic disrupted the retail environment over 18 months ago, brands have been left to find new and innovative ways to reach consumers outside ambient in-store sampling. Sampler’s digital product sampling platform allows brands to send physical product samples, typically in the form of a regular box of new products to the homes of digitally targeted consumers, bringing the in-store sampling experience right to their doorstep.

Now, major grocers, including those the U.S., will get the opportunity to add a sample to a consumer’s order through a pop-up that appears at the end of a pickup or delivery order, the Sampler experience pops up and asks if the purchaser wants a product sample, part of a shopper marketing program move into the digital space.

“Food is one of the hardest things to sample…and has always been a pretty big category for Sampler,” says Marie Chevrier, Sampler’s CEO and founder. “We’re looking to food entrepreneurs find new ways of distributing.”

The UNFI team up comes on the heels of May’s Sampler / Dentsu Canada partnership, granting one another more access to startups and established CPGs.

“Dentsu was our way of showing that large media companies understand the importance of what we call ‘digital product sampling’ or ‘incentive-based marketing,’” Chevrier says, adding that and UNFI is another big supporter of that message.

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Airport retailer deploys MishiPay mobile self-checkout

Airport retailer and restaurant company Paradies Lagardere is expanding its fleet of MishiPay Scan, Pay & Go mobile self-checkout technology to 20 more airports in the U.S. and Canada.

During a successful pilot in the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and the Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Paradies Lagardère saw the clear impact of MishiPay’s technology: by enabling shoppers to scan and pay for their desired products using their own devices, store associates were able to repurpose a portion of their shift from manning a cash register to other valuable tasks such as restocking, sanitizing high traffic sections, and assisting customers.

The technology is being embraced by customers, according to the release, with an average satisfaction rating of 4.85 out of 5, with over 90% of shoppers making a purchase when they have opened the app, which does not require a download.

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Presize Reveals the State of Sizing in Fashion E-commerce in Report

As E-commerce continues to become the preferred shopping method for fashion consumers, the most common approach to uncertainty over fit and sizing has been overordering.

According to a new report from Presize, the size solution company with the goal of bringing one billion perfectly sized garments to shoppers by 2023, currently only 2 percent of online fashion shoppers buy perfectly sized garments.

The insights study, which analyzed the top 100 European retailers including Zara, Adidas, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Sezane and Asos, among others, aimed to understand the issues with sizing in the digital fashion industry. Of the companies, 77 shops have size charts on their product pages, 34 shops use size recommendation technology and nine shops do not offer any help with sizing.

Notably, data from Presize shows that not even 1 percent of shoppers click on size charts — finding them outdated. Of the 77 companies with a size chart, only 45 included measuring guides to explain how to navigate finding personal measurements to determine size. The authors of the report noted, by not having these guidelines, the companies made the size charts “meaningless.”

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Breinify Accelerates Momentum in Second Half of 2021 for funding

Breinify, the leading lightweight personalization platform, is pleased to announce continued momentum following a $11 million round of seed funding in April 2021. The company has seen strong continued growth, meeting key milestones set for 2021 including tripling its headcount and 4.3x revenue, adding four new customers, and experiencing zero product downtime, among other drivers of operational success.

“It’s incredible to see how Breinify has grown,” says Diane Keng, co-founder and CEO of Breinify. “We’ve done an amazing job setting the foundations for scaling as we raised $11M in unheard of speeds. Our ‘crawl, walk, run’ approach really resonates with our customers and we’re beyond ecstatic to see how we’ve jump started their personalization journeys.”

New Notable Customers & Partnerships

In the last few years, retail/CPG brands have made quite a shift to become more digital-centric and data-driven. To successfully move the needle for these industries, these brands have to find ways to implement smart personalization. Unfortunately, unless you are Amazon, Google, or the top one or two brands in your industry, these companies face several challenges to enable even the most basic personalization capabilities. Breinify is democratizing data science by finding ways to make predictive capabilities accessible to non-technical, yet data-driven marketing teams. The company’s AI solution enables enterprise marketers to deliver predictive personalization at scale.

“2021 has shown us that brands are hungrier than ever for predictive personalization,” says Keng. “More of the brands we see in our kitchen pantries or bathroom cabinets embrace the importance of relevant personalization, but struggle to get effective experiences up and running. Through word of mouth, we organically quadrupled our customer base and expanded our partnership with more than 80 percent of our existing customers. The time to access data science powered personalization is now.”

Breinify customers include BevMo!, Duraflame, Sally Beauty, and many more to drive $125M in new revenue, 20x results (between split testing) for page visits, and +105% in CRM growth.

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The Business of Marketing Featuring Eric Allen, CEO of LISNR

During this episode, you will hear from Eric Allen, CEO of LISNR, the leading ultrasonic proximity platform enabling secure and seamless data transmission via a secure and scalable software solution. Learn how they leverage technology to drive growth and business transformation and what they see are some of the biggest future obstacles that they will have to overcome.

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