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5 companies leveraging startup innovation to improve their customer experience

Providing a top-notch customer experience is critical for competing in today’s market. By better understanding their customers, companies can provide personalized experiences that exceed expectations.  

To date, over 150+ startup solutions in SAP’s partner ecosystem have built integrations to help SAP customers expand the capabilities of solutions in their SAP landscape including SAP Customer Data Platform, SAP Commerce Cloud and more. 

Here are 5 impressive stories highlighting companies that are working with startups to provide world-class customer experiences. 

 


Deli Home & Expivi: Improving customer experience while delivering bespoke products at scale

Deli Home, an international supplier for DIY products, needed a solution to help their customers configure their timber orders online that could be easily integrated with their retail website and ERP system powering their business. Expivi’s 3D Product Configuration solution was the perfect solution to enable customers to order custom-made wood panels directly from their website. 

Expivi works with 3 SAP solutions and is available on the SAP Store. 


Target & SundaySky: Providing interactive video-powered experiences to its new RedCard members 

Target worked with SundaySky to provide interactive and customized video-powered experiences to its new RedCard members at many touchpoints along the customer journey to drive relevancy and deepen their customer engagement. 

SundaySky works with SAP Commerce Cloud and SAP Upscale Commerce and is available on the SAP Store. 


Signet Jewelers & Creatable: Bringing in-store associates into the online store   

Signet Jewelers is working with Creatable to empower their sales teams to sell online through personalized virtual storefronts to drive new revenue, traffic and extended consumer engagement – all integrated with their online stores powered by SAP Commerce Cloud. 

 Creatable works with Industry Cloud, SAP Commerce and is available on the SAP Store. 


Jenny Craig & Jebbit: Using data to provide a better experience for customers 

Jenny Craig is a nutrition and weight loss company that partnered up with Jebbit to create a solution to generate engagement with their customers and allow them to understand potential customers’ intents, motivations, and desires by delivering engaging experiences. 

Jebbit works with SAP Emarsys Customer Engagement and SAP Customer Data Platform and is available on the SAP Store. 


Bose & ParcelLab: Delivering an outstanding end-to-end journey that delights customers 

Bose needed a flexible solution to meet customer demands and deliver a consistent customer experience across multiple touchpoints. They teamed up with parcelLab to design a series of fully customizable post-sales emails that provide customers with access to the latest updates on their order. By embedding the order tracking information solution directly in Bose’s website, they were able to significantly improve their search engine optimization and contribute to repeat sales.  

parcelLab works with SAP Commerce Cloud and SAP Upscale Commerce and is available on the SAP Store. 


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Micro-climate technology startup Sencrop raises $18 million led by JVP, will expand into Israel

The French company, whose data-driven precision app enables more than 20,000 farmers to have a crop-oriented vision of the weather conditions, disease and pest risks, and their irrigation needs, will open an extension in the International Foodtech Center in the Galilee

French startup Sencrop, which develops micro-climate technology, announced on Tuesday that it has raised an $18 million Series B fundraising round led by Israeli venture capital firm JVP, as part of the VC fund’s climate and foodtech initiative. EIT Food, supported by the European Union, Stellar Impact (managed by Telos Impact), IRD Management, and Sencrop’s existing shareholders, including BPIfrance, Demeter IM, and NCI Waterstart, are also taking part in the transaction. JVP’s investment was led by General Partner Gadi Porat and Director of Investments Alexandre Dahan.

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5 Visionary Companies Leveraging Startup Innovation to Optimize Business, Finance and Operations Processes

SAP’s ERP, Financial Management, and Spend Management solutions help thousands of businesses increase efficiency and gain insight to guide their businesses by solving complex business problems. Since 2017, SAP.iO has been building an ecosystem of startup solutions to help customers extend the value of their investment in these SAP solutions and we’re proud that over 145 startups in our portfolio are integrated with SAP solutions including SAP S/4HANA and SAP Ariba and are available on the SAP Store. 

 

Each of the 5 companies featured below are staying ahead of the curve by leveraging startup innovation to optimize their business, finance, and operations processes. 

 


Decathlon & Trustpair: Reducing risk by detecting and preventing wire transfer fraud

Decathlon, a leading sporting goods retailer, teamed up with Trustpair to build a clean Vendor Master File and work with reliable supplier data to comply with Loi Sapin II regulations in less than 4 months. Today, Decathlon continues to prevent payment errors and reduce fraud risks by continuously auditing third party databases. 

Trustpair works with SAP S/4HANA, SAP HANA, and SAP Ariba and is available on SAP Store 


Bunge & Sedna: Harmonizing global supply chain communications 

Bunge has over 25,000 employees across 40 countries and was looking for new ways to bring their global supply chain team together. They used SEDNA’s intelligent communication system to harmonize workflows, processes, and information across the company – resulting in improved visibility and productivity. 

Sedna works with SAP S/4HANA Cloud & Industry Cloud and is available on SAP Store 


RWE Power & Pexapark AG: Customizing benchmarks and delivering insights for renewable energy prices   

RWE, a leading German energy company, required clear and up-to-date insights into the current market pricing of clean energy to scale their investment in renewable energy. They partnered with Pexapark to develop a customized pricing, analysis, sourcing, and monitoring solution that models forward pricing curves across European markets on demand. 

 Pexapark AG works with SAP S/4HANA and is available on SAP Store 


Dole & Clarifruit: Developing a next-gen quality control platform to target a 10% reduction in fruit loss 

Dole joined forces with Clarifruit to launch an innovative commercial partnership to automate their quality control processes and reduce fruit loss. By implementing an AI-powered solution, Dole can automatically collect inspection data, integrate it into their ERP system, and provide their leadership team with high-quality real-time information and analytics. 

 Clarifruit works with SAP S/4HANA and is available on SAP Store 


SAP & 4tiitoo: Leveraging eye tracking technology to improve employee ergonomics 

As part of their “pledge to flex” initiative, SAP worked with 4tiitoo to implement their AI-powered gaze control solution that provides employees with an innovative tool that helps improve ergonomics by reducing mouse movements and mouse-keyboard swaps. This new feature is already working to improve employee wellbeing, increase efficiency, and embed accessibility across business processes. 

 4tiitoo works with SAP S/4HANA Cloud and is available on SAP Store 


All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

gridX signs four new partnerships in the e-mobility sector

On expansion course: gridX signs four new partnerships in the e-mobility sector
The smart grid company gridX, which was recently acquired by E.ON, continues to expand and today announces partnerships with four companies that are actively shaping the energy market in Europe.

For the time being, the focus of the collaborations is on expanding their offerings in the area of electric mobility. The power grid was not built with today’s demand for e-mobility in mind – but with gridX’s AI-based charging management, seamless charging can become a reality.

With the installation of charging infrastructure in buildings, underground garages and parking areas, the load on the grid or at house connections increases enormously. Dynamic load management enables efficient distribution and control of energy. In this way, sufficient charging infrastructure can be implemented without expensive grid expansion.

With the four new partnerships, gridX is consolidating its role as a platform solutions provider in the field of e-mobility.

 

Electris

With the Luxembourg-based energy supplier and grid operator, Electris, gridX gains another international customer. gridX and Electris already implemented their first joint pilot projects in the field of home energy management in 2019. The new partnership enables cost-efficient, comprehensive solutions for charging infrastructure in Luxembourg, including hardware, billing services and dynamic load management (DLM). Electris customers receive a full service package that encompasses planning, installation and operation. In addition, the gridX platform will enable comprehensive management for non-public and semi-public charging infrastructure (CPO).

SMART/LAB Innovationsgesellschaft mbH

SMART/LAB works with more than 245 utilities and over 100 companies to realize innovative services, products and concepts in e-mobility. With “ladenetz” for municipal utilities and “ladebusiness” for corporate customers, SMART/LAB currently offers the largest municipal publicly accessible charging network. By working with gridX, SMART/LAB can continually extend their solutions to include things like DLM, standardize the user experience (front-end integration via API), put together complete packages for tenders (for billing and DLM) and implement further research projects in the field of e-mobility (electrification of transportation).

DEW21 GmbH

The Dortmund energy supplier DEW21 already has many years of experience and has realized numerous projects in the field of charging infrastructure. With DLM, DEW21 complements its product portfolio and establishes it as the only solution for e-mobility projects in the catchment area. In the first year of the cooperation, at least 17 locations are to be equipped with DLM. The focus of the partnership is on scaling concepts, such as public charging infrastructure and multi-site customers. By using the API interface to gridX, DEW21 also opens up the possibility for data-driven business development and can thus continue to offer suitable solutions tailored to charging behavior in the future.

eliso GmbH

Throughout Germany, eliso supports companies, commercial and residential properties on their journey to building their own charging infrastructure. With a fully comprehensive service, the Stuttgart-based charging infrastructure specialist plans, installs and operates holistic and suitable charging solutions. A network of regional project managers and certified installation partners across Germany allows eliso to offer holistic and suitable charging solutions for companies, from planning and subsidy consulting, to installation and operation. With a specially developed DLM solution from gridX, eliso aims to become the full-service provider for cross-industry, intelligent and, above all, future-proof charging infrastructure in Germany. In addition, the platform solution enables a simple, central overview of all sites under its own operational management for optimized (multi-) site management.

 

David Balensiefen, Co-Founder and CEO of gridX, says: “We are really looking forward to working with our new partners, as each of these companies is driving the energy and mobility transition. To take e-mobility to the next level, dynamic load management is essential. Equally important are manufacturer-independent end-to-end solutions, which is possible through a long-term partnership with us. Our partners are able to deliver lasting benefits to their customers, easily expand and adapt their offerings, scale projects more easily, and reduce both costs and emissions.”

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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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Digimarc Corporation Completes Acquisition of EVRYTHNG Ltd.

Digimarc Corporation (Nasdaq: DMRC), creator of Digimarc watermarks that are driving the next generation of digital identification and detection-based solutions, announced today it has successfully completed its previously announced acquisition of the Product Cloud company EVRYTHNG Ltd, based in London, UK.

As EVRYTHNG becomes part of Digimarc, it enables a complete solution set for customers, combining the best form of identification with the best cloud platform for gaining and managing the intelligence unlocked by that identification of objects.

“This acquisition is transformative to our business,” explains Digimarc CEO Riley McCormack. “EVRYTHNG’s market-leading product cloud offering provides Digimarc entrée into a potentially enormous market at the cusp of inflection, powers up our ability to sell robust, fully-integrated solutions that no one else can offer, and provides future cross-selling opportunities by providing more on-ramps to our dual platforms. In addition to adding 65 talented and passionate individuals to our team, we can leverage the complementarity of our geographic presence, expanding our ability to serve our increasingly-global customer base while also increasing our ability to attract and retain the best talent world-wide.”

EVRYTHNG is the market leader and pioneered the Product Cloud category, linking every product item to its Active Digital Identity™ on the web and joining-up product data across the value chain for visibility, validation, real time intelligence and connection with people.

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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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How a mobile-friendly platform can increase quality control of fresh produce

Companies that deal in fresh produce and are looking for more advanced quality control of their fruits and vegetables throughout the supply chain might want to check out Clarifruit’s mobile-friendly platform.

By simply taking a photo from a smartphone of their product, Clarifruit’s intuitive app can then autogenerate a report with data for more refined inspections and analysis. Officials say it can provide both reassurance and times savings for marketing teams, wholesalers, retailers and distribution centres.

“Clarifruit has built the only end-to-end automatic QC platform in the market, offering both automated, mobile data collection for the QC inspector as well as QC analytics for the sales and operational departments”, CEO Avi Schwartzer said. “Additional key differentiators are our proprietary technologies, including a patent-protected, deep-learning computer-vision engine as well as a rating algorithm that leverages an ever-growing database of produce photos and attributes.”

Clarifrut leaders say its platform can produce quality reports on nearly a dozen different categories, including apples, bananas, blueberries, cherries, grapes, lemons, mangoes, melons, oranges, peaches pineapples and plums as well as easy-peelers. More items may be added in the future as the business grows.

The cloud-based startup from Israel which had been in the works for several years, received a £4.5 million infusion prior to the pandemic, including a nearly £1.9 million investment from the European Innovation Council Accelerator.

So how does is work?

After downloading the Clarifrut app, users can take a picture that they want analyzed. That photo then goes through a process aided by “computer-vision technology” that assesses its surface, size, stem, colour and imperfections. Those photos are then compared against Clarifruit’s Big Data library which contains millions of produce images. Clarifruit says “this information can be configured ahead of time to take the inspection type and your specific list of inspected attributes into account.”

As for getting beyond the skin or peel to the heart of the product, Clarifruit says its platform can be configured to work with any ERP solution and “intelligent integrations with third-party hardware devices” to provide more defined qualities such as Brix or firmness.

Users can track their products and reports and get real-time information through the app and their own management dashboard. That dashboard contains data on each inspection, include date, time and location. Reports can be uploaded and converted into Excel spreadsheet if users desire.

Among the applications Clarifruit supports are pre-harvest and final products, inbound and outbound distribution centers, coolers, intake, and front of stores.

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Digimarc to acquire product intelligence platform EVRYTHNG

Digital identification and detection-based solutions provider Digimarc has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire London-based IoT data and real-time insights platform EVRYTHNG in a stock transaction. According to an SEC filing, the purchase price is set at $50 million with a second tranche based on, “reaching $10 million ARR by Feb 28, 2022, for a price that will be calculated at the time on a fixed share price of ~47.5$ per share”. Additionally, Digimarc has agreed to provide EVRYTHNG with a bridge loan of up to $2 million.

Founded in 2011, chances are, something within your view right now has passed through a database or two at EVRYTHNG. Tracking and tracing everything from raw materials right on through to the recycling phase, EVRYTHNG assigns a digital twin to any physical object imaginable and provides a tremendous amount of product intelligence data, all available in a centralised location. Just a sampling of EVRYTHNG’s client list includes household names such as Ralph Lauren, Puma, Coca Cola, and ABInBev.

Now, providing accountability to that supply chain, when merged with Digimarc’s method of identification the authenticity of products and the ability of their packaging to be recycled, for example, will not only provide complete visibility but also the means to verify it.

“By combining Digimarc’s unique and advanced means of identification with the pioneer and most advanced supplier of product item business intelligence using any means of identification, we are now uniquely positioned to unlock additional solutions for our customers and enhance their Digimarc journey,” explained Digimarc CEO Riley McCormack.

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Pexapark’s new service to ‘close trading knowledge gap’ for corporates buying green energy

Pexapark, a provider of software and advisory services for a post-subsidy renewable energy world, has launched a new offering aimed at corporates, as an increasing number enter the market for renewable energy.

Last year saw record numbers of corporations purchasing clean power and that record is set to be broken again in 2021, as corporates increasingly turn to clean power for their energy needs.

According to Pexapark data, the number of corporates signing power purchase agreements (PPAs) in 2021 is up 37 per cent on 2020, year-to-date.

This shift is being driven both by energy-intensive industrial companies, such as manufacturers, for whom energy forms a large proportion of their costs, and consumer-facing corporates transitioning to renewable energy as part of their decarbonisation and environment, social and governance (ESG) goals.

As generators of renewable power are mitigating against merchant market risk by equipping themselves with the tools to negotiate 10 to 15 year PPAs, so too are corporations looking to go green with their energy consumption.

Traditionally, corporate buyers have procured energy over one to three-year terms, but in the new world of renewable energy trading, they are having to hedge procurement risk over much longer time periods.

With demand for renewable energy growing, consumer-facing corporates – such as retailers – are signing virtual PPAs for the first time to demonstrate that their operations are being powered by green energy.

Meanwhile, more sophisticated industrial energy buyers are increasingly turning to PPAs as they too face rising ESG pressure to decarbonise their value chain. This type of corporate organisation is capitalising on the added-value brought about by renewable energy which makes them more competitive and puts them in stronger negotiating positions for big industrial contracts.

To do this successfully, however, they need to fill the gaps in their existing energy trading expertise. PPAs are one way of doing this, enabling them to hedge against price volatility and reduce the cost of energy consumption.

Pexapark and its suite of quantitative and analytical tools, can help corporates understand the fair value of energy and how to price risks, in exactly the same way that sellers are having to in this new world of post-subsidy energy trading.

Pexapark’s pre-transaction advisory services to both experienced energy traders in industrial corporations, as well as those corporates seeking to ensure their operations are powered by renewable energy, by helping to compare different PPA structures and look at the overall value of PPAs across their total duration.

Rommero Carrillo, Head of Corporate PPA Desk at Pexapark, said: “As the global energy transition continues at pace, it is clear that corporates don’t want to be left behind and are increasingly turning to renewable energy to power their operations”.

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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.”

Intelligent Automated Workflows Boost CPG Sales

Based on sales data analytics, Della Maggiora said that Teamcore’s machine learning algorithm detects when products aren’t selling as planned and, in over 94% of cases, finds the root cause of the problem before assigning a task. Unlike garden variety alerts, Teamcore’s intelligent workflow notifications keep going until they reach the people who solve the problem. If someone in replenishment can’t find the product in the warehouse to restock virtual or in-store shelves, the workflow automatically routes that task to the appropriate store sales representatives, all the way up to regional store and supply chain managers.

“Teamcore connects the whole CPG and retail team for opportunity detection sales and doesn’t stop until someone actually fixes the problem,” said Della Maggiora. “Over time, the collected data trains the model, improving its accuracy and ability to make predictions about potential issues.”

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Pexapark to accelerate the energy transition

More than 80 companies across Europe are currently using Pexapark’s Operating System, to manage, sell and buy renewable energy. Over the past 12 months, revenues tripled and the team grew from 20 to almost 50 members, a growth rate that is now recognized by the Innosuisse Certificate.

In 2017, the three co-founders Michael Waldner (CEO), Florian Müller (CTO) and Luca Pedretti (COO), established Pexapark driven by the mission to empower renewable energy players to thrive in post subsidy markets. The idea came up at a time when the renewable energy sector started undergoing a fundamental change with markets transitioning from a heavily subsidized system to an open market. Energy revenues are subsequently becoming volatile, technical and complex to manage, and investors are struggling to oversee their assets in an effective manner.

Headquartered in Schlieren, Pexapark has created a platform that offers investors a more effective solution to manage the energy sales of their wind farms and solar parks. Through its renewables operating system, Pexa OS, the start-up offers an all-in-one solution that helps clients to execute robust strategies for the sale of their renewable power via PPA (power purchase agreement) transactions and other hedging instruments through active portfolio and risk management software and advisory services.

Over 80 leading energy companies including Enel, Uniper, Encavis, RWE, BP and Abo Wind utilise Pexapark’s solutions to support their commercial renewable energy activities. Most recently, IKEA became one of a growing number of major corporates to sign a customer agreement with Pexapark, utilising its platform to support their green energy procurement strategy. Renowned industry giants including SAP.io and EEX have also joined the start-up’s partnership and collaboration agreements list. “Working with such reputable companies is an indication that we are addressing a major pain point in the sector. As the renewable energy industry continues to grow, we envision our start-up becoming a major player worldwide as the leading green energy trading platform,” says Waldner. Thanks to the continued trust by its customers, Pexapark has seen a threefold increase in revenues on a year-on-year basis.

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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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Jasmine Crowe: What Can We Do To Tackle Food Waste And Hunger?

Social entrepreneur Jasmine Crowe has one mission: feed more, waste less. Her company Goodr is tackling food waste and getting food to those who need it most.

Jasmine Crowe is a social entrepreneur and the founder of Goodr, a startup based in Atlanta, Georgia that is leveraging technology to combat hunger and food waste.

Goodr collects surplus food from organizations like Turner Broadcasting Systems, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, and others, and redirects that food to nonprofits who distribute the food to people experiencing food insecurity. The company also works directly with cities and governments to purchase quality food for certain communities.

Crowe has collected and donated more than two million food items worldwide and fed more than 80,000 people through the Sunday Soul Homeless feeding initiative as well. The initiative started out as formal pop-up dinners for the homeless community of Atlanta.

Click here to listen to Part 3 of TED Radio Hour episode The Food Connection