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parcelLab secures $112M to help global brands deliver a seamless experience

The leading Operations Experience Management platform, parcelLab, announced today that it has secured US$112 million in Series C funding led by global venture capital and private equity firm, Insight Partners. Endeit Capital joined as a co-investor as well as existing investors Capnamic Ventures and coparion. The funding will enable the Operations Experience category leader to accelerate its mission of bringing people and brands closer together.

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Final-mile fulfillment startup parcelLab closes $112M Series C funding led by Insight Partners

Munich-based parcelLab, which offers a final-mile fulfillment service for online retailers, has closed a $112 million (GB£80 million) Series C funding round led by the U.S. VC/PE firm Insight Partners.

Germany’s Endeit Capital participated as a co-investor, alongside existing investors Capnamic Ventures and coparion. ParcelLab last raised an undisclosed Series B in October 2019. The new funding will feed into parcelLab’s global expansion plans and new product development.

Founded in 2015 by Tobias Buxhoidt (CEO), Julian Krenge (CTO) and Anton Eder (COO), the startup has managed to bag such customers as Lidl, to which it provides automated personalized shipping messages. This means that as much as 85% of Lidl customers return to its website.

It also works with Ikea and Farfetch to increase basket sizes and email open rates of — it claims — over 90%, 25% reductions in WISMO (where is my order) and increases of customer reviews.

In a statement, Tobias Buxhoidt, CEO and founder of parcelLab, said: “As e-commerce becomes increasingly competitive, providing unique and branded experiences will drive growth. Identifying opportunities to further connect with people and build a better, stronger relationship is a key differentiator.”

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Sustainable Business Is Better Business for All

Sustainability is the business challenge of our lifetimes.

Customers are increasingly educated and demand products and services that minimize negative environmental impact. Investors are integrating climate risk in their portfolio strategies. Government regulation is on the rise around the world, affecting carbon emissions, waste management, product design, and producer responsibility. Employees are increasingly vocal about their employer’s environmental policies and actions, making it challenging for businesses to recruit top talent without a genuine environmental vision and track record.

Based on Accenture research*, enterprises with high ratings for environmental and social governance (ESG) performance attained operating margins nearly four-times higher than those with low ESG ratings and generated annual total returns to shareholders that were double their peers. According Accenture and United Nations (UN) Global Compact research, 54% of CEOs agree sustainability is critical to the future success of their organizations, and 71% of investors believe the pandemic will accentuate global policies to tackle risks related to climate change.

From Periphery to Core

Enterprises must show accountability through ESG performance and manage end-to-end operations responsibly. By reimagining its business model, any company can operate in an intelligent way, minimize negative environmental impact, and unleash a new dimension of enterprise resource planning (ERP). Decision-makers can use this intelligence to design better products, create engaging experiences, and equip employees to do their best work by eliminating busywork. They can create an efficient, ethical, and adaptable supply chain, reaching beyond organizations and first-tier suppliers to proactively manage performance and risks with trading partners around the world.

Just like any other core business function, sustainability performance must also be managed in real time and integrated into wider business decision making. True, integrated reporting will go hand-in-hand with ESG management, and information transparency will provide a solid foundation to optimize financial results and sustainability performance together.

Most companies have a long way to go before they move beyond the basics of simply reporting ESG performance to actively steering their business operations toward ambitious sustainability goals. While the UN Global Compact’s SDG Ambition program has challenged companies to enhance their commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), only 25% have set goals aligned to societal or environmental needs. Although CEOs acknowledge the universal call-to-action to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all, less than 50% have implemented sustainability into their operations.

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SAP.iO Launches Sustainable Future Accelerator Program with Accenture to Drive Startup and Partner Innovation

SAP.iO kicked off a global sustainability-focused accelerator program alongside Accenture at SAP.iO Foundries Berlin and Munich. The Sustainable Future program aims to help early-stage B2B startups get up and running quickly to enable companies across multiple industries to address sustainability challenges and create a positive impact on both industry and society.

Sustainable Future is the largest SAP.iO cohort to date. Thirteen startups have been selected to work with SAP.iO Foundries Berlin and Munich, in tandem with Accenture experts and leading companies in various industries.

“To address global challenges such as climate change, businesses must partner on all levels and across organizations, industries and regions,” said Daniel Schmid, SAP chief sustainability officer. “Teaming up with Accenture to accelerate early-stage startups is part of our holistic innovation approach to integrate new solutions in our portfolio that help our customers understand and improve their environmental and societal impact.”

Sustainable Future is an equity-free program that seeks to propel digital transformation and corporate-startup innovation in four target areas including carbon tracking and trading, resource efficiency, climate risk tracking and mitigation, and circular economy. The program builds upon SAP and Accenture’s long-standing partnership and shared commitment to using technology to help the world build a more sustainable future.

“Our clients are increasingly turning to technology to enable sustainability agendas across their business and deliver on their purpose-based missions to drive value for their stakeholders,” said Caspar Borggreve, global lead for the Accenture SAP Business Group. “Together with SAP, we are helping startups bring innovation to life with solutions and services that allow companies to raise the bar by integrating sustainability into their core processes, strategies and operating models.”

The startups in this cohort will receive curated mentorship, access to SAP technology and application programming interfaces (APIs), and exposure to SAP and Accenture customers to develop high-impact proofs of concept. The accelerator program will run for three months and conclude with a demo day on July 8, 2021.

The Sustainable Future cohort includes the following startups:

  • Astraea provides an integrated platform to access, analyze and deliver earth-observing data and geospatial information using artificial intelligence (AI).
  • Blacksquared GmbH / Changers.com motivates and rewards employees in a playful manner to participate in healthy and environmentally friendly activities.
  • Breeze Technologies measures and analyzes common pollutants like nitrogen oxides, ozone or particulate matter in real time using machine learning and Big Data technologies.
  • Carbon Minds GmbH has built the largest and most regionalized lifecycle database for the chemical industry to help companies reduce their environmental impact with evidence-based guidance.
  • Circular IQ is a digital platform that monitors the circular performance of different suppliers, products, components and materials throughout supply chains to improve their impact on people and the planet.
  • CodeCheck is a mobile application that promotes source transparency and enables consumers to check the ingredients in food and cosmetics by scanning the barcode.
  • Emitwise helps businesses measure, report and reduce their carbon footprint across their operations and supply chains by automating data collection and processing.
  • Footprint Technologies GmbH enables consumers to accurately measure their feet at home and find the right shoe size, thus avoiding returns, costs and COemissions for online retailers.
  • GreenPlat provides traceability from the extraction of raw materials until the final disposal of generated waste using blockchain technology to create transparency across the supply chain.
  • Journey Foods uses machine learning, AI, data scraping and cohort analysis to recommend the most nutritious and more sustainable ingredients for food companies.
  • Lixo is an AI-powered waste detection system to improve the performance of recycling companies, from waste collection to sorting and recycling.
  • Lizee helps retail brands enact their rental business model and successfully enter the circular economy.
  • Too Good To Go connects consumers to restaurants and stores that have unsold, surplus food to fight food waste.

Every Return Saved Is a Win for Consumers, Brands, and the Planet

If the CEO of Presize has his way, clothing returns will be a relic of the past, and online retail brands will not sacrifice business for the sake of the environment.

The startup’s cloud-based app uses artificial intelligence (AI) to calculate clothing sizes for individual online shoppers. Much more than welcome relief for anyone who has ever hesitated to buy clothing online because they were uncertain of their size, the tool reduces size-related product returns by 50% on average.

“Sustainability is core to our mission,” said Leon Szeli, co-founder and CEO. “Every product return we save is a win for the consumer, the brand, and the planet. Every item of clothing that consumers scan using our app means fewer returns. This contributes to a lower carbon footprint for the planet, less time wasted for shoppers, and greater cost-savings for retail brands.”

Sustainability Is the Perfect Fit for Online Shopping

Based in Germany, Presize serves well-known clothing apparel brands in that country and throughout Western Europe. Its online sizing tool has provided half a million recommendations to delighted consumers. Instead of second-guessing ambiguous size charts, shoppers simply click on the “find my size” button, answer basic questions that include their height, weight, and gender, upload a video of themselves if they choose, and then the algorithm provides their best size for that product. Behind the scenes, AI-fueled algorithms learn from dynamic data analyses.

“We constantly train the algorithm using data from hundreds of thousands of human shapes and other variables, plus stock-keeping units (SKUs) from clothing manufacturers, and layer that with product return information,” Szeli said. “Once someone saves their size ID, it can be applied to any brand that uses the Presize app, making shopping much easier. Shoppers can even share their size information with family and friends.”

According to Szeli, online retailers that use the Presize app on their website have increased conversion rates, meaning consumer sales, by up to 25%. As with any AI-based tool, user adoption is critical for calculation accuracy. Szeli said that approximately 10% of shoppers use the tool when it is available on a brand’s site.

“A big part of sizing uncertainty is the diversity between brands, Szeli explained. “Every product is different, and we want to help consumers regardless of what brand of clothing they buy.”

Digital Insights for Sustainable Results

Presize is the culmination of Szeli’s two major career passions: conducting research and having a positive impact on the world. As a university student in the U.S. and the UK, he focused on human trust in AI-based technology. However, he quickly realized that he wanted to accomplish much more than producing papers for niche audiences. When he met his co-founders, who were working with computer vision and AI, they embarked on a journey to literally change the world – beginning with online shopping.

“I wanted to do something entrepreneurial that would have a much wider impact and change people’s lives for the better,” Szeli said. “I saw the problem of product returns as a sustainability issue that wasted environmental resources, as well as time and money for businesses and their customers.”

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With a SAP collaboration and a round A underway, Pico comes out punching from Covid-19 crisis

The Israeli startup is currently working with over 60 sports teams globally from some of the biggest leagues in the world and was selected to take part in SAP’s first-ever fan experience–focused startup accelerator program.

t is no secret that there are many tech companies that benefited from Covid-19. For Haifa-based startup Pico, which has created a technology to turn engaged, anonymous sports and entertainment fans into identifiable customer profiles to support business objectives, the pandemic has not only been good for business but has helped validate what the company has been preaching for years.”Covid-19 accelerated our growth tremendously. In the last two years we were running around with our sales pitch that you have to know who your digital fans are because most of your fans are online and not at your stadium and you don’t have data about them and need to start building this database. Now it isn’t us doing the pitch, it is the teams and the leagues doing it,” Pico CEO Asaf Nevo told CTech. “Everyone in the industry now says we have to understand who these people are. They suddenly realize there is a void, sometimes of tens of millions of fans, that they are spending tens of millions of dollars a year to engage with, but have no idea who they are. In these rough times when we don’t know when people will be back at stadiums, we have to understand who they are, start monetizing them, and begin to look at digital engagement as a new revenue stream.”Pico is currently working with over 60 sports teams globally from some of the biggest leagues in the world, including the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers, German football Bundesliga clubs Werder Bremen and Borussia Dortmund and several NHL teams.

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“Presize.ai” secures the mega-deal

With their start-up “Presize.ai” Tomislav Tomov (28) and Leon Szeli (26) want to change online clothing shipping. Because clothes that are ordered online cannot be tried on beforehand, there are tons of returns. Using artificial intelligence, the founders from Munich want to enable customers to order in a size-appropriate manner. The aim is to reduce returns. The team was able to convince investor Carsten Maschmeyer in the show . He negotiated a deal worth 650,000 euros for 15 percent of the company’s shares: It was the second-highest single deal that the show has ever existed.

With “Presize.ai”, the Munich founders have developed an app that helps users find the right dress size. The smartphone camera measures the entire body with just one turn of the body and creates a 3D model. The user then receives an individual code. This means that the user in the retailer’s online shops is suggested the items of clothing that really fit him.

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SAP.iO Co-Leads Innovation with Munich’s SAP Garden

SAP announced its first-ever fan experience–focused startup accelerator program. From the latest SAP.iO Foundry location in Munich, eight startups have been chosen to participate in the upcoming fall cohort held in collaboration with SAP Garden, a multipurpose sports arena being built by Red Bull in Munich’s Olympiapark.

The collaboration aims to identify innovative technologies for use in in the stadium. SAP Garden will be the new home for local top teams EHC Red Bull München and FC Bayern München Basketball as well as for public ice sports.

Red Bull and FC Bayern München have been longtime SAP customers. With a passion for innovation, creativity and success, the three stakeholders are coming together to pool their expertise to set new standards for the fan experience.

“Together with our long-standing partners and customers Red Bull and FC Bayern, we want to create unforgettable fan experiences in the SAP Garden,” said Thomas Saueressig, member of the Executive Board of SAP SE and responsible for SAP Product Engineering. “The SAP Garden will show innovative solutions and technologies from SAP and startups that put fans front and center. We are looking forward to working together with the cohort to build tailor-made solutions that elevate the fan experience in the SAP Garden.”

SAP.iO Foundry Munich is part of SAP’s strategic business unit designed to accelerate innovation and drive new business models for SAP. The SAP.iO Foundries program is a global network of equity-free accelerator programs located in strategic hubs. It provides startups with access to mentorship, exposure to SAP technologies, and opportunities to meet and collaborate with SAP customers.

The selected startups will work closely with mentors at SAP, Red Bull and FC Bayern to develop proofs-of- concept, access SAP technology and application programmable interfaces (APIs), and identify opportunities to collaborate with SAP executives and customers. The accelerator program will run for three months and conclude with a demo day in early December.

The cohort consists of the following startups:

  • Ariadne Maps provides a crowd analytics platform enabling retailers to infer meaningful insights from traffic data and trends to optimize advertising and marketing, maximize sales and offer the best service to visitors.
  • MultiBall merges sports and gaming, using fully immersive interactive solutions that combine fitness, entertainment and education while providing marketing opportunities for businesses.
  • io is reinventing the sports fan experience using augmented reality, allowing spectators to visualize and interact with live data, which is directly overlaid on top of the pitch and even on top of the players — in stadium or at home.
  • INS Insider Navigation Systems delivers a hardware-independent augmented reality indoor navigation system enabling precise 3D positioning, intuitive navigation and location-based AR content.
  • Pico turns engaged, anonymous online fans into identifiable customer profiles through personalized, one-to-one messaging, driving conversion from existing digital channels and increased revenue from enhanced sponsorships, tickets and merchandise sales.
  • TAWNY offers an emotion analytics software-as-a-service solution to capture and analyze human affective states driving consumer decisions and behavior.
  • Wagawin drives user engagement with interactive advertisements, allowing businesses to gain unique audience insights leading to more customized advertising options.
  • Zippin enables retailers to quickly deploy frictionless shopping in their stores, by employing artificial intelligence, machine learning and sensor fusion technology to create the best consumer experience. In December 2019, Zippin raised a $12 million Series A funding round, in which the SAP.iO program was a contributing investor.

Les accélérateurs SAP.iO Foundry de Munich et de Berlin vont accélérer deux startups françaises : Alcméon et Fretlink

Paris – SAP SE (NYSE) : SAP.iO Foundry Munich et SAP.iO Foundry Berlin annoncent le lancement de leurs nouvelles promotions de startups qui auront pour thème respectif le marketing & e-commerce et l’industrie 4.0. Sur 12 pépites accélérées 2 sont Françaises.

Deux startups françaises retenues pour êtres accélérées en Europe

Parmi les startups sélectionnées sur les deux programmes européens se trouvent deux jeunes pousses françaises :

  • Alcméon intègre SAP.iO Foundry Munich. Cette startup française issue de Station F, est une plateforme SaaS qui laisse aux entreprises la réinvention et l’amélioration de l’expérience client avec une messagerie centralisée multicanal. La technologie hybride d’Alcméon associe automatisation intelligente, IA, chatbots et intervention humaine pour réduire les coûts et accroître la satisfaction des clients.
  • Fretlink intègre SAP.iO Foundry Berlin. La startup aide à sécuriser, gérer et optimiser les plans de transport grâce à un produit numérique et un hub européen de transporteurs locaux. Se traduisant sous la forme d’une marketplace, elle permet aux transporteurs d’informer de leur capacité de transport disponible et ainsi recevoir des ordres de transport au juste prix pour compléter leurs chargements.

« La France dispose de nombreuses startups innovantes. Si nous en accélérerons une quinzaine en France par an avec SAP.iO  Foundry Paris, nous en accompagnons d’autres à fort potentiel sur le marché Européen. Par ces programmes nous entendons aider les startups à lever certaines barrières et soutenir l’innovation européenne » explique Alexa Gorman, SVP, Head of SAP.iO Foundries Europe. «Alcméon et Fretlink sont promues à un très bel avenir en Europe et même à l’international. Les synergies avec le Groupe SAP sont très fortes. Nous sommes ravis de pouvoir les aider dans leur développement. »

Pendant plusieurs mois, les startups sélectionnées bénéficieront d’un mentorat organisé, d’un accès aux technologies et interfaces de programmation applicative (API) de SAP ainsi que de multiples occasions de collaborer avec les dirigeants et les clients de SAP.

Focus sur le marketing et le e-commerce pour le programme SAP.iO Foundry Munich

En collaboration étroite avec les équipes SAP Customer Experience et UnternehmerTUM, la promotion de Munich se concentrera exclusivement sur les startups business-to-business (B2B) qui transforment la relation client et permettent aux clients SAP de proposer des expériences encore plus attrayantes.

La promotion intègre Alcméon et les 5 autres startups suivantes :

  • StorifyMe facilite radicalement la création, la publication et la mesure de l’impact des témoignages des clients.
  • nyris est une plateforme de recherche visuelle utilisant l’intelligence artificielle (IA) qui propose aux clients une façon plus naturelle de trouver ce qu’ils cherchent.
  • squarelovin permet permet aux marques de collecter et de traiter des images, de gérer leur droits de manière transparente et d’activer le commerce visuel et l’analyse.
  • Frontastic est la plateforme de gestion front end pour le monde piloté par les API, permettant aux entreprises de développer des front ends dernier cri et orientés clients.
  • Velou offre des résultats de recherche personnalisés aux clients et augmente les conversions et le chiffre d’affaires pour les e-commerçants dans la mode.

L’Industrie 4.0 au programme de la nouvelle promo de SAP.iO Foundry Berlin

Le programme permet aux jeunes pousses de développer des technologies qui aident les entreprises existantes à aller au-delà de la fabrication numérique et à relier de manière transparente tous les aspects d’une entreprise, de la conception à l’exploitation, en passant par les ventes et le service. Le programme SAP.iO Foundry Industry 4.0 aide les clients de SAP à trouver et à adopter ces technologies de rupture.

En plus de Fretlink, la promotion se compose des startups suivantes :

  • Agranimo produit des logiciels et des équipements de surveillance du microclimat qui transforment les informations sur les sols et le climat en une stratégie de gestion.
  • Soley permet d’économiser plusieurs millions de dollars en optimisant les portefeuilles de produits complexes.
  • LiveEO analyse les données satellitaires pour surveiller les réseaux d’infrastructures à grande échelle.
  • Wandelbots permet à tous, même à ceux qui n’ont pas d’expérience technique, d’enseigner les robots rapidement, facilement et à peu de frais.
  • 3DQR – remotely fournit aux industriels des lunettes intelligentes et de la réalité augmentée.

SAP.iO Kicks Off Second Acceleration Program for Marketing and Commerce Startups in Munich, Germany

SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) has announced the six startups joining the latest SAP.iO Foundry Munich cohort focused on innovative marketing and commerce solutions.

Working closely with SAP Customer Experience teams and UnternehmerTUM, the Munich cohort will focus exclusively on business-to-business (B2B) startups that transform customer relationships and help SAP customers deliver even more engaging experiences.

“The Munich Foundry has received overwhelming support from the Munich entrepreneurial community,” said Philippe Souidi, head of SAP.iO Foundry Munich. “SAP.iO is helping to foster this ecosystem with its global reach, by building bridges between customers and partners. We look forward to shaping joint offerings that lead startups to success in the area of commerce.“

The selected startups will receive curated mentorship, access to SAP technology and application programmable interfaces (APIs), and opportunities to collaborate with SAP executives and customers.

The cohort consists of the following startups:

  • StorifyMe makes it radically easy to create, publish and measure the impact of customers’ stories. The software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution enables companies to easily build mobile-first landing pages, microstores, ads and other content tailored specifically to their business goals and identity.
  • nyris is a visual artificial intelligence (AI) search platform that provides customers a more natural way to find what they are looking for. Nyris delivers industry-leading performance on the measures that matter most: accuracy, speed, scale, privacy and security.
  • squarelovin enables businesses to leverage authentic content from customers that provides inspiration, social proof and trust on every channel. The User Generated Content SaaS platform helps brands collect and curate images, seamlessly manage rights and activate visual commerce and analytics.
  • Frontastic is the front-end management platform for the API-driven world, enabling enterprises to build customer-focused and state-of-the-art front ends, delivered as progressive web apps, for every device.
  • Velou delivers personalized search results for shoppers and increases conversions and revenue for fashion e-commerce retailers. The solution features the only search and discovery algorithm built specifically for the fashion industry and leverages AI, natural language processing and advanced computer vision.
  • Alcméon is an SaaS platform that lets enterprises reinvent and improve customer experience with centralized multichannel messaging. Alcméon’s hybrid technology combines intelligent automation, AI, chatbots and human intervention to reduce costs and increase customer satisfaction.

SAP Foundry: Accelerator For Startups Focusing On B2B Customers

SAP Foundry Munich is an accelerator program that helps B2B startups develop customer-friendly solutions. Of course, one goal is being able to use the solutions for SAP itself. However, the accelerator also provides a very extensive network of partners and customers. How exactly do startups like Parcellab, Presize and Rapitag — to name a few graduates — benefit from being a part of the program? An interview with Erica Davis, Community Manager, and Philippe Souidi, Head of the SAP Foundry Munich.

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A win-win situation for both parties: SAP.iO Foundry brings London & Partners on board as a mentor

SAP, the market leader in business software, has founded the SAP.iO Foundry to support young companies, in order to promote innovation both inside and outside the SAP world.

The participating teams of the global accelerator program receive cross-industry training and mentoring sessions for 12-14 weeks from internal and external experts, support for integration with SAP applications and access to SAP customers. The programmes end with a Demo Day, during which the startups present their solutions to SAP customers, partners and investors.

For the past few months, the German team from London & Partners has supported the SAP.iO Foundry program as a mentor in two German cities – Berlin and Munich. As the Mayor of London’s official promotional agency, London & Partners offers founders advice on internationalization and go-to-market strategies, set-up in London and access to the local eco-system. The mentoring sessions are the ideal first step to make it easier for young start-ups who want to expand into London to enter the local market.

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SAP.iO Foundry Munich at Bits & Pretzels

Last week, the Bits & Pretzels conference in Munich provided SAP.iO startups the opportunity to share, learn, and engage in a unique, Oktoberfest-themed format. Nicknamed “Europe’s biggest Founders Festival”, it featured an extensive showfloor and over seven stages for keynotes from world-renowned experts and innovators (including this year’s headliner President Barack Obama) spanning diverse industries and topics. On the third and final day, the event concluded with “liquid networking” and traditional celebrations in the Schottenhamel-Festhalle, the oldest beer tent at the Wiesn.

In total, we had 9 startups exhibiting: presize.ai, rapitagExpivi8selectparcelLabViewAR, and Dotaki from the currentSAP.iO Foundry Munich cohort, and SAP.iO Foundry Berlin alumni AugmaniaWeView, and ScanTrust. Beyond connecting with potential customers, investors, and fellow entrepreneurs, some of our startups were able to meet Roland Weigert, State Secretary for the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, Energy and Technology. Plus, Augmania founder & CEO Rania Reda took to the Impact Stage for the insightful panel session “WINNING: Success Stories from Female Founders.” With so many inspiring talks and interactive booths from startups and corporates, the conference was both overwhelmingly productive and fun for all of us.

We had an incredible experience, and are already looking forward to next year’s event. Visit our picture gallery for more SAP.iO highlights from Bits& Pretzels 2019!