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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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Hotailors rebrands to WorkTrips, bags €23M investment

Travel Manager, the owner of corporate booking tool Hotailors, has landed €23 million in fresh funding. The investment in the Poland-based company has come from DC24 ASI, a previous investor in Hotailors. The funding will go toward rebranding Hotailors to WorkTrips.com as well as boosting its presence in existing markets and extending the platform to new markets such as the U.S. as well as the Middle East and North Africa.

Filip Bloch, co-founder and CEO of Hotailors, says: “We managed to survive the most difficult pandemic period for the industry. It was a time of major redundancies and restructuring among agents specializing in business travel. We used this time to expand our sales team, develop our technology and IT department and strengthen our visibility.

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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 


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Travel startup snags an inside round to fuel product additions

With an industry upended by the Covid-19 pandemic, travel startup TripGrid has spent the last nearly two years working closely with its users and signing on big customers. Based on that work, the startup secured another $1.6 million from existing investors to capitalize on an even bigger opportunity.

TripGrid created workflow automation software designed for large group travel. Think project and production-based users like entertainment, sports and media companies that have internal travel coordinators and must move lots of people. These are projects and trips that are core to customers’ business and therefore are expected to recover. And they have to some degree as the pandemic has evolved.

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The next steps for SCALUE, a game-changer in procurement analytics

A lot has happened since we last talked to Thomas Teichmann, one of the co-founders, along with Samir Kharkan, and managing director of SCALUE, in 2019. Since then, their tool became available at SAP® Store, the online marketplace for SAP and partner offerings. They also welcomed Dr. Ulrich Piepel, former top manager from RWE | innogy and current Senior Advisor from BCG & SAP Ariba, to their advisory board.

“Procurement analytics is the next step, replacing legacy spend cubes and bringing a new dimension to procurement organizations in terms of total spend transparency, process efficiency, automation, savings, and maverick buying,” saysDr. Ulrich Piepel, former CPO of RWE and innogy about the future of procurement analytics.

SCALUE’s procurement analytics plug-and-play app gives SMEs and corporates a chance to address their supply chain pain points without manually inserting data in an Excel sheet. Their automated, cloud-based technology will soon become a crucial competitive advantage to keep businesses up to date with digitalization.

As a result, the SaaS procurement tool keeps getting the attention of Chief Procurement Officers (CPOs), Chief Financial Officers (CFOs), and other industry leaders looking to improve their digitalization efforts to overcome challenges in the supply chain.

How does SCALUE help CPOs?

With APIs instead of spreadsheets, SMEs and corporates benefit from totally automated data processing (ETL). SCALUE’s benefits include:

  • 20% more cost-efficiency and 80% of time-saving, depending on the industry and supply chain;
  • An empowered team, thanks to their integrated e-learning platform to deliver educational content on procurement terminology and optimization;
  • Data to empower CPOs’ abilities to fast decision-making, preparing the foundations to remain agile should unexpected events happen;
  • And tools for CPOs to optimize and scalue their procurement processes — adding more and more value.

As the points above summarize, SCALUE’s automated and advanced procurement software helps build a transparent, digitally-forward foundation for strategic procurement processes.

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Archlet Sourcing Optimization App Now Available on SAP® Store

Today, Archlet announced that its Archlet Sourcing Optimization App is now available on SAP® Store, the online marketplace for SAP and partner offerings. The API connector integrates with SAP® Ariba®solutions and enables advanced sourcing analytics and scenario optimization capabilities for customers.

“By making Archlet’s sourcing analytics and optimization capabilities available to customers on SAP Store, businesses get access to best-in-class capabilities that further enhance the ROI of their investment into SAP Ariba solutions. Customers can now easily analyze and model sourcing scenarios that include sustainability, risk or supplier diversity scores, while maintaining a single source of truth within the SAP Ariba solution,” says Tim Grunow, Co-Founder and Managing Director at Archlet.

Using the Archlet Sourcing Optimization App to enhance SAP Ariba allows clients to …

  • increase the sourcing data quality with automated error and outlier detection,
  • reduce tender cycle times by eliminating manual Excel-based analysis,
  • highlight negotiation opportunities on a supplier level for improved savings delivery, and
  • make holistic sourcing decisions that reflect business constraints and requirements.

SAP Store, found at store.sap.com, delivers a simplified and connected digital customer experience for finding, trying, buying and renewing more than 1,800solutions from SAP and its partners. There, customers can find the SAP solutions and SAP-validated solutions they need to grow their business. And foreach purchase made through SAP Store, SAP will plant a tree.

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Airwallex Named to the 2021 CB Insights Fintech 250 List; Recognized as Top Fintech Startup for Fourth Successive Time

CB Insights today named Airwallex to the fourth annual Fintech 250, a prestigious list of emerging private companies working on groundbreaking financial technology. This year’s list was unveiled on stage at CB Insights’ Future of Fintech conference in New York City.

“This is the fourth class of the Fintech 250, and it’s also the most international, representing 26 countries. These 250 fintech startups are attacking an incredibly diverse array of financial services opportunities across 19 sectors, including digital banking, insurance, payroll, retail investing, and more,” said CB Insights CEO Anand Sanwal. “After being named to the CB Insights Fintech 250 last year, the 2020 class saw 17 companies go public and 25 get acquired. They also went on to raise over $25B in additional financing and forged more than 380 new partnerships after being recognized. The Fintech 250 has a history of spotlighting the very best fintech companies, and this year is no different. We’re excited to see how these fintech startups disrupt and transform financial services in the years ahead.”

Lucy Liu, Co-founder and President of Airwallex said, “As a leading global fintech business, we are delighted to have been recognized by CB insights in all four of their Fintech 250 lists, which is a testament to Airwallex’s tremendous growth since our inception in 2015. This is just the beginning, and as we continue to expand globally, we remain committed to our mission of empowering businesses of all sizes to grow without borders.”

Through an evidence-based approach, the CB Insights Intelligence Unit selected the Fintech 250 from a pool of over 17,000 companies, including applicants and nominees.They were chosen based on several factors, including data submitted by the companies, company business models and momentum in the market, and Mosaic scores, CB Insights’ proprietary algorithm that measures the overall health and growth potential of private companies.

Founded in 2015, Airwallex is one of the fastest-growing global fintech platforms today and has seen significant business growth in the last year, recording a year-over-year revenue growth of nearly 150% for the first half of 2021, and processing more than annualised US$20 billion for a global client portfolio that has quadrupled in size, serving innovative global businesses such as GOAT, Papaya Global and Stake. The company has nearly doubled its headcount in 2021 and employs almost 1,000 employees today in over 20 locations globally. In September 2021, the company announced its US$200 million Series E fundraising round, valuing the company at US$4 billion. This year, Airwallex launched a series of new products and reached major milestones with its global expansion plans, opening for business in the U.S. in August, as well as securing an EMI license in the Netherlands and a Money Services Business license in Malaysia.

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Switzerland-based Archlet raises €8.6M to help companies to make better sourcing decisions; here’s how

Zurich-based Archlet, a B2B SaaS application platform that empowers company buyers to make informed decisions in strategic sourcing, announced that it has secured $10M (approx €8.62M) in its Series A round of funding.

The fundraise comes early for Archlet, as it raised its $2.8M Seed round in January 2021. The additional capital will allow Archlet to further boost product development and to expand into new markets.

The round was led by HV Capital. Existing investors Wingman Ventures, Senovo, and La Famiglia also participated in this round. Business Angel Matthias Hilpert completed the round and said he will continue to support Archlet on its journey.

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HV Capital invests $10M in Archlet’s Series A

Archlet has successfully closed a $10M Series A funding round that will fuel and accelerate our growth journey even further. This round would not have been possible without the incredible team at HV Capital and the support and sparring from our existing investors. Additionally, we look forward to welcoming our new business angel, Matthias Hilpert, who will assist with strategic advice and action planning.

While the pace at Archlet is higher than ever before, we have taken a moment to reflect on our crazy journey. Since we founded Archlet two years ago, we have been on an incredibly satisfying and humbling adventure with many ups and downs, and, as a team, we have learned something valuable from every one of them. In 2021, our customer base has grown like never before, our dreams, goals, and visions have followed. It is this entrepreneurial spirit that makes the A-Team so exceptional, and we are very proud to be part of this crew.

Every day, the team works hard to get us closer to our vision of seamlessly connecting buyers and suppliers in the global supply chains. And every day, our user experience becomes better and even more intuitive. We are already well on the way, but with our additional funding, we are another step closer to offering a powerful end-to-end sourcing experience that can be used by any buyer in any organization.

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Airwallex raises $200M at a $4B valuation to double down on business banking

Business, now more than ever before, is going digital, and today a startup that’s building a vertically integrated solution to meet business banking needs is announcing a big round of funding to tap into the opportunity. Airwallex — which provides business banking services directly to businesses themselves as well as via a set of APIs that power other companies’ fintech products — has raised $200 million, a Series E round of funding that values the Australian startup at $4 billion.

Lone Pine Capital is leading the round, with new backers G Squared and Vetamer Capital Management, and previous backers 1835i Ventures (formerly ANZi), DST Global, Salesforce Ventures and Sequoia Capital China also participating.

The funding brings the total raised by Airwallex — which has head offices in Hong Kong and Melbourne, Australia — to $700 million, including a $100 million injection that closed out its Series D just six months ago.

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Airwallex Raises Funds at $4 Billion Valuation for Expansion

Airwallex Cayman Ltd. raised $200 million to accelerate its expansion in global payments as it taps investors keen on fast-growing fintechs. The Australian company attracted funding from investors led by Lone Pine Capital, boosting its valuation to $4 billion after the series E round, the company said in a statement on Monday. Other new investors include G Squared and Vetamer Capital Management.

“We want to accelerate our growth in the U.K., Europe and U.S.,” Jack Zhang, chief executive officer of Airwallex, said in a phone interview. He added that the company wants to “become a dominant leader in global payments.”

Airwallex’s fundraising comes just months after a round in March that gave the firm a valuation of $2.6 billion, underscoring the rapid growth in online payments. Last month Square Inc., the digital-payments platform led by Twitter Inc. founder Jack Dorsey, agreed to buy Australian buy-now, pay-later company Afterpay Ltd. for $29 billion.

Airwallex helps businesses set up bank accounts, process multicurrency payments and manage expenses. While the company has numerous Chinese clients including Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s WeChat, retailer JD.com Inc. and online learning platform 51Talk, its focus on cross-border payments has kept it clear of a regulatory crackdown on other parts of the country’s financial system.

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How Staple is Helping to Power the First Mile of Data Processing

We talked to Ben Stein, CEO at Staple about converting documents into structured data and here is what he said about it.

First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times? 

Ben Stein: We are all doing well, thank you! Like most of the world, all team members have been involuntarily separated from friends and family. Our team is decentralized across Singapore, Vietnam, India and Sri Lanka. Our relationships have shifted online, and that is something we have grown accustomed to. Thankfully our team, our families and our friends are all doing well.

Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Staple.

Ben Stein: I previously worked with KPMG in Australia, Europe and North America for almost a decade, then in various corporate positions in London and Singapore. After working with clients in banking, energy, manufacturing and real estate, I noticed persistent inefficiencies in both enterprises and SMEs around data management. I left my CFO position at the time to explore how deep technology (“deep tech”) might present potential solutions to these inefficiencies. I joined EF (joinef.com), where I met my co-founder, Josh, a Ph.D. computer scientist. Together we met with more than 150 companies to understand their most pressing pain points, and we built Staple to address them. 

Staple’s solution can read, interpret, extract and reconcile data from semi-structured and unstructured documents, regardless of layout or language. Currently, we support more than 90 languages, and we are helping customers process data-heavy workflows in Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese and Indonesian. 

How does Staple innovate? 

Ben Stein: There is a lot of hype around big data, RPA, AI and analytics and their potential to rapidly accelerate the digitalization of business. What many don’t appreciate is that these technologies can’t function without a core ingredient: clean, structured data. RPA and bots are fantastic innovations, but they can only work with structured data. There is so much reliance on data, yet enterprises struggle to access, unlock and use it at scale because the data is not available in a standardized, accessible format. Without structured data, RPA bots cannot function, analytics tell an incomplete story, and information for decision making is either not timely, inaccurate, or not useful. 

Many businesses are unable to reap the benefits of automation technologies as they cannot cross the divide between structured system needs and the unstructured or semi-structured realities of business. It’s the classic adage of “garbage in, garbage out”: unless meaningful, accurate, standardized data is ingested from the outset, RPA and automation implementations will fail. It’s important that digitalization agendas have proper regard for the “first mile of data processing.” 

We dedicate a lot of effort to building software that employees actually enjoy using, as opposed to software that employees are forced to use. We don’t think there should be a distinction between software for SMEs or software for the enterprise; it should all just be software to be more productive. We also have a sharp focus on developing solutions that anybody – from the most junior employee to a highly technical CTO – can use. We’re working on tools that allow non-technical users to develop new AI models without touching a line of code. This introduces a level of flexibility that was previously out of reach for many users.

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SAP Startup Spotlight: Staple

Ben Stein is CEO and cofounder of Staple, a Singapore-headquartered AI company specializing in data capture, processing, and reconciliation in more than 90 languages. He is a chartered accountant with past experience at KPMG, Octopus Investments, and Entrepreneur First. Ben Stein has degrees in law and commerce and is a full stack developer. In this interview, he explains what his company has to offer and what’s next for Staple.

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SAP Startup Spotlight: RoadGoat

Kurosh Hashemi is the founder and CEO of RoadGoat. Prior to starting RoadGoat, Kurosh founded and led the Ultraviolet LED Lighting business at Philips Lighting, which was acquired by Apollo Management. Kurosh also has extensive expertise across the Internet of Things and location data. He earned his MBA at UC Berkeley, where he was a Haas Merit Scholar. In this interview, he will talk about why he founded RoadGoat, what his solution has to offer, and what’s next for the company.

E-3 Magazine: What exactly does RoadGoat offer?

Kurosh HashemiRoadGoat is a pocket travel guide. We provide user-generated data for over 4 million travel destinations – neighborhoods, towns, and cities. Travelers can use RoadGoat to figure out how safe a place is, whether an area is low-risk for COVID-19, if it is tagged for business travelers or foodies, and much more. We even provide a travel map for users that they can automatically update with all their social media accounts, business trip data, fitness trackers, Google Maps, and more. We initially started as a consumer app but we’ve now teamed up with Concur to deliver the same great experience for business travelers.

How does your solution work?

Hashemi: At the heart of our technology is a database of over 4 million travel destinations. Our users contribute meaningful insights about each of these destinations and we supplement this guidance with some more data-driven insights such as information about COVID-19, safety, when to go, budgetary ratings, and more. All that customers need to join RoadGoat is a WIFI-enabled device, as it is a completely free platform.

Why did you start RoadGoat to begin with?

Hashemi: We started RoadGoat because we felt that there was a lack of information about travel destinations. While sites like TripAdvisor, Google, and Yelp give great context about local businesses, no one is providing context about neighborhoods or towns – that’s where we come in. We help you understand if a destination is good for business travelers, nightlife, foodies, and more. Is it safe? What’s the COVID-19 situation? Is it LGBTQ+-friendly? Our users rate, rank, and tag destinations to help guide each other.

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