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‘Shopify for physical stores’ raises £1.3m

Retail disrupter Mercaux has secured £1.3 million in new debt financing from Flashpoint Venture Debt. 

The London firm helps transform retail stores from simple point of sale, into multi-purpose centres that deliver a personalised in-store customer experience and omnichannel sales, as well as serve as customer acquisition and remote selling channels.  

It achieves this by deploying built-for-purpose modular in-store digital platform that connects stores to eCommerce and other systems, such as OMS, PIM and CRM.  

The company’s in-store solutions are operated by store associates, or self-served by customers, and also reveal a rich pool of in-store customer behaviour data that can be leveraged in other channels. 

Mercaux’s clients include Stadium Goods, Dufry, Holland & Barrett and TENDAM (formerly the Cortifiel Group), operating in more than 1,000 stores across the world.  

Founder and CEO Olga Kotsur said: “What Shopify is for eCommerce, Mercaux is for physical stores.  

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Breeze Technologies Wins 2021 Future Hamburg Award

Today the 2021 Future Hamburg Award was presented as part of a digital awards ceremony at the International Innovation Day by Plug and Play Hamburg.

The winners of this year’s award are the high-impact startups Breeze Technologies, traceless materials, and Infinite Mobility. Based in Norway and Germany, these three startups convinced the Future Hamburg Award’s expert jury with their smart solutions for sustainable cities of the future.

Up-and-coming businesses from 15 countries had applied for the award. Bonus prizes by homePORT, a partner of the award, were also bestowed on the teams of Blue Atlas Robotics from Denmark and KONVOI from Germany.

The three winning teams will be invited to join a tailor-made programme by the Hamburg Startup Unit and will be able to take their business model or products to the next level as part of the Reallabor Hamburg mobility project. Moreover, they will be supported in building a high-quality industry network and establishing contacts with investors. The first-place startup, Breeze Technologies from Germany, will also be able to take part in an international four-week accelerator programme hosted by Plug and Play in Silicon Valley.

In addition, the homePORT innovation campus of the Hamburg Port Authority (HPA) is contributing attractive bonus prizes: Blue Atlas Robotics from Denmark and KONVOI from Germany will have the opportunity to develop their products and solutions in the fields of logistics and maritime technologies at the HPA test field in Hamburg.

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Popwallet’s Elias Guerra: ‘The pandemic was a catalyst for changing consumer behaviour’

As the payment journey continues to evolve, innovative methods are taking on a heightened role of importance, especially as global economies emerge from the pandemic. 

Elias Guerra, Founder and CEO of Popwallet, spoke to Payment Expert about how the pandemic has shifted consumer habits and elevated the importance of mobile wallets. 

Payment Expert: Firstly, can you tell us more about the Popwallet offering? 

Elias Guerra: Popwallet is a Mobile Wallet Marketing Automation and Customer Experience Management Platform. Really, that’s just a fancy way of saying we provide software tools for brands to reach and engage their customers through mobile wallets like Apple Wallet and Google Pay.

Popwallet enables brands to leverage mobile wallets to deliver contactless customer experiences such as dynamic coupons and offers, loyalty, gift, and member ID cards, tickets, and other branded content. The mobile wallet enhances traditional marketing and communications tactics by replacing paper and plastic with a dynamic mobile engagement channel.

PE: How has the climate for mobile wallets changed over the past year? 

EG: The pandemic really was a catalyst for shifting consumer behaviour. Think pre-pandemic: the value proposition for these mobile wallets was more about convenience. It was a little bit easier to use your credit card if it was on your mobile device as people’s mobile devices are with them at all times, so you’re less likely to forget something at home.

When the pandemic hit, the value proposition shifted to be driven more by consumer safety than convenience. The idea of touching a payment terminal or handling a plastic credit card or paper cash–any physical object–all of a sudden was undesirable; people no longer wanted to touch things as a means to try and stay safe from COVID-19. This definitely accelerated the use of mobile wallets and contactless transactions over the past year.

PE: What role do loyalty points and cards sit within the payment journey and how integral are they to providing an engaging user experience? 

EG: Brands want to acquire new customers and retain loyal customers. A common way to do this is by rewarding customer behavior around purchases. The ability to reward through exclusive offers and loyalty is essential for acquiring and retaining these ideal customers, so being able to accomplish this through one common place, like a mobile wallet, is the ultimate combination of content and commerce.

It is a very powerful tool for brands, and provides utility and value for consumers. With the mobile wallet as the centerpiece of the loyalty program, brands are able to seamlessly tie loyalty and rewards to purchase behavior in a way that’s very convenient for their customer.

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New SetSail Analysis Shows Micro-Incentives Combined With Actionable Data Are Key to Successful B2B Sales Cycle

SetSail, the Revenue Execution platform for sales, releases new data on the anatomy of a successful B2B sales deal, derived from its analysis of deals at six large enterprises, including one of the Fortune 10, over the past two months. SetSail found sales reps are most effective when given data on the next best action in tandem with a micro-incentive (points that lead to prizes and rewards) to act. On average, if a sales rep takes action on five or more success indicators the deal win rate increases by 62%.

“Reps must be aware of the path to success and motivated to execute on multiple recommendations, focusing on the small wins that lead to big deals,” said Haggai Levi, SetSail CEO. “Micro-incentives accomplish this – they lay out success indicators and prompt reps to take action, making the difference between a deal closing and an indefinite sales cycle.”

As part of its analysis, SetSail broke down the three most important elements of a B2B deal: Buyer Persona (who the rep is contacting), Buyer Engagement (contact type and frequency) and Deal Progression Keywords (keywords discussed throughout the deal cycle) and the impact that micro-incentives play within them.

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ScanTrust on a steady growth path

The outbreak of the global pandemic accelerated the need for contactless solutions to facilitate customer interactions and for QR codes as a connected products gateway. Scantrust, with its proprietary barcode scanning technology, has benefited from this trend resulting in over 100 percent revenue growth since the pandemic began.

Scantrust is a connected products platform for companies that sell physical products in an increasingly connected world. Through its patented processes for using QR codes, the company offers brands solutions to help maintain brand integrity, increase traceability in the supply chain, and create a direct channel for communication with end customers.  Since the company’s founding in 2014, it has consistently developed and advanced a brand protection solution that is poised to be a game-changer in fighting counterfeits.

“We offer several options for brand protection and security using QR codes that intrinsic copy protection while also being scalable to integrate into existing product packaging processes. Using QR codes as an IoT gateway, we enable brand owners to mitigate risk in their supply chains and drive growth through direct end-customer engagement”, explains Scantrust’s CEO and co-founder Nathan J. Anderson.

More than 40 active enterprise customers worldwide are currently using Scantrust’s QR solution, and this number will significantly change in the next few months, as revealed by Nathan. The majority of the customers are multinational global brands with operations in Asia, Europe, the US, and South America and Africa.

Scantrust has also had healthy revenues figures since its launch, consistently realizing 100 percent year-over-year revenue growth, and the first quarter of 2021 saw this trend continue with record quarterly results. Scantrust takes pride in retaining customers and has a good record of client retention. “Interestingly, we did not see a single client churn since the start of the pandemic. On the contrary, in the current environment, where supply chain disruptions have become the norm and counterfeit products have increased across the globe, we have seen our existing customers increase use on our platform and expand the application to more products to reach their customers in challenging times”, says Anderson.

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project44 Acquires ClearMetal Inc.

project44 announced that it will acquire San Francisco-based ClearMetal, a market leader in international supply chain visibility and predictive analytics for enterprises. ClearMetal’s patented artificial intelligence (AI) enables organizations to optimize their supply chains and provides customers with easy access to trusted, live information about their orders and shipments. project44’s acquisition of ClearMetal is the latest growth milestone preceded by building on tremendous 135% YoY growth, crossing the $50M ARR mark, and being named a Leader in the latest Gartner Magic Quadrant. This acquisition places project44 on the cutting edge of logistics AI, enabling customers to improve agility, and resiliency across their global and multi-modal supply chains.

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Breinify announces $11M seed to bring data science to the marketing team

Breinify is a startup working to apply data science to personalization, and do it in a way that makes it accessible to nontechnical marketing employees to build more meaningful customer experiences. The company announced a funding round totaling $11 million.

The investment was led by Gutbrain Ventures and PBJ Capital with participation from Streamlined Ventures, CXO Fund, Amino Capital, Startup Capital Ventures and Sterling Road.

Breinify co-founder and CEO Diane Keng says that she and co-founder and CTO Philipp Meisen started the company to bring predictive personalization based on data science to marketers with the goal of helping them improve a customer’s experience by personalizing messages tailored to individual tastes.

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Pangaia introduces ‘digital passports’ in apparel

Apparel brand Pangaia has today partnered with traceability solutions provider Eon and will leverage its CircularID Protocol to introduce ‘digital passports’ in its garments.

With product-specific QR codes linked to a cloud-based platform, Pangaia customers will be able to scan items and access a digital archive of lifecycle data including carbon emissions output and water usage.

Natasha Franck, founder and CEO of Eon, said: “Through product digitisation, Pangaia is redefining the relationship between brands, products and customers – pioneering an entirely new model for sustainable commerce and taking a mission-critical step towards realising a fully circular business model.”

LiveEO Enters Strategic Partnership with Planet, Setting Preconditions for Rapid Expansion

Earth observation company LiveEO has today announced its partnership with Planet, the leading provider of global, daily satellite imagery and insights. The strategic move empowers LiveEO to massively scale its infrastructure monitoring operations around the globe, avoiding friction in the procurement of satellite imagery.

During the past 12 months, LiveEO has been able to quadruple its customer base by establishing more client relationships outside of Europe, especially in the United States and Australia. In order to accommodate its growing customer base, LiveEO doubled the size of its engineering team and significantly strengthened its infrastructure, with the new partnership being a central component of this effort.

Different from the traditional reseller model prevalent in the satellite data industry, as a part of the Powered by Planet program, LiveEO is able to purchase satellite imagery up front, with no predefined areas of interest (AOIs). Allowing the data usage to be freely and seamlessly adjusted to current customer needs.

“From day one we developed our tech stack with a clear focus on scalability”, says Daniel Seidel, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of LiveEO. Since every newly onboarded customer entails vast amounts of data to be acquired and processed, and with quick turnaround times being one of LiveEO value propositions, velocity is key. “To build scalable applications, we need great APIs to purchase data on a recurring basis without human interaction. In this regard, we consider Planet a role model for other satellite operators in the industry, which at times still handle the ordering process via email.” concludes Seidel.

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SetSail Leverages AI To Empower Sales & Increase Team Productivity

SetSail, an AI-powered sales tracking, motivation and empowerment platform, leverages AI to identify buying signals and provide recommendations for sales teams, and help them follow the best path of action to closing deals faster and building good selling habits.

 

Back-Of-The-Box Details

SetSail is designed to help sales teams automate their sales data and buying signals in their CRMs to improve sales team behavior, helping salespeople at every level of an organization improve their productivity and performance while closing deals. SetSail’s signal-based coaching app also uses these signals to help managers coach their reps to close deals and generate revenue more efficiently.

The signal-based platform offers three different solutions, including:

  • SetSail Collect, which integrates all sales data from disconnected sources into a single view in a CRM or any other platform, and allows salespeople to pull relevant information for specific buyer interactions;
  • SetSail Discover, a solution that analyzes customer interactions with salespeople and provides 370+ prescriptive buying signals to help them uncover what is driving the buyer’s deal and decide what actions to take; and
  • SetSail Accelerate, a custom program that uses real-time micro-incentives to increase sales team motivation, rewarding reps for the right actions throughout the customer relationship.

Who It’s For

SetSail is designed for everyone involved in the sales cycle, including CROs, sales managers, sales reps and more, at organizations of all sizes.

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Coca-Cola chooses Shippeo to provide real-time visibility for its road transport

The real-time visibility of Coca-Cola HBC’s transportation network provided by Shippeo will allow the company to further improve both internal and external logistics efficiency, by improving collaboration with its carriers.

The deployment of the technology aims to improve service levels, while at the same time reduce transportation costs, due to a reduction in waiting times, improved flexibility, and resources planning.

Valentin Radu, Logistics Technology & Automation Manager at Coca-Cola HBC said: “The scale and complexity of our operation creates a large administrative effort to coordinate with carriers, which makes handling exceptions time consuming. By implementing Shippeo’s real-time transportation visibility platform, we aim to streamline our logistics operations while further improving on-time deliveries to our customers.”

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Data prep platform Explorium raises $75M

Explorium, a startup developing an automated data and feature discovery platform, today closed a $75 million funding round led by Insight Partners with participation from existing investors. The capital, which brings the company’s total raised to $127 million to date, will be used to expand Explorium’s platform after a year in which it doubled its customer base and more than quadrupled revenue, according to CEO Maor Shlomo.

In machine learning, a feature is a property or characteristic of the phenomenon being observed. Features are usually numeric, but structural features such as strings and graphs can be used in pattern recognition. Feature engineering — the process of using domain knowledge to extract features from raw data via data-mining techniques — is often arduous. According to a Forbes survey, data scientists spend 80% of their time on data preparation, and 76% view it as the least enjoyable part of their work. It’s also expensive. Trifecta pegs the collective data prep cost for organizations at $450 billion.

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How Parcel Perform is reimagining the logistics experience for businesses and end-users

The logistics market in Southeast Asia is expected to reach $55.7 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 5.5 percent. Some of the key catalysts in this market include the rapid growth of e-commerce, enhanced trade across the region, and accelerated infrastructure development. This does not come without challenges, however. Last-mile deliveries can be difficult due to complexities in geographical terrain, poor roadways, and transport systems like railways.

Technological innovations in logistics and freight management are meant to address these opportunities. In this TechNode Global Q&A with Dr. Arne Jeroschewski, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Parcel Perform, we learn how innovations in logistics are improving the user experience and ultimately enhancing value for both businesses and consumers.

A winner at the ORIGIN Innovation Awards — Startup Awards in Logistics and LMF, Parcel Perform is a carrier-independent delivery experience platform for e-commerce merchants and their end-customers covering 700+ logistics carriers worldwide. Established in 2016, the company has offices in Singapore (HQ), Vietnam, and Germany with a global team of 70+ experts in e-commerce and logistics management.

Before founding Parcel Perform, Dr. Jeroschewski was Vice President for Business Development at DHL eCommerce Asia Pacific, where he led the development of e-commerce logistics products tailored for online marketplaces and merchants as well as market entries for DHL eCommerce throughout Asia. Before that, he was Vice President at Singapore Post’s SP eCommerce, where he was responsible for the B2C e-commerce businesses including vPost and Omigo. In 2012, Arne was the founding CEO of ZALORA, South East Asia’s leading fashion e-commerce player across 8 markets.

Arne was a long-time management consultant at McKinsey & Company where he worked on technology projects in Europe, Africa, and Asia. Arne is a trained economist with a PhD in regulatory economics.

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Why Inclusive Entrepreneurship Could Mean More Time For Healthcare Employees To Save Lives

Throughout the pandemic, businesses and individuals have been reminded of the fragility of time and the notion that it can never be recovered. With pre-pandemic routines shifting, organizations and their employees are now questioning how to make more time for the things that matter most. Perhaps the industry hit hardest by this is one that is arguably the most in need of more time— healthcare.

Healthcare employees traditionally must complete lots of administrative work because of strict industry regulations. This has only amplified during the pandemic. Additionally, healthcare professionals often waste time doing indirect patient care like searching for medical supplies or time reporting for regulatory and billing use. Unfortunately, this pattern hinders care efficiency and takes focus away from the patient.

High-intensity and unsafe work environments have quickly revealed the pivotal role healthcare organizations play in decision-making that protects the needs of frontline employees. With 42% of physicians experiencing burnout, Kishau Rogers launched healthcare startup Time Study already knowing the solution must not just improve operational efficiency, but it must enhance the lives of the people treating the patients.

Valuing the Time of Healthcare Employees

Time Study is a system of time management that focuses on the heartbeat of the healthcare industry: humans. The cloud solution uses intelligent time tracking to monitor how physicians and other healthcare employees spend their time at work. This equips hospitals with data insights to make human-centered business decisions that improve the employee and patient experience.

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