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Camus Energy, Bidgely, and LiveEO identified as leading startups helping utility companies digitize and automate operations

Amid the shift to renewable energy, this Market Map looks at the tech providers helping utility companies like National Grid and Dominion Energy decrease costs while stabilizing power supplies on the grid.

The power grid is currently undergoing some of the biggest operational changes since the adoption of AC power more than a century ago.

The old power grid was centered around large, centralized, fossil fuel-based power plants located away from population centers as well as the use of transmission and distribution lines to connect power generators with power consumers.

Renewable energy sources like solar and wind are now challenging the fossil fuel-based nature of conventional power generation, while new distributed energy resources (DERs) like rooftop solar panels are shifting power stations to a more decentralized model. While these changes make the power grid more sustainable, new digitization and automation tech is required to bring these devices onto the grid in a way that is cost-competitive with conventional fossil fuel power generation.

SAP.iO startups Camus Energy, Bidgely, and LiveEO were identified by CB Insights alongside 146 startups as leading startups addressing 8 technology priorities for utility companies, from distributed energy resources to micro-grid/off-grid.

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Help Holiday Shoppers Shop with Retail Solutions on SAP Store

This holiday season, consumers are more budget conscious than ever as they react to inflation – and smart retailers are harnessing all the tools available to keep sales up while spending goes down. A seamless shopping experience across channels, simplified product discovery that anticipates buyer needs, price optimization – these are all essential to building customer loyalty and repeat purchasing. And savvy retailers have recognized that the ability to respond to overnight shifts in consumer behavior can be achieved only with the agility enabled by the cloud.

Cloud Solutions for the Agility You Need to React and Respond

With these innovative solutions, SAP and our partners can help you maximize opportunities now during the busiest shopping season and gain momentum for the year ahead. On SAP Store, you’ll find a wide range of solutions that you can try, buy, and deploy quickly. SAP rigorously validates partner solutions for quality, interoperability, and a similar look and feel for usability and fast adoption. Check out these cloud solutions for retail today.
Coveo Search and Recommendation for SAP Commerce – Online buyers can easily and quickly find what they’re looking for, as well as personalized recommendations for what they might be looking for, with this AI-powered industry cloud solution. When shoppers can discover more options in an online product catalog with automated suggestions based on their intent, they tend to buy more.
EcoCart Carbon Neutral Orders – With this solution, your customers can opt to offset the environmental impact of their orders at checkout with a single click and add 1-2% to their total – which can boost conversion and customer loyalty while strengthening your brand. In addition, EcoCart Plus can help you build and execute a comprehensive sustainability strategy.
Retail Suite – Everyday Price by Eversight – Drive sales growth and margins through dynamic AI-powered price optimization with this industry cloud solution that integrates with the SAP Customer Activity Repository application. Even as the cost of goods increases and shopper preferences change, you can set the right price at the right moment by experimenting and benchmarking against the competition – using your own business rules.
Recommerce Management System by Loop Logistics – Shoppers can rent, resale, or buy secondhand products thanks to this solution, which lets you make use of unsold products without discounting or destroying them. This solution, accelerated with the SAP.iO strategic business unit that invests in start-up innovation, helps retailers reduce environmental impact and generate new revenue streams.
Mention Me – This referral marketing platform uses unique data sets to build dynamic conversion programs, helping you increase customer loyalty and advocacy. It harnesses customers’ enthusiasm for your brand and gathers first-party data that allows you to see the true lifetime value of a customer’s propensity to refer. Development of Mention Me was accelerated by SAP.iO.
MyWave.AI Intelligent Personalization Platform – This solution combines AI, personal data, and proactive automation to deliver intelligent personalization at scale. Based on customer preferences in the context of past behavior and intent, MyWave.AI dynamically offers relevant products or advertising along with intelligent cross- and up-sell options.
Threekit 3D and Augmented Reality – This visualization platform allows brands to offer immersive experiences to their customers, who can view, spin, build, and customize products to their specifications. The enhanced product experience gives customers confidence in their selection, increasing conversion rates and reducing returns.
SAP Intelligent Returns Management – Optimize your margin on returns and enhance the customer experience by guiding them through a smooth product return that keeps them engaged and updated throughout the process. The solution also helps you identify key trends early and mitigate issues to drive correction actions and optimize assortments and price points.
SAP Omnichannel Promotion Pricing – This solution enables consistent pricing for promotions across all sales channels, calculating effective prices for a product or set of products by applying promotional rules. The result is a consistent buying experience across the Web, sales order, point of sale, and so on. An administration service deletes obsolete prices and promotional rules.
Zoovu Conversational Assistants for SAP Commerce & Sales Cloud – This solution for product discovery makes it easy to find, evaluate, and buy by bringing context to the search. It guides the buyer through the process with relevant questions and interactive buying advice. Conversational assistants enrich product content automatically with industry-specific taxonomies and work across all industries.
You can find the full list of cloud solutions from SAP and our partners for retail on SAP Store here, many available for a demo or free trial.

Clarifruit raises $12 million to reduce waste in the fruit and vegetable industry

Clarifruit, a company developing a software platform for automated quality control for fruit and vegetable supply chains, has announced that it has completed a $12 million Series A round led by Champel Capital and Firstime Ventures with participation from Kubota, a provider of agricultural machinery and technologies, and NevaTeam Partners venture capital fund. It brings the company’s total funding to $15 million following a grant of $2.5 million received through Horizon 2020.

The company hopes to reduce waste in the fresh produce supply chain, an industry estimated to be valued at $2 trillion, and secure a sufficient food supply for future generations. Its solution addresses challenges in quality control and decision-making and the lack of standardized and objective quality control processes when assessing fruits and vegetables. It is estimated that this problem leads to a waste of 45% of the agricultural production in the industry, representing approximately $900 billion of loss every year.

“Since we launched our product 20 months ago, we have been able to make a significant impact and onboard tens of leading global players into our circle of clients that are now using Clarifruit’s advanced technology to automate their quality control and provide real-time info to reduce waste and maximize revenue opportunities,” said Elad Mardix, Co-Founder and CEO of Clarifruit.
Its platform has two elements: the first is a mobile app allowing quality inspects to conduct quality control processes in minutes. The second is a cloud-based control system that allows operation managers to monitor the process specific to their company and its goals, results, and insights all in real-time. It uses computer vision technology with Big Data and analytics capabilities to help retailers, wholesalers, marketing companies, and growers make data-driven decisions to reduce waste.

Inspiring Innovators: Leanne Kemp Founder and CEO of Everledger, On Transparency

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IoT and Industry 4.0: Zerynth raises a €5.3 million round led by United Ventures

Zerynth supports companies in digitizing production processes through Industrial IoT solutions which enable any machinery to Industry 4.0.

The investment round, one of the largest in Italy in the Industrial IoT field, is led by United Ventures with the participation of a pool of selected Italian and international investors and business angels, including Vertis SGR with Venture Factory through the VV3TT Fund, LIFTT and CDP Venture Capital with the “Comparto IndustryTech” of the Corporate Partners Fund.

The capital increase will enable Zerynth to make AI and IoT technologies increasingly accessible, confirm its leadership in Italy, and strengthen its international expansion.

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Milkman Last Mile Platform Now Available on SAP® Store

Milkman S.P.A. today announced that its Milkman Last Mile Platform is available on SAP® Store, the online marketplace for SAP and partner offerings. Integrating with SAP Transportation Management and SAP Commerce Cloud, the Milkman Last Mile Platform provides users with real-time updates on the status of delivery and rescheduling options. The user experience is enhanced with better delivery predictability.

“I am both proud and flattered of our platform being on SAP Store,” said Antonio Perini, Milkman S.P.A. CEO. “I am delighted and grateful for the opportunity to work with such a team of experts at SAP. We are at the very intersection of a sustainable consumer experience and the digital supply chain, taming the complexity of today’s fulfillment networks for omnichannel is the most exciting challenge ever.”

Milkman Last Mile Platform connects recipients’ and businesses’ needs, allowing logistics and retailer organizations to:

  • Enable greener deliveries, reducing mileage and CO2 emission thanks to cutting-edge route optimization algorithms, combined with efficient delivery processes for successful first delivery attempts.
  • Exceed recipients’ expectations, with an interactive last mile strategy that modulates the service level and addresses the most demanding requests with very precise appointments at a low cost.
  • Reduce WISMO (Where Is My Order) calls by enabling interactive communication flows with recipients, providing full visibility over the order delivery process. The recipient is always in control and can intervene to check, verify, and eventually apply changes.
  • Automate operations by implementing standardized processes for exception management, allowing manual adjustments.

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Revuze Announces $12 Million Growth Equity Investment Led by PSG

Revuze, a leading provider of real-time consumer insights for some of the world’s biggest brands, announced a $12 million strategic growth investment led by PSG, a leading growth equity firm partnering with software and technology-enabled services companies to help accelerate their growth. The round was joined by industry veterans Karyn Schoenbart and Tod Johnson, former CEO and Executive Chairman, respectively, of global market research leader NPD Group. Additional financial terms were not disclosed.

Founded in 2013, Revuze empowers brands to understand consumers’ preferences and behavior by delivering a faster, more efficient alternative to traditional market research. Revuze’s cloud-based software uses AI-based natural language processing to gather, cleanse, analyze and provide insights on consumer sentiment, feedback and overall satisfaction. By implementing Revuze’s product set, companies can generate deep consumer insights in nearly real time that would otherwise take months to understand.

“The world moves at a speed that has outpaced traditional market research tools, and Revuze was founded to help brands respond to changing landscapes in real time in order to allow them to win in the digital era. We have made the process of data gathering, analysis and research programmatic, arming companies with actionable, value-generating insights,” said Boaz Grinvald, CEO of Revuze. “We are proud to partner with PSG, Karyn and Tod as we look to scale our platform to serve more brands around the globe.”

This funding will be used to help accelerate Revuze’s geographic expansion into the U.S., scale its technology, and continue to innovate and grow its solution set.

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Parcel Perform & Wise Systems Recognized as Leaders in Last Mile Operations in Retail by CB Insights

Rising shipping costs combined with shoppers’ expectations of fast and free delivery are impacting retailers’ profitability. This Market Map looks at the companies helping retail leaders — like Walmart and American Eagle — optimize their last-mile operations.

The last mile is the most expensive leg of the supply chain, making up more than half of total shipping costs. Record high inflation, rising fuel costs, and a lasting labor shortage are now making it even more difficult for retailers to protect their margins while avoiding passing these costs onto consumers.

This is an even greater challenge as customers have grown accustomed to the free and fast shipping options used by the likes of Amazon, Walmart, and Alibaba to lure shoppers.

To stay competitive without sacrificing their margins, smaller retailers are turning to tech solutions that can improve delivery economics. These solutions help optimize various aspects of the last-mile journey whether retailers decide to outsource deliveries, invest in their own fleet, or strengthen omnichannel capabilities.

Using CB Insights data, we identified 218 last-mile tech companies addressing 12 technology priorities for retailers, from delivery management platforms to buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS) enablement.

We are proud that two of our SAP.iO Foundry startups are included in the report. Parcel Perform was named a leader in E-Commerce Fulfillment & Logistics and Wise Systems was named leader in Route Optimization by CB Insights.

World Food Day 2022: Agritech Serves Up Farm To Fork Revolution

World Food Day on October 16 this year presents an urgent roll-up-your-sleeves challenge as we face a global food crisis as never before. The United Nations estimates there will be 9.8 billion people on this planet by 2050. Meantime crop yields have plummeted to record lows and food prices are hitting record highs, while fallout from the pandemic, extreme weather, and geopolitical conflicts continue disrupting supply chains worldwide. Nevertheless, a committed nucleus of agribusiness startups and established leaders are innovating to feed the planet’s growing population in a healthy, sustainable manner.

Data intelligence is rock against food insecurity

Companies across the value chain in the agricultural industry are turning to data in their quest for predictability. Some food processing companies are working closely with farmers to improve operations that meet regulatory emission targets and corporate sustainability KPIs, while gaining efficiencies and increasing crop yields. Climate change imperatives are only increasing the urgency to take action.

“Traditional, experienced-based farming is not viable in today’s highly dynamic world,” said Andreas Heckmann, executive vice president and head of customer solution support and innovation at SAP. “Food processing organizations need intelligence from integrated data to increase farming efficiencies. One example is SAP Intelligent Agriculture, where agribusiness organizations including farmers and other partners, share and interpret real-time data from sensors, weather stations, and satellite imagery to better understand when to plant, irrigate, grow, and harvest crops for higher yields, cost-savings, and sustainability.”

Climate intelligence boost crop yields

Real and near real-time intelligence is fast becoming a bulwark against climate change threats. One SAP partner, a Chilean-based startup called Agranimo, collects and analyzes data from climate and soil sensors and satellite images. This intelligence is designed to help growers better forecast and increase farm yields, reduce water and fertilizer consumption, and assess climate risks. With consolidated climate and soil information, growers can improve crop management strategies, including pest and disease management, for more accurate yield forecasts, as well as environmental sustainability. For example, commercial farmers can adapt irrigation to plant needs and use less water, or act quickly to protect plants from extreme weather. Agranimo participated in the Industry 4.0 cohort of SAP.iO Foundry Berlin, the company’s global B2B accelerator.

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AI-LINK Closes a New Strategic Round of Financing with Participation from AsiaInfo and Singtel Innov8

AI-LINK, a new digital infrastruture provider focused on industrial sites, recently announced the closing of a new strategic funding round led by AsiaInfo with participation from Singtel Innov8. The funds raised will be mainly used for product innovation and technology iteration, as well as rapid promotion and commercial deployment of new digital solutions to improve AI-LINK’s global business landscape.

As the idea of sustainable development being widely embraced, performing digital transition has been a popular strategy applied by major countries all over the world to seize the opportunity of technology revolution and industrial transformation. It is even more impressive that in the process of IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) development, the full connection, integration and processing of production factors led by the deep integration of OICT (Operational Information Communication Technology) has made remarkable results in sustainable development, reducing carbon emissions as well as improving quality and efficiency, which has become a consensus among communication software industry and telecom operators worldwide.

AI-LINK focuses on 5G edge intelligence and OICT convergence in industrial sites, providing end-to-end Local 5G products, lightweight industrial edge intelligence centers and open application management platforms to meet industrial customers’ needs of one-stop, low-cost and scenario-based solutions. AI-LINK is committed to building new ICT infrastructure for industrial sites as well as empowering the digital development of industry.

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Unlocking value from smart meter data with NET2GRID

There is no doubt that we are facing a harder winter than ever before. We hear more reports on the news about low-income families in Europe that simply can’t afford to pay they energy bill. With the current uncertainty in the international geopolitical arena, combined with the changing climate due to global warming, such situations will only repeat themselves more and more.

Smart meter data can actually be very valuable for energy suppliers and utilities in such times and can help them better adjust and expand their services. This is exactly why we partner with companies like NET2GRID. The NET2GRID solution will improve three capabilities:

1. Better customer experience, by giving insights to households about their energy consumption. NET2GRID delivers a white label app or an API which energy suppliers can integrate into their own energy app.

2. The second one is customer intelligence, by building profiles of customers and better knowing your customer. Thus, enabling energy retailers to give targeted advice and offers to their customers to become more energy efficient

3. Enabling better demand forecasting in their energy procurement and reduce imbalance costs by considering distributed energy resources like EV and Solar PV using disaggregated data.

Listen in as Lior Weizman from SAP.iO, Berend Olde Rikkert, Chief Commercial Officer at NET2GRID (an SAP partner), and Jörg Ferchow, Chief Solution Manager at SAP, discuss how energy suppliers and utilities can better leverage their smart meter data.

How Four Startups From SAP.iO Drive Supply Chain and Retail Innovation

The SAP.iO startup accelerator program is a rich source of innovation and startups taking on major business challenges. Acceleration Economy has previously chronicled more than a dozen of those companies, including Wisy, the Cloud Wars Startup of the Year for 2022.

A number of SAP.iO companies have recently provided significant business updates — from customer wins and deployments to new funding rounds — that are detailed below. In total, there are updates on four companies that are part of the program, including one we’ve profiled previously and three others that are new to Acceleration Economy readers.

Verusen: Supply Chain Gains

Atlanta-based Verusen makes supply chain software that leverages artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP) to help companies manage their materials more effectively, with the goal of harmonizing disparate data so that they have what they need, when they need it, and where they need it. Verusen calls that concept “Material Truth.”

Verusen officials said this week that they have now helped customers manage more than $2 billion of inventory and nearly 3 million SKUs. The company says its system has achieved more than $53 million in client-verified savings opportunities.

Verusen works with:

  • Manufacturers to optimize the way they manage inventory and collaborate with suppliers
  • Consumer packaged goods firms to better respond to the changing mix of products that customers buy
  • Energy and oil/gas firms to ensure the reliability and availability of their materials
  • Pulp and paper to build resiliency and transparency into supply chains

Today, roughly 80% of the company’s customer base uses SAP systems including ERP. Their customers are also users of Oracle and Infor ERP technology.

Officials note that one major advantage of Verusen’s software is the use of NLP, which allows the software to dramatically compress the normally time-consuming process of cleansing, categorizing, and governing data for analysis.

An official from an (unnamed) energy company in the U.S. said the following about its work with Verusen: “We had challenges reviewing the significant number of materials required on an annual basis, and the Verusen platform was able to help us automate the process.  In addition to solving some of our process challenges, Verusen has also helped us identify significant inventory savings across our supply network.”

Referencing the company’s progress and its business update, Verusen Founder and CEO Paul Noble said: “We are solving complex problems and reinventing how business gets done for global manufacturers and suppliers through materials intelligence — a proven, accelerated path to better productivity and reduced costs.”

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Inspiring Innovators: Chicko Sousa Founder of GreenPlat, On No Time for Waste

At SAP.iO, we work with innovative people and new technologies that positively impact our world every day, and we think it’s time to share their stories with you! In our series, “Inspiring Innovators,” we get to hear how leaders of cutting-edge startup technologies overcame, thrived, and pursued their goals. SAP.iO’s Alexa Gorman sat down to discuss the road to success and lessons learned with some of our most inspiring startup founders.

Meet Chicko Sousa

It has been said that Chico Sousa is a Mechanical Engineer by choice, but a specialist in the acceleration of clean production by nature aptly sums up his journey to entrepreneurship. Starting as a mechanical engineer working for Volvo, Chicko was assigned to projects that produced scrap materials needing to be recycled or reimagined. He left Volvo after successfully managing those projects to start a company that built recycling plants in Brazil, creating 13 new plants over 11 years before selling his company in 2013. He then came to Sao Paulo to help the municipality with public projects, generating environmental improvements in the fight against CO2 emissions and plastic use.

From there, Chicko created a YouTube series where he did interviews inside garbage trucks, much like Jerry Seinfeld’s “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee”, to raise recycling awareness. The wild success of this web series helped increase the municipality’s recycling rates significantly but created new issues. They started to see problems with permits as they began selling the recycled materials. At this time, Chicko realized a need to control and manage information to produce the proper flow of materials for licensed recycling and founded the company GreenPlat in 2016.

Working with recycling technologies for over 20 years and with software for almost ten years, Chicko created GreenPlat, a clean production SaaS, which today has more than 690,000 companies registered on the platform. Since 2018, GreenPlat has been a part of the World Economic Forum in the Pioneering Technology category, as they were the first company to use blockchain technology for waste traceability. So far, 1 million tons of waste have been managed through their software; all disposed of correctly without polluting the environment. This means a cleaner and healthier environment for all and for businesses, increased visibility into recycling, compliance, and traceability.

“I think this is a worldwide situation where people are done talking and ready to act. We can see this movement, and it is encouraging. We are ready for action; there is no time for waste.”

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NavVis & Wandelbots Named Top Innovative Artificial Intelligence (AI) Powered Startups Based in Germany

AI startups are one of the most popular and influential upcoming sectors in the market nowadays. From sales to software development to the medical sector, artificial intelligence has the power to revolutionize a wide range of businesses. Two of SAP.iO’s startups have been named most innovative AI startups  based in Germany.

NavVis enables service providers and businesses to record and share the built environment as photorealistic digital twins by bridging the physical and digital worlds. Their SLAM-based mobile mapping systems produce high-quality data at scale and speed with survey-grade accuracy. Users can make better operational decisions, increase productivity, optimize business processes, and increase profitability through digital industrial solutions. It serves the needs of the manufacturing, AEC, retail, real estate, and facility management sectors.

Wandelbots’ user-friendly software democratizes robotics. Wandelbots provides a straightforward approach to robot programming and a single platform for developers to produce more user-friendly robot software. Through the use of demonstration-based training, it creates solutions that allow the integration of robots driven by AI. Its main product is a pen with sensors that can track human movement in real time and send that information to a robot so it can duplicate it.

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Chekkit’s Traceability and Consumer Intelligence SaaS now available on the SAP store

Chekkit Technologies today announced that its Traceability and Consumer Intelligence SaaS is now available on SAP ® Store, which recently merged with SAP App Center as the single digital marketplace for SAP and partner offerings.

By integrating with SAP Advanced Track & Trace for Pharmaceuticals, Chekkit’s Traceability and Consumer Intelligence SaaS helps Pharmaceutical Producers, Marketing Authorisation Holders (MAH), and Pharmaceutical Contract Manufacturers (CMO) comply with traceability & anti-counterfeit regulations in Nigeria and across Africa, giving them access to real-time market data, patient insights, and supply chain visibility (diversion tracking). This service allows for a real-time remote understanding of product supply chain journeys as well as data-driven decision-making using insights on product efficacy, side effects, and preferences in order to serve consumers better.

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