Jun 7, 2022
7 min

Shoptalk Europe 2022, Day One: “And the Winner Is…”—15 Retail and Tech Innovators Compete in the Startup Pitch

Insight Report
Event Coverage Gated Event Coverage

albert Chan

On June 6, 2022, the Shoptalk Europe conference kicked off in London, and the Coresight Research team was in attendance. Deborah Weinswig, CEO and Founder of Coresight Research, emceed the conference’s Startup Pitch event, where 15 retail and tech innovators gave the audience an overview of their businesses.

Shoptalk Europe 2022, Day One: Startup Pitch

The Panel

Weinswig chaired a judging panel for the event, which consisted of Rebecca Hunt, Partner at Octopus Ventures; Antoine Nussenbaum, Co-Founder and Investor, Felix Capital; Toot Shani, Founding Partner of Sarona Commerce Ventures, Sarona Partners Group; and Isabela Chick, Chief Strategy Officer at Founders Factory.

The Winners

Klasha, a company that enables retailers and brands worldwide to accept payments in local currencies from African consumers and offers shipping services to Africa, won the Judges’ Choice award.

Jess Anuna, Founder and CEO of Klasha, stated that even large retail companies often cannot accept payments from African shoppers in domestic currencies. By 2025, half the world’s working population will reside in Africa, while the continent’s middle class is growing at a rate of 20% year over year and its population is young. However, with 54 countries and various central banks, many companies struggle to build the ability to accept domestic currencies themselves. Klasha Checkout offers a localized payment experience solution. In addition, Klasha Cargo offers retailers faster shipping to Africa, with an in-house last-mile model in six countries.

[caption id="attachment_148957" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Jess Anuna, Founder and CEO of Klasha
Source: Coresight Research[/caption]  

Nibble, a company that offers an AI (artificial intelligence) negotiation chatbot as an alternative to regular price promotions to drive incremental sales and clear excess inventory, won the Audience Choice award.

Rosie Bailey, Co-Founder and CEO of Nibble, explained that many retailers see the common problems of low average order values (in beauty), stock challenges (in fashion) and difficulties in year-round conversion (in gifts and sporting goods). However, promotional strategies can become a “race to the bottom,” damaging the brand. As an alternative, Nibble’s chatbot enables retailers to engage in an AI-driven negotiation with customers on price—a tool which can, and Bailey said should, be used selectively, such as to clear stock or encourage a shopper that has had a long dwell time on a site to make a purchase. Bailey said that Nibble’s discounts are often similar to those offered via voucher codes or incentives such as email signups, but with better conversion, engagement and margins.

[caption id="attachment_148958" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Deborah Weinswig, CEO and Founder of Coresight Research (standing, left), Jess Anuna, Founder and CEO of Klasha (standing, center), and Rosie Bailey, Co-Founder and CEO of Nibble (standing, center-right)
Source: Coresight Research[/caption]  

The 13 Other Innovators

AdAlong: A company that curates user-generated content (UGC) at scale. Clémence Demerliac, Founder, said that 92% of consumers trust content created by their peers “above all else,” but brands can find it impossible to curate and track UGC. AdAlong uses AI, computer vision and semantic analysis to take care of UGC curation, generating results retailers can use on their product and category pages.

CarbonCloud: A carbon-footprint calculation company. David Bryngelsson, Co-Founder and CEO, outlined how his company can help brand owners and manufacturers calculate lifecycle assessments of their products. For example, CarbonCloud has a climate footprint for every crop, everywhere. In turn, brands can then communicate the carbon footprint to shoppers.

Charles: A conversational commerce company. Andreas Tussing, Founder and Co-CEO, explained how Charles helps companies communicate and sell through conversations on WhatsApp. Shoppers can text questions or requests and receive answers, get requests actioned and purchase products (though payment is made off-platform, on the seller’s site). Tussing explained that Charles is more convenient than a website live chat, as shoppers can return to messages in their own time, just like real texting.

Emperia: A company that creates virtual stores and other virtual environments. Olga Dogadkina, Co-Founder and CEO, explained that Emperia allows brands and retailers to incorporate immersive virtual experiences on their websites, including virtual stores and other environments, into which they can drag and drop the products they would like to feature.

Fashable: A company that offers AI-designed apparel. Orlando Ribas Fernandes, Founder and CEO, outlined how Fashable enables AI design of fashion items in both the real and virtual worlds, including metaverse collections.

LiSA: A social- and live-commerce company. Sophie Frères, Co-Founder and CEO, said that LiSA helps retailers and marketplaces transition into places of social discovery with conversion rates of up to 35% and engagement rates of up to 90% on live video.

Magway: A company that plans to move goods via microtunnels. One of the most startling innovators at the Startup Pitch, Magway's Co-Founder and Technical Director, Rupert Cruise, explained that the company intends to remove goods from vehicles—and thus, vehicles from roads—and transport them on robotic vehicles through small hyperloop-style tunnels. Cruise said that his company already has a smart city as a customer, is exploring an eight-kilometer route in West London for a company and expects to receive an order for a 74-kilometer system from another company in December 2023.

Pairzon: A company that combines in-store and online shopper data. Galit Arizon, Founder and CEO, noted that online data remains disconnected from physical stores, meaning retailers cannot measure offline conversion from online campaigns. Pairzon integrates with real-time transactional data and can identify the same shoppers online and offline, helping to track purchases.

Parla: A company that enables online services with live sales associates. Jamila Jamani, Founder and CEO, stated that sales associates drive 43% of in-store sales while online stores see an approximate 80% cart abandonment rate. Parla enables retail associates to communicate with shoppers at the latter’s request and convenience—and through multiple channels—to drive conversion rates and average order value.

Skrym: A logistics company with the tagline “stop sending air.” Jakob Nordfeldt, Founder and CEO, outlined that Skrym can help companies stop shipping empty-ish boxes by analyzing product, package and order data. Nordfeldt claimed companies using Skyrm see an average decrease in shipping costs of 5%–12%.

Slip: A digital receipt company. Tash Grossman, CEO, explained how consumers can embed Slip into their mobile wallets, scan it at checkout (in-store) and receive paperless receipts that they can keep indefinitely. Meanwhile, retailers enjoy visibility into in-store shoppers not usually available.

Sojo: A circular fashion company. Josephine Philips, Founder and CEO, explained how her company is a new type of clothing alterations service, one for younger generations who will not use traditional tailor services. With Sojo, retailers can offer an online tailoring option, which, Philips said, increases conversion, decreases costly returns and increases shopper satisfaction and lifetime value.

Verdn: A company that makes it easier for brands and retailers to donate a portion of sales to good causes. Rory McMeekin, Co-Founder and CTO, claimed that giving back can be more complex than it may first appear. Verdn makes the process simpler for retailers and brands, with the option to direct a fraction of revenue to good causes through automated marketing tools. The company also allows consumers to track their “good-cause” spending on a dashboard.

[caption id="attachment_148959" align="aligncenter" width="550"] From left to right: Toot Shani, Antoine Nussenbaum, Isabela Chick, Rebecca Hunt, Jess Anuna, Jakob Nordfeldt, Deborah Weinswig, David Bryngelsson, Galit Arizon, Sophie Frères, Jamila Jamani, Rory McMeekin, Tash Grossman, Andreas Tussing, Clémence Demerliac, Rupert Cruise (obscured), Rosie Bailey, Josephine Philips and Olga Dogadkina
Source: Coresight Research[/caption]

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