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Today we are featuring Magic from our Retail Technology category in our Company Player Card series. Magic provides a 24/7 SMS-based on-demand delivery service. The company was founded in 2015 and has raised $12.1 million in 2 rounds of funding. To see the full list of 851 companies in our Retail Technology category, contact us using the form on www.venturescanner.com.
The retail online to offline space continues to be very active as we move into July 2015. We are currently tracking over 945 companies in 24 categories across 44 countries, which represent over $17.6B in funding - with no signs of slowing down! To see the full list of companies, contact us using the form on www.venturescanner.com.
I saw a few interesting studies this past week on in-store shopping experiences, but one in particular peaked my interest. Samsung commissioned a report with Future Stores to study the in-store shopping habits of 16–24 year olds. The bottom-line? Retailers need to understand how to best engage with the next generation of shoppers.
Retailers are approaching the most important time of the year – the holidays. These few weeks are the retail industry’s most lucrative period, which account for nearly 40% of most stores’ annual sales (source). According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), this year’s outlook is very optimistic with November and December sales for all purchases (excluding auto, gas, and restaurant sales) projected to reach $616.9B, 4.1% higher than 2013. The NRF’s chief economist contributes this optimism to macro trends such as increased consumer purchasing power and a rise in disposable incomes (source).
liateR is a retail technology startup that provides fashion merchants with in-store interactive tools, (e.g. augmented reality displays) and analytics. The company produces products that enable retailers to set up digital catalogs, virtual fitting rooms, and social media connectivity. On the analytics side, liateR’s software automatically collects data across a variety of touch points on the shopper including age, gender, item preferences, interactions, and mood, which it analyzes for the merchant. I had a chance to speak with Antonis Argyros, co-founder of liateR and you can see a transcript of the conversation below. The company was founded in July 2014 and is headquartered in Athens, Greece with seven employees to date. liateR is a graduate of the Metavallon, a Greek social enterprise accelerator founded and operated by Alexandra Choli.
Wrapp is a Stockholm-based social gifting service and brand discovery tool for mobile consumers. The company has raised over $25M in funding since 2011, and competes in a variety of categories in the retail online to offline sector including coupons, social discovery, and local incentives. While there are a number of competitors in each category, Wrapp has a significant amount of funding and is backed by notable names such as Greylock Partners, Qualcomm Ventures, American Express, and Reid Hoffman. Wrapp has over 200 merchants using the platform with household names such as H&M, American Eagle, Office Depot, Victoria’s Secret, Sephora, and more.
Placemeter, a physical location analytics company, announced a $6M series A last week, increasing its total funding to $7.8M as of 2012. The company uses video feeds to collect and analyze data around a variety of factors such as foot traffic, dwell rates, and even the velocity of movement to derive insights. While this company tangentially competes with other physical analytics players, Placemeter has a unique angle in how it uses data for purposes such as city planning and development.
With the ‘Retail Online to Offline’ scan hitting 500+ companies, I wanted to take a step back and look at the current landscape. I've created over 19 categories with the latest one being “Retail Internet of Things (IOT),” which covers companies that manufacture or sell physical devices as part of their core offering. This is partially due to the rapid rise of Bluetooth low energy devices (ibeacon), as well as other products such as physical wallet devices (e.g. Coin), NFC stands, and smart objects that integrate into a retailer’s existing hardware.
It’s that time of year again – kids are going back to school, leaves are starting to change color, and Apple is hosting its fall iPhone launch. And as usual, there is a flurry of rumors and leaked photos circulating the Internet such as this pre-order page from a Chinese telecom company. However, I did see something interesting that I felt should be shared from a retail perspective – Apple’s potential near-field communication (NFC) integration, which would enable mobile payments with smartphones.
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