The last few years have seen an explosion in retail-tech developments and startups supporting this market.
Online retail has grown in leaps and bounds over the past couple of years, of course – partly aided by global lockdowns – but it was a trend that was happening regardless. 2020-2021 merely created an environment for this development to pick up the pace.
As a result, we have seen services in this field develop rapidly and many companies have gained attention – with good reason.
Here’s our pick of 25 of them.
The list below includes startups who are getting creative and assisting businesses in the retail markets.
Likewise, Splento is helping to improve businesses daily – by creating visual content, tools and resources to aid marketing, attract new clients, highlight USPs, promote other advantages and much more…
As part of that role, here is our free webinar on video content and how it can help your business – today.
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2ndKitchen is an app that allows businesses like hotels, bars, and office spaces without kitchens to connect with local restaurants to cater to their customers. The platform takes care of orders, payments, and customer service. 2ndKitchen helps businesses create a custom menu from neighbouring restaurants and install integrated kiosks for easy ordering.
Arik Gaisler, Jonathan Elron, Nick Anastasiades
Total funding: $4.4m
Admix is an ‘extended reality’ advertising platform. In other words, they use augmented reality and virtual reality to enhance advertisements. Using Admix, retailers can feature their products in advertisements 3D within VR and AR experiences, so users can virtually handle the products. Many advertisers believe VR and AR will be a huge player in the next generation of advertising and Admix is ahead of the game in this regard.
Joe Bachle-Morris, Mohammed Alisrawi, Samuel Huber
Total funding: $10.6m
Afresh is an AI-powered startup providing software to track demand and manage orders for fresh produce in supermarkets. Afresh is an operator of a fresh-first supply chain, using AI-powered demand forecasting, to inform food retailers of what they should stock. Its platform uses human-centred AI to provide accurate item-level predictions of future demand helping to minimise waste, maximise freshness, and increase profit.
Matt Schwartz, Nathan Fenner, Volodymyr Kuleshov
Total funding: $32.8m
Checkout.com is a transaction processing platform is designed to provide payment solutions that improve the online user’s checkout experience. The API-based platform provides fintech companies with a cross-border payment solution for eCommerce. Checkout.com used a unified, integrated platform to offer direct access to domestic acquiring across payment methods, including all major credit and debit cards, online banking, PayPal, Apple Pay, and other eWallets. In addition to this, Checkout.com provides fraud management tools, analytics, and comprehensive reporting features.
Total funding: $830m
Claire is an interactive bot that uses Facebook Messenger to deliver surveys to assist companies in optimising their products and campaigns, using the data collected. Retailers email customers with a link to participate in an interactive chat survey through Claire, which they will then be rewarded with loyalty points and giveaways. Claire analyses the survey data to optimise offerings. Retailers can use Claire to test advertising, products, and customer preferences.
Marta Jamrozik, Misha Laskin
Total funding: $1.8m
CleverCards is a payments platform allowing for easy mobile-enabled digital payments. The startup enables companies and governments to send digital Mastercards instantly to anyone via SMS or email. Businesses use CleverCards to send digital Mastercards instantly to employees, customers, or suppliers by SMS, WhatsApp, or email, which can be spent online or in-store using Apple pay, Google Pay, or Samsung Pay.
Total funding: $20.7m
Coniq is designed to improve customer engagement, targeted at shopping malls, outlets, and retail brands dedicated to their growth. Coniq’s platform, IQ, provides a faster, cost-effective, and easy method of generating revenue by understanding customers through customised experiences across multiple channels.
Total funding: £4m
Coveo is an intelligent enterprise search and predictive insights platform, helping to transform businesses through the power of search. The platform securely collates data from across on-premise and cloud applications to automatically suggest relevant information, experts, products, and services to the consumer as they self-serve. Coveo makes eCommerce effortless and efficient.
Laurent Simoneau, Marc Sanfacon, Richard Tessier
Total funding: $339.4m
Faire is a curated marketplace made for local retailers to discover the best makers and brands to stock their stores risk-free. The two-sided marketplace and wholesale platform, helps retailers find unique wholesale merchandise for their stores; and at the same time helps brands and makers connect with local retailers. Faire’s net 60 payment terms and free returns make wholesale business less of a risk so local retailers and independent brands can compete with eCommerce titans.
Daniele Perito, Jeffrey Kolovson, Marcelo Cortes, Max Rhodes
Total funding: $436m
Invenda Group is a startup that is disrupting the vending machine industry. Using its connected smart technology to build a cohesive software solution that offers interoperability with industry-leading solutions, Inveda Group is modernising and simplifying vending machine transactions.
Total funding: CHF 2m
Karakuri is a robotics startup that is fusing machine learning, optics, and sensors to help commercial kitchens automate the process of dispensing ingredients and measuring precise quantities. The DK- Karakuri’s has created a pre-production robot that employs the newest technologies in robotics, sensing, and control. Karakuri’s mission is to reduce food waste, improve choice and quality, improve staff wellbeing and enable healthier eating. Despite being in its infancy, the startup has acquired £13.5m in funding.
Barney Wragg, Yuta Nakamoto
Total funding: $13.5m
Klarna is an eCommerce payment solutions platform for merchants and shoppers. Klarna gives customers the freedom to choose how and when to pay. Using Klarna, shoppers can opt to pay in monthly instalments, upfront, or after delivery.
Niklas Adalberth, Sebastian Siemiatkowski, Victor Jacobsson
Total funding: $3.1b
Lolli is a rewards application that allows users to earn bitcoin when shopping online. The pioneering startup has partnered with over 1,000 leading retailers to allow eCommerce customers to easily earn bitcoin rewards when they shop. When users shop on one of the partner sites, Lolli gets a cut of each sale and splits that percentage with the shoppers in the form of bitcoin.
Alex Adelman, Matt Senter
Total funding: $10.3m
Mercaux is an innovative RetailTech startup providing solutions to support the retail sector in the pandemic and beyond. Where sites like Shopify optimise eCommerce stores for the web, Mercaux Mercaux transports the benefits of digital commerce into physical retail stores to drive sales uplift. Mercaux’s core solutions Sales Assist, Omnichannel and Clienteling equip staff with instant access to product information, company-wide inventory, digital content, customers’ profiles, and wish lists, through to mobile checkout capabilities.
Alex Petrov, Olga Kotsur
Total funding: $9.2m
MishiPay is a mobile, self-checkout solution that bringing the ease of independent online checkouts to physical retail stores. MishiPay is designed to assist in-store customers in purchasing products using their mobile device via MishiPay’s app. The unique retail payment technology lets shoppers in retail stores use their app to pick up the product, scan the barcode with their phone, pay within the phone and just walk out without having to queue.
Mustafa Khanwala, Tanvi Bhardwaj
Total funding: $5.4m
Ninja Van is a fledgling startup in the logistics space, using reactive and distributed systems to provide courier service in Southeast Asia. Ninja Van is revolutionising logistics through technology-enabled delivery systems. Ninja Van meshes new technologies and knowledge of the eCommerce industry to make logistics hassle-free for their clients.
Boxian Tan, Chang Wen Lai, Shaun Chong
Total funding: $396.5m
Pointy, by Google
Pointy is an Irish-founded startup producing hardware and software that is helping stores to bring in more business. The technology shows businesses products online so that they can get found by customers browsing on the web. Pointy works with almost all POS systems, making it accessible for most stores. Google has seen the huge potential for growth in Pointy and acquired it for $163M in January 2020.
Charles Bibby, Mark Cummins
Total funding: $19.2m
Proximity Insight is a commerce platform providing connected retail solutions. Proximity Insight helps brands to get closer to their customers by assisting in the provision of exceptional service in-store, digitally, and virtually. Proximity Insight helps to nurture consumer relationships by personalising experiences, increasing engagement, and allowing customer-facing teams to become omnichannel successes by giving them the digital tools to connect and sell to customers.
Cathy McCabe, Kris Moyse, Matt Lacey, Steve Orell
Total funding: £1.1m
Qubit AI is the new way to drive growth for eCommerce. Qubit specializes in personalisation at scale for e-commerce companies, by collecting, storing, and processing data, to optimise stores for customised consumer experiences. Qubit’s mission is to help the world’s leading retail, travel, and gaming brands grow through personalised engagement.
Daniel Shellard, Emre Baran, Graham Cooke, Ian McCaig
Total funding: $74.9m
Rais is a Virtual Personal Data Analyst for SME eCommerce businesses. This activation platform, founded in London, is helping D2C brands to grow faster by providing AI-driven customer data management, intelligence, and expertise to convert more customers across their marketing channels. By utilising AI, Rais enriches and operationalise customer data.
Agata Boczkowska, Will Young
Total funding: £544k
Reply.ai is a platform that augments retailers’ existing customer service software with AI-powered self-service. The platform lets retailers manage chatbots that work across all messaging apps, omitting the need for in-house coding. The bot then can automate conversations with customers, with a human taking over only if/when needed. With Facebook Messenger, Reply.ai can directly take payments for purchases.
Clara de Soto, Erica Mannherz Fusacchia, Omar Pera, Pablo Pera
Total funding: $3.7m
SeeFashion is an AI-powered personalisation and business intelligence revolutionising the fashion eCommerce industry. The platform uses its algorithm to help retailers plan future inventory assortments. SeeFashion is also open for designers to submit their designs, which its community can then place pre-orders for. When their minimum order is fulfilled, SeeFashion supports the manufacture and distribution of goods.
Aaron Jones, Ivana Ojuwku
Total funding: $290k
Shadowfax is an on-demand logistics network providing tech-enabled one-stop delivery solutions. The unique app enables delivery of food, pharmacy, and e-commerce for businesses to ensure customer success using technology. Shadowfax’s vision is to enhance the customer experience with their original technology.
Abhishek Bansal, Vaibhav Khandelwal
Total funding: $119.7m
Yabie is a flexible and scalable POS & Payment platform helping businesses to simplify their sales. Yabie’s Payment and POS systems provide ease of sales. The mobile, intuitive platform makes customer interaction and sales stress-free.
Total funding: $37.5m
YOOBIC is ‘the All-in-One Platform for the Deskless Workforce’. The platform is designed to support retailers in task management, mobile learning, and streamlined communication. These companies with deskless workforces can thrive using digitally optimized communication, training, and process management.
Fabrice Haiat, Gilles Haiat, Thierry Haiat
Total funding: $30.3m
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Data source: crunchbase.com