KEY POINTS

The Coresight Research team attended the Salesforce Dreamforce conference, held September 25–28, and saw three startups vying for the $250,000 Dreampitch grand prize on September 26. These startups were:

  • Carserv, a digital platform on which auto-repair shop owners can digitalize their processes and use data to improve customer engagement while increasing revenue. 
  • Radius8, which localizes retailers’ digital experiences based on information from their physical stores (for example, inventory information) and external metrics such as the weather or events. Radius8’s platform is designed to drive consumers who pre-shop online into stores.
  • Draiver, a self-learning logistics platform that moves vehicles by planning, executing, and instructing drivers. The company matches up the vehicles that firms need to move with drivers who can undertake those journeys in a gig-economy model layered with machine learning.

Last week, the Coresight Research team attended the Dreamforce software conference and analyst day hosted by software firm Salesforce, September 25–28. On September 26, we saw three startups pitch for the grand prize of $250,000 investment in the Dreampitch competition.  

The event was hosted by Leyla Seka, EVP of AppExchange at Salesforce, and the competition was judged by investor Rebecca Lynn, professional basketball player Andre Iguodala, business news presenter Emily Chang, talent manager Guy Oseary and pop singer Will.i.am. 

Carserv was the winner at Dreampitch. Mars Mundy, Carserv CEO, explained how his firm provides a digital platform for auto-shop owners to digitalize their internal processes and customer interactions. 

Carserve allows auto shops to send estimates to customers via their portal for approval and then automates the ordering of auto parts based on approved quotes. Businesses benefit from the predictive analytics integrated into the platform and customers enjoy greater ease of service including on-demand courtesy cars through Carserv’s integration with ride-hailing service, Lyft. 

Mundy told the panel of judges that his company “unlocks the value of data through machine learning” to help an industry that has traditionally been offering poor-quality experiences and is non-digitalized. he concluded that Carserv is “not just a workflow tool but a revenue generator.”

Sandeep Bhanote, Radius8 CEO, told the panel of judges how his company localizes retailers’ digital experiences based on information from their physical stores (for example, inventory information) and external metrics such as the weather or events. He went on to say that the platform allowed retailers to “defend against the Amazon experience.” Jenna Flateman Posner, the company’s CRO, described the Radius8 as a “localization platform that helps retailers unify their instore and digital experiences, to give stores a digital voice and drive sales and engagement across multiple marketing and sales channels.” (Readers can find a detailed profile of Radius8 on our website.)

Bhanote gave the example of apparel shoppers in Miami and New York expecting very different offerings when they visit a retailer’s website and said that Radius8 can showcase locally relevant products. He concluded by saying that deploying Raduis8 results in increase in online order values, click-through rates and in-store unit purchases per shopper.

Draiver’s pitch was presented by Zarif Haque, the company’s CEO, who outlined how his company matches vehicles that firms need to move with drivers’ ability to undertake those journeys. The company crowdsources drivers in a gig economy model, layering its platform with machine learning to direct drivers and estimate the times of deliveries without anyone needing to pick up the phone. Draiver serves car-rental firms, trucking companies, and other similar firms, and Haque said that Draiver’s top customer had reported a 40% revenue increase after using the platform.

We will feature our takeaways from the Salesforce Dreamforce conference in a separate flash report.


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