Countdown to Groceryshop 2018: Startup Pitch Competition Participant Profile, Part 4—IceCream Labs
The Coresight Research team will be attending and participating in the Groceryshop 2018 conference, which runs October 28–31 in Las Vegas. The team behind the Shoptalk retail and e-commerce conference founded this new event, which will cover the disruption of the grocery, consumer packaged goods (CPG) and related industries.
- The conference is expected to bring together 1,000 attendees and more than 150 speakers. Discussion topics will include the transformation of the retail industry, including convenience stores, supermarkets and e-commerce, and changes in the production and distribution of CPGs across multiple retail verticals. Additionally, the event will cover shifts in consumers’ shopping behavior and how they want to shop in the future in both brick-and-mortar and online formats.
- On October 28, Coresight Research CEO and Founder Deborah Weinswig will emcee a startup pitch competition featuring 12 innovative, early-stage technology companies that provide solutions to solve major problems in e-commerce, grocery retail, and/or the food or CPG sector. The participating startups are Adrich, Forager, IceCream Labs, IntraPosition, Locai Solutions, Nextuple, Observa, Packyge, Shelf.ai, Simplista, Tastry and Tochize.
- In this report, our fourth in a series of daily Countdown to Groceryshop 2018 reports, we profile IceCream Labs, which has developed a machine learning–based merchandising solution that can distill text- and image-based product data from multiple sources into richer product content for retailers, brands and marketplace sellers.
The Coresight Research team will be attending and participating in the Groceryshop 2018 conference, which runs October 28–31 in Las Vegas. The team behind the Shoptalk retail and e-commerce conference founded this new event, which will cover the disruption of the grocery, CPG and related industries. Coresight Research has previously partnered with Shoptalk to host that conference’s annual startup pitch competition.
Groceryshop is expected to bring together 1,000 attendees and more than 150 speakers. Discussion topics will include the transformation of the retail industry, including convenience stores, supermarkets and e-commerce, and changes in the production and distribution of CPGs across multiple retail verticals. Additionally, the event will cover the rapid shifts in how consumers discover, shop and buy—from the use of new technologies and business models to the latest trends in consumer behaviors, preferences and expectations.
According to Zia Daniell Wigder, Cofounder of Groceryshop and Chief Content Officer of Shoptalk, Groceryshop was created to meet the needs of a sector on the verge of a massive shift. The percentage of grocery sales made online in the US is only 2%–3%, significantly lower than for other categories such as apparel and electronics, where e-commerce accounts for about 20% of sales, Wigder said.
Over the next few years, new omnichannel grocery offerings will likely go mainstream, providing consumers with new experiences as well as more convenient delivery and pickup options. Digital platforms that offer the best mix of price, selection and convenience will see increased transaction volume, while physical stores will experience change and likely play a key role in online order fulfillment.
Startup Pitch Competition
On October 28, Coresight Research CEO and Founder Deborah Weinswig will emcee a startup pitch competition featuring 12 innovative, early-stage technology companies that provide solutions to solve major problems in e-commerce, grocery retail, and/or the food or CPG sector.
Each company will present its business to a panel of judges from the investment community and to the audience. Two winners will be announced, one chosen by the panel of judges and one by audience vote, and each winner will be awarded $10,000.
Groceryshop curated the participating startups based on their solutions to some of the most pressing challenges that grocery, e-commerce, food and CPG companies are facing. All of the participating startups have less than $3 million in funding, provide business-to-business (B2B) solutions and were founded in 2014 or later.
We categorized the 12 companies into four buckets of retail disruption:
- Sourcing, Merchandising and Cataloging: Shoppers are demanding more grocery choices than ever before, and grocery retailers face challenges in keeping their assortments up to date and in sync with consumer demand.
- Enabling Grocery E-Commerce: Providing engaging and personalized online experiences while meeting consumer expectations regarding fulfillment and delivery is crucial for retailers.
- Improved Shopping Experiences: Shoppers are demanding intuitive and more seamless grocery experiences both online and in stores.
- Tracking, Measurement and Insights: Digital technology is creating new metrics and capabilities for gleaning insights for grocery retailers and CPG manufacturers.
Below, we profile IceCream Labs, one of the companies participating in the startup pitch competition at Groceryshop. We categorize IceCream Labs as being in the Sourcing, Merchandising and Cataloging group.
IceCream Labs offers an automated product-cataloging solution powered by machine learning. The company’s solution captures text- and image-based product data from multiple sources and autonomously generates richer product content for retailers, brands and marketplace sellers. This enriched product content is easily delivered to existing e-commerce and product information management platforms, where it can improve product search capabilities and help shoppers navigate large and complex catalogs, so they can select the optimal product for their needs.
The global market for catalog management systems is divided into three segments: component, deployment and vertical. The component segment is subdivided into solutions and services. In the vertical segment, companies in a number of industries—including banking, financial services and insurance; retail and e-commerce; and IT and telecom—are adopting catalog management systems at an escalating rate. Research firm MarketsandMarkets expects the global market for catalog management systems to grow at a CAGR of 7.0% from 2018 to 2023, from $846.6 million to $1,190.0 million.
What Problem Is the Company Solving?
IceCream Labs addresses three problems. First, when products and SKU counts grow, retailers often find it difficult to establish connections among categories, products and groupings and then match those to customer intentions. IceCream Labs is solving this problem by using artificial intelligence to collect and analyze product data and then generate product insights that help boost sales performance and shopper satisfaction.
Second, brand managers usually find it time-consuming and overwhelming to create product content and then push it out to sales channels. IceCream Labs helps on this front by automatically generating titles and descriptions for products.
Third, IceCream Labs developed CatalogIQ to help catalog managers automate and complete most of the tasks involved with publishing new data in product catalogs.
San Francisco, CA
Seed ($400,000 in October 2015)
IceCream Labs offers its solution via either SaaS or interface.
Cofounder and CEO Madhu Konety has more than 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur, investor and technology professional working with startups and large software companies. Cofounder and CTO Mike Mian has an extensive background in the IT and services industry and is skilled in the areas of patent law, SaaS, Scrum, big data and recruiting. VP of Engineering Latha Iyer has more than 15 years of experience working with companies across the globe in engineering and management roles. VP of Marketing and Product Mike Oitzman is a product and marketing leader with nearly two decades of experience in all facets of the product lifecycle.
IceCream Labs plans to broaden its product offering in order to solve more problems for existing customers and add new solutions to the mix. In 2017, the company achieved 100% year-over-year growth. This year, Konety and his team have set their sights on 300%–400% growth.