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Event Coverage 11 minutesFree Report

Groceryshop 2022—“Shark Reef” Startup Pitch Competition Recap: 12 Innovators, Two Winners

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Coresight Research
Free Report

What's Inside

On September 19, 2022, Deborah Weinswig, CEO and Founder of Coresight Research, moderated and featured on the judging panel of Groceryshop 2022’s “Shark Reef” startup pitch competition, which saw 12 early-stage technology innovators compete to win the Judges’ Choice and Audience Choice awards.

In this free report, we recap the pitch competition, covering its format and the judging panel as well as highlights from the presentations of each participating startup.

  • In the lead-up to the event, we profiled each of the participating innovators. Read more from Groceryshop 2022, including those innovator profiles and daily event coverage reports.
  • Click here to access more Coresight Research reports on grocery retail.

Executive Summary

  • The event, moderated by Deborah Weinswig, CEO and Founder of Coresight Research, saw 12 early-stage startups present on how their innovative technologies are addressing important challenges in grocery. 
  • The participating innovators were Brandcrush, Deliverider, Jupiter, Lula Delivery, Lucky Labs, Peekage, Pipedream Labs, Promio.io, SalesBeat, Shelfleet, Vici Robotics and Whywaste. 
  • An expert panel of judges selected the Judges’ Choice winner—Whywaste. The audience voted for the Audience Choice winner—Vici Robotics.
Introduction 

The Coresight Research team is attending and participating in this year’s Groceryshop conference in Las Vegas, US. On September 19, 2022, Coresight Research hosted the “Shark Reef” startup pitch competition, which saw early-stage innovators compete to win the Judges’ Choice and Audience Choice awards. 

In this report, we provide a recap of the pitch competition, with key insights from the presentations of the 12 participating startups.

Groceryshop 2022—“Shark Reef” Startup Pitch Competition: A Recap

Event Format and Judging Panel

The Grcoceryshop 2022 “Shark Reef” startup pitch competition comprised two rounds:

  • Round 1. All competitors presented for three minutes on how their innovative technologies are addressing important challenges in grocery. The expert panel of judges led a short Q&A session following each presentation, before selecting six companies to progress to the next round.  
  • Round 2. The finalists each participated in a more in-depth, five-minute Q&A session. 

Deborah Weinswig, CEO and Founder of Coresight Research, moderated the pitch competition. She will be joined by three expert judges:

  • Ken Parakkattu, Partner at Plug and Play Ventures 
  • Elaine Russell, Co-Lead of Albertsons Fund at Greycroft
  • Rob Trice, Founding Partner at Better Food Ventures 
The judging panel (from left to right): Weinswig, Parakkattu, Russell, and Trice
The judging panel (from left to right): Weinswig, Parakkattu, Russell, and Trice
Source: Coresight Research

 

The Competing Innovators: Pitch Highlights

Coresight Research categorizes the 12 startups into three areas of innovation in retail: 

  • Product Marketing and Merchandising—Technologies that help brands and retailers effectively market to their audiences and raise brand awareness

Startups: Brandcrush, Jupiter, Peekage, Shelfleet

  • Fulfillment and Sustainability—Technologies that support retailers in becoming more sustainable and delivering efficiently within the last mile

Startups: Deliverider, Lula Delivery, Lucky Labs, Pipedream Labs, Whywaste

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and Automation—AI and ML-powered technologies focusing on enhancing retail through data-driven decisions and automation

Startups: Promio, SalesBeat, Vici Robotics

The Winners

The finalists that made it through to the second round were Brandcrush, Jupiter, Lula Delivery, SalesBeat, Vici Robotics and Whywaste.

An expert panel of judges selected the Judges’ Choice winner as Whywaste. 

The audience voted for the Audience Choice winner, Vici Robotics. 

The four judges and two winners: Martin Grådal, Co-Founder and CTO at Judges’ Choice winner Whywaste (far left), and Kyle Smith, Founder and CEO of Audience Choice winner Vici Robotics (third from the left)
The four judges and two winners: Martin Grådal, Co-Founder and CTO at Judges’ Choice winner Whywaste (far left), and Kyle Smith, Founder and CEO of Audience Choice winner Vici Robotics (third from the left)
Source: Coresight Research

 

The Participants

Below, we detail highlights from each of the innovators’ presentations, in alphabetical order.

The 12 speakers and four judges that participated in the Shark Reef pitch competition at Groceryshop 2022
The 12 speakers and four judges that participated in the Shark Reef pitch competition at Groceryshop 2022
Source: Coresight Research

 

Brandcrush

  • Speaker: Teresa Aprile, Co-Founder and CEO
  • Area of disruption: Product Marketing and Merchandising

The future of retail media is omnichannel, yet only 20% of retail media assets are currently served by adtech. Brandcrush aims to help retailers manage buying social media for marketing, unleashing the unrealized growth potential for media—in-store, out-of-store and online. Aprile explained that the company’s platform powers shopper marketing across the entire ecosystem, with self-serve inbound and outbound sales tools offering optimized campaign management, supplier investment management, real-time campaign analytics, and flexible billing and collection tools.

Aprile explains that Brandcrush’s platform powers shopper marketing across the entire ecosystem
Aprile explains that Brandcrush’s platform powers shopper marketing across the entire ecosystem
Source: Coresight Research

 

Deliverider

  • Speaker: Ido Raz, Co-Founder and CEO
  • Area of disruption: Fulfillment and Sustainability

Deliverider has developed an efficient, tech-enabled logistics service for online retailers, to solve two problems: (1) free shipping thresholds kill sales of low-price items; (2) large warehouses have high costs and low profitability. The company offers a marketplace add-on tool that enables retailers to consolidate third-party items in a grocery basket without having to hold them in stock, in a hyperlocal marketplace within a 25-mile radius around a distribution center. Customers can add multiple items into a basket, and vans or scooters bring them to the distribution center to consolidate the order.

Raz describes Deliverider’s tech-enabled logistics service for online retailers
Raz describes Deliverider’s tech-enabled logistics service for online retailers
Source: Coresight Research

 

Jupiter

  • Speaker: Chad Munroe, Co-Founder and CEO
  • Area of disruption: Product Marketing and Merchandising

Munroe described Jupiter as Shopify for the 30 million food creators on TikTok and Instagram. He explained that it is inevitable that people will start to shop from food creators on these social platforms, citing Coresight Research’s US Social Commerce Survey 2022, which found that 65% of US consumers already use social media as part of the shopping process. 

Jupiter aims to offer the most convenient shopping experience through a creator-driven recipe and grocery shopping platform where the creator is the storefront and integrates with the social commerce tools of Instagram and TikTok. Jupiter has launched more than 60 storefronts that reach 100 million people, according to Munroe. The company’s goal is to reach 500 storefronts by the end of the 2022.

  • Read the full Innovator Profile for Jupiter.
Munroe presents Jupiter’s creator-driven recipe and grocery shopping platform
Munroe presents Jupiter’s creator-driven recipe and grocery shopping platform
Source: Coresight Research

 

Lucky Labs

  • Speaker: Nafis Azad, Co-Founder
  • Area of disruption: Fulfillment and Sustainability

Lucky Labs believes that omnichannel synchronization is the future of commerce: to be everywhere the customer is. The company connects brands with inventory to enable same-day fulfillment in three ways: Shop—customers can search every item on its platform; Sell—for same-day fulfillment or pickup; and Dashboard—so that customers can view local inventory.

Azad tells the judges and audience that Lucky Labs aims to enable brands to meet customers where they are through omnichannel fulfillment
Azad tells the judges and audience that Lucky Labs aims to enable brands to meet customers where they are through omnichannel fulfillment
Source: Coresight Research

 

Lula Delivery

  • Speaker: Adit Gupta, Co-Founder and CEO
  • Area of disruption: Fulfillment and Sustainability

Gupta explained that one-quarter of consumers visit a convenience store at least once a week, but the sector deals with antiquated technology and is fragmented, with no way to get online or change prices easily for more than 2,500 SKUs (stock-keeping units). He described Lula Delivery as “a delivery company that does not deliver.” Lula Delivery aims to make it easy to deliver on every major platform, charging 0% commission and offering automating the syncing of inventory. Its customers include small chains, such as gas stations. The company plans to cover 1% of convenience stores in 2022, with a goal of 4% in 2023.

Gupta discusses the importance of technology innovation for convenience stores
Gupta discusses the importance of technology innovation for convenience stores
Source: Coresight Research

 

Peekage

  • Speaker: Milad Zabihi, Co-Founder and CEO
  • Area of disruption: Product Marketing and Merchandising

Peekage aims to turn product experiences into actionable insights, creating “customer experiences through targeted insights.” Consumers test products, send feedback and are incentivized to repeat. The insights are of high quality, vetted using AI and provide extremely fast results, according to Zabihi. The company possesses an audience network of more than 4 million consumers, generating more than 5 million data points.   

  • Read the full Innovator Profile for Peekage.
Zabihi emphasizes the benefits of the actionable insights that Peekage provide for retailers
Zabihi emphasizes the benefits of the actionable insights that Peekage provide for retailers
Source: Coresight Research

 

Pipedream Labs

  • Speaker: Scott McCurrach, CEO
  • Area of disruption: Fulfillment and Sustainability

Pipedream aims to offer quick delivery times at a low cost by using an underground logistics network of pipes and autonomous delivery robots that travel near to consumers within five minutes. The pipes use existing utilities conduits, which do not require the digging of trenches and whose permit approval is well understood by cities. Pipedream is currently performing pilot testing of its network in Atlanta, Georgia.

  • Read the full Innovator Profile for Pipedream.
McCurrach describes Pipedream’s autonomous delivery robot network
McCurrach describes Pipedream’s autonomous delivery robot network
Source: Coresight Research

 

Promio.io

  • Speaker: Anthony Eros, Founder and CEO
  • Area of disruption: AI, ML and Automation

Promio.io aims to reduce the amount of time sales teams spend on administrative tasks, which can amount to two to three hours per day, to increase the productivity of sales and marketing teams, Eros explained. The company’s solution helps sales teams to manage customer offers across channels in real time, which can result in 10 times the deal flow and 50% faster decisions. Sales teams have to use too many retail portals, and the use of more in-store programs drives a sales lift versus the traditional model comprising sales teams, brokers and wholesalers.

  • Read the full Innovator Profile for Promio.io.
Eros highlights how Promio.io can save time for sales teams and increase their productivity
Eros highlights how Promio.io can save time for sales teams and increase their productivity
Source: Coresight Research

 

SalesBeat

  • Speaker: Veena Giridhar, CEO
  • Area of disruption: AI, ML and Automation

SalesBeat uses external data such as demographics, seasonality, economic growth, weather POS (point-of-sale) data to create highly accurate demand forecasts, in the 90%–95% range. Some demand patterns follow nonlinear forecasts—for example, higher temperatures drive sales of ice cream, until a certain limit, when consumers are more likely to stay home and demand falls. 

  • Read the full Innovator Profile for SalesBeat.
Giridhar emphasizes the accuracy of SalesBeat’s external-data-driven demand forecasting
Giridhar emphasizes the accuracy of SalesBeat’s external-data-driven demand forecasting
Source: Coresight Research

 

Shelfleet

  • Speaker: Sierra Peña, Co-Founder and CEO
  • Area of disruption: Product Marketing and Merchandising

Shelfleet helps online brands connect with brick-and-mortar retailers to rent shelf space, reducing the costs of establishing a presence offline while improving the customer experience and consumer choice. In the current environment, consumers want it all: online, offline and a broad range of choice.

  • Read the full Innovator Profile for Shelfleet.
Peña highlights the benefits of Shelfleet’s retail space rental program for online brands and offline retailers
Peña highlights the benefits of Shelfleet’s retail space rental program for online brands and offline retailers
Source: Coresight Research

 

Vici Robotics

  • Speaker: Kyle Smith, Founder and CEO
  • Area of disruption: AI, ML and Automation

Vici Robotics uses robots to automate in-store operations in this time of unprecedented labor shortages in retail. Its robots stock shelves from their knowledge of shelf barcodes and aisles, and they possess a robotic arm that places goods on shelves. The company offers two pricing models: robotics as a service, which is favored by smaller retailers; and by selling the hardware plus a software subscription, which larger, capex-oriented retailers prefer. Vici Robotics is currently testing its products with two Bay Area grocers. 

Smith explains the pricing models of Vici Robotics’ solutions
Smith explains the pricing models of Vici Robotics’ solutions
Source: Coresight Research

 

Whywaste

  • Speaker: Martin Grådal, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO)
  • Area of disruption: Fulfillment and Sustainability

Whywaste offers solutions to help retailers eliminate food waste and its impacts on profitability. The company started with one store in Sweden in 2016 and now serves more than 40 chains in 18 countries, including ASDA in the UK. Grådal explained that Whywaste offers an end-to-end solution to solve expiration date challenges, calculating the optimum discount price, monitoring sales, and promoting at-risk products on screens and via apps. If the food is not sold, it includes a donation platform. According to Grådal, Whywaste has helped 200 stores save $14 million and 50,000 labor hours per year while receiving 17% more revenue from discounts and facilitating donations to local charities.

  • Read the full Innovator Profile for Whywaste.
Grådal explains that Whywaste’s solution has helped 200 stores save $14 million and 50,000 labor hours per year
Grådal explains that Whywaste’s solution has helped 200 stores save $14 million and 50,000 labor hours per year
Source: Coresight Research

 

 

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