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Shoptalk Europe 2023 Startup Pitch Competition: Recap—10 Innovators, Two Winners

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Coresight Research is a research partner of Shoptalk Europe 2023, which is taking place during May 9–11 in Barcelona, Spain. Shoptalk Europe is an annual retail conference focusing on retail innovation.

On May 9, 2023, Coresight Research hosted the Startup Pitch competition, which saw 10 early-stage retail-technology innovators compete to win the Judges’ Choice and Audience Choice awards. We provide a recap of the pitch competition, with key insights from the startup presentations.

Shoptalk Europe 2023—Startup Pitch Competition: Coresight Research Insights

Event Format and Judging Panel

The Shoptalk Europe 2023 startup pitch competition comprised two rounds across two sessions:

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

Deborah Weinswig, CEO and Founder of Coresight Research, moderated the competition and participated as one of the judging panel. Two expert judges joined Weinswig:

  • Carolin Wais, Partner EMEA Ventures at Plug and Play
  • Carles Ferrer Roqueta, General Partner at Nauta Capital

Left to right: Weinswig, Wais and Ferrer Roqueta, the Startup Pitch judging panel
Source: Coresight Research


Innovative Solutions Across Three Areas of Retail Disruption

Coresight Research categorizes the 10 startups into three areas of disruption in retail, as defined below.

1. Marketing and New Business Models

As consumer shopping habits and channels continue to evolve, innovators are creating solutions to help brands and retailers sell in new channels and in a more efficient manner.

Companies: Rentle, SegmentStream

2. New Ways To Engage Consumers

Retailers are embracing new technologies such as video, AI (artificial intelligence) and Web3 to go where consumers are, engage them there and generate loyalty.

Companies: Metav.rs, Primis, Radd., Sociate.ai

3. Optimizing Operations and Sustainability

To meet consumer and regulatory demand for greater sustainability, retailers are adopting tools to analyze and help reduce the environmental impacts of their operations (including in last-mile delivery) and improve efficiency through more accurate forecasting.

Companies: Hyran Technologies, Inoqo, Quiver, Syrup Tech

The Winners

The five finalists that made it to the second round were Hyran Technologies, Inoqo, Quiver, Sociate.ai and Syrup Tech.

Of these five, the expert panel of judges selected the Judges’ Choice winner as Hyran Technologies.

Left to right: Weinswig, Wais, Zaidi (from Hyran Technologies), Ferrer Roqueta and Zahra Mohamed (Senior Content Producer at Shoptalk Europe)
Source: Coresight Research


The audience-voted Audience Choice winner was Sociate.ai.

Left to right: Wais, Weinswig, Topia (from Sociate.ai) and Ferrer Roqueta
Source: Coresight Research


The Competing Innovators: Pitch Highlights

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

The speakers and judges that participated in the Startup Pitch at Shoptalk Europe 2023
Source: Coresight Research


Hyran Technologies

  • Speaker: Dr Ahmed Zaidi, Co-Founder & CEO
  • Area of disruption: Optimizing Operations and Sustainability
  • Read the full Innovator Profile for Hyran Technologies.

Founded in 2022, Hyran Technologies is an AI-powered platform for supply chain management in the fashion industry. Zaidi explained that a key problem is that fashion trends are changing rapidly, but the fashion supply chain is slow, suffering from long lead times and delaying brand responses to trends. He emphasized three negative impacts of this problem, based on data from Hyran Technologies:

  1. $1 trillion is lost per year in markdowns and stockouts.
  2. $120 billion in dead stock sits in warehouses worldwide.
  3. Suppliers are exposed to financial risk from late changes to forecasts.

Zaidi discusses the impacts of the slow fashion supply chain
Source: Coresight Research


Hyran Technologies therefore aims to transform the slow and rigid supply chain into an AI-driven fast and flexible one, which Zaidi claims can increase revenue by 7% and gross profit by 17%, as well as reducing markdowns by 16% and inventory waste by 21%, based on a United Nations study run by Hyran Technologies with a large, multinational retail brand.

The Hyran platform is collaborative and enables suppliers to leverage supply chain data in real time, improving production visibility and planning to effectively respond to consumer demand and reduce waste. The AI-driven planning solution helps brands to work out what materials to hold and reduces lead times from nine months down to 45 days (in some cases, two weeks), according to Zaidi.

Source: Hyran Technologies



  • Speaker: Markus Linder, Co-Founder & CEO
  • Area of disruption: Optimizing Operations and Sustainability
  • Read the full Innovator Profile for Inoqo.

Inoqo is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform that combines public and private data alongside an AI-powered algorithm to help grocery retailers, food and beverage brands and suppliers assess, communicate and action the socio-environmental impacts of their products and ingredients.

Linder explained that food consumption has major impacts on the planet, responsible for 70% of biodiversity loss on land and 34% of global greenhouse-gas emissions. In addition, unhealthy food shortens people’s life span. To combat these impacts, customers and governments are pushing retail companies to take action. For example, 75% of customer say they want labels that explain the impact of their food, according to Inoqo, and the EU (European Union) is planning to introduce “mandatory sustainability labeling.”

Linder highlights the impacts of food consumption on the planet
Source: Coresight Research


Inoqo aims to help consumers make healthier, more environmentally and socially conscious choices through clear product labeling and retailer transparency around their environmental impact. The platform assesses thousands of food and beverage products for carbon emissions and seven additional impact dimensions, beginning with publicly available product information and allowing producer to provide more primary data over time to increase accuracy. The Inoqo platform then enables retail companies to share the multidimensional impact of products with consumers through product labeling at the point-of-sale level as well as providing insights and recommendations for sustainable alternatives online, Linder said.

Summarizing the benefits of the Inoqo platform, Linder emphasized that it is highly scalable, measures eight impact dimensions, has optimization capabilities tailored to grocery, undergoes ongoing data maintenance, offers a unique customer engagement solution and provides flexibility for dynamic regulatory change.

Source: Inoqo



  • Speaker: Simon Foucher, Co-Founder & CEO
  • Area of disruption: New Ways To Engage Consumers
  • Read the full Innovator Profile for Metav.rs.

Web3 is offering new relationships between brands and customers, Foucher highlighted during his presentation. Web 2.0 was social, but Web3 is enabling the customer to become and own part of the brand.

Metav.rs describes itself as a “next-gen customer experience platform, powered by Web3.” The no-code content management platform has integrated apps to help brands and retailers operate in the metaverse in a centralized manner, enabling them to better manage Web3 assets, websites and virtual worlds. Through Metav.rs, brands can connect with, engage and empower consumers (see image below).

Source: Metav.rs


The company aims to democratize access to the metaverse and enable Web3 brands and retailers to integrate content into virtual worlds more easily. Through Metav.rs, retail companies can sell and distribute NFTs (non-fungible tokens), link immersive experiences, monitor their performance and assign rewards and utilities, Foucher explained. Metav.rs is interoperable between major metaverse platforms and social media networks, and is compatible with major e-commerce platforms and payment systems.

Foucher discusses the aims and benefits of Metav.rs
Source: Coresight Research



  • Speaker: Rebecca Griffiths, Founder & CEO
  • Area of disruption: New Ways To Engage Consumers
  • Read the full Innovator Profile for Primis.

Griffiths told the audience that Primis is powering the next generation of customer experience (CX) in the logistics and final-mile space. The company is “on a mission to reduce WISMO (where is my order) churn whilst increasing customer loyalty through the branding and personalization of the customer’s post-purchase shopping experience,” she said.

Griffiths highlights the need for the Primis next-generation CX solution in the last mile
Source: Coresight Research


Primis Track is a digital-first CX solution that focuses on enhancing post-purchase interactions between consumers and retailers. It offers visually engaging formats and live updates, with features including personalized, event-driven emails, order recaps and product recommendations. Primis provides data analytics that helps retailers understand the entire consumer journey. The solution can be integrated into a Shopify store, for example, to build full customized profiles in a tracking page.

Griffiths highlighted that the company’s key differentiators are that it offers full customization of both email and tracking pages, and it provides omnichannel communications, through email, SMS, WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram, thereby supporting emerging social shopping.

Source: Primis



  • Speaker: Matthew Barrie, Co-Founder & CEO
  • Area of disruption: Optimizing Operations and Sustainability
  • Read the full Innovator Profile for Quiver.

Quiver is a logistics technology provider that enables online retailers to offer different fulfillment options, such as same-day delivery, scheduled delivery or in-store pickup. The central dashboard allows retailers to monitor inventory levels, combining fulfillment preferences with Quiver’s location prioritization algorithm to embed delivery options at checkout and deliver orders as fast as possible to the customer.

Quiver describes itself as a “climate first” company; it enables retailers to track and reduce their impact on the environment, saving carbon-dioxide emissions through more efficient, AI-powered routing as well as by using electric- or human-powered vehicles for deliveries. Barrie said that Quiver offers “100% emissionless” deliveries that are “ridiculously fast”—within an hour. Brands can ship from stores—leveraging omnichannel assets—or stock products in Quiver stores (there are two in London, UK), which currently stock 45,000 items for clients, according to Barrie.

Barrie discusses the benefits of Quiver’s emissionless, fast delivery solution
Source: Coresight Research


Quiver puts the customer first, allowing them to select delivery slots, save delivery instructions and access real-time tracking for 100% transparency, Barrie explained. He said that the Quiver solution has a positive impact on return rate, as customers that get deliveries faster tend to return less. Quiver claims that it drives a reduction of 8.4% in returns as well as a conversion-rate increase of 12.2%.

Since January 2023, Quiver enables returns to be collected from the customer’s address, driving faster returns for improved inventory velocity. However, the company also incentivizes customers to make returns in-store in order to support the return to physical retail.

Source: Quiver



  • Speaker: Sivan Baram, Co-Founder & CEO
  • Area of disruption: New Ways To Engage Consumers
  • Read the full Innovator Profile for Radd..

Radd. is an e-commerce intelligence platform that provides video-marketing software for online brands and retailers, enabling them to host customer and influencer UGC (user-generated content)—including livestreams and shoppable story-like video reviews—on their websites, to drive traffic, engagement and conversion. According to Baram, the Radd. platform allows brands to boost the customer voice with video reviews, “bringing trust to the e-commerce space.” She explained that all of us rely on online reviews for at least one product purchase, but one of the biggest challenges to online brands in maintaining product reviews.

Baram outlines the importance of trust in e-commerce, highlighting the Radd. intelligence platform}
Source: Coresight Research


Radd. leverages generative AI technology to personalize the curation of story review videos displayed based on each website visitor’s shopping history, in order to enhance engagement and drive sales. Radd.’s platform also enables brands and retailers to access analytics to monitor video performance.

According to Baram, Radd. customers are seeing a 15% increase in monthly conversion rates and a 25% increase in engagement.

Radd. identifies a total addressable market of $15 billion by 2031 (i.e., e-commerce platform sales) and expects to reach over 100 Shopify brands by the end of 2023.

A picture containing text, screenshot, software, website Description automatically generated

Source: Radd.



  • Speaker: Tuomo Laine, Co-Founder & CEO
  • Area of disruption: Marketing and New Business Models
  • Read the full Innovator Profile for Rentle.

Rentle is a circular-commerce software platform that supports new retailers looking to start a rental business or existing retailers looking to try out the rental business model. Rentle offers inventory management and digital catalog creation as well as a store management platform.

A close-up of a store Description automatically generated with low confidence

Source: Rentle


The company aims “to accelerate the sustainable consumption of durable goods.” Highlighting the growing importance of a circular economy, Laine cited McKinsey’s 2022 estimates that “portfolio transformation, green business building, green premiums and green operations focused on circularity can help European consumer goods companies shift to circular value pools of more than €500 billion [$548 billion] of annual revenues by 2030.” He added that among the drivers of circularity are higher costs of goods, greater demand for sustainable consumption and increased regulation.

Commerce wants to change, and circularity represents “the biggest paradigm shift since sales started to move from retail to online,” according to Laine. The challenge for brands and retailers is that software for commerce has been designed for linear sales, but circular is more complex and demands individual item tracking. Rentle believes that most commerce software is designed for selling ownership, not access. Through its platform, Rentle enables retailers of all sizes to explore the rental opportunity, selling access to shoppers while retaining control of the customer relationship.

Rentle provides circular product catalogs and inventory, white-label storefronts, payment processing, circular order fulfilment and customer data. The solution supports the alternative business models of subscriptions, rental, buybacks and resale. Laine explained that the company is shaping the future of retail by “uniting sustainability, convenience and profitability.”

Laine explains Rentle’s circular-commerce platform
Source: Coresight Research



  • Speaker: Pavel Petrinich, Founder and Chief Revenue Officer
  • Area of disruption: Marketing and New Business Models
  • Read the full Innovator Profile for SegmentStream.

Petrinich told the audience that “marketing attribution is broken.” Analytics and ad platforms are not able to attribute conversions and value properly due to an inability to track a user’s complete path to purchase amid modern-day cookie restrictions, cross-device/browser interactions and short attribution windows. It is therefore impossible for brands and retailers to understand the true value of marketing channels and campaigns or to learn and optimize their campaigns effectively, Petrinich explained.

Petrinich highlights the problems in marketing attribution that SegmentStream aims to solve
Source: Coresight Research


Founded in 2018, SegmentStream is a conversion modeling platform that helps brand advertisers understand how ads are performing across different digital channels. Instead of waiting for conversion to happen and attributing it retrospectively, SegmentStream uses first-party data, AI and machine learning (ML) to project conversion in real time, tracking each unique visit on a retailer’s website and predicts the future chances of conversion for every shopper who views the ad. SegmentStream attributes the modeled conversion to the traffic source when the probability of purchase is high. This attribution helps advertisers quantify the impact of their marketing initiatives and efficiently allocate resources to relevant ad platforms.

SegmentStream currently works with 50+ leading DTC (direct-to-consumer) and e-commerce brands and agencies around the world, Petrinich confirmed. He said that one customer achieved a 57% sales uplift and a 41% increase in return on ad spend by leveraging the SegementStream solution.

A picture containing text, screenshot, font, number Description automatically generated

Source: SegmentStream



  • Speaker: Yasmin Topia, CEO
  • Area of disruption: New Ways To Engage Consumers
  • Read the full Innovator Profile for Sociate.ai.

Sociate.ai is a creator of chat applications with built-in generative AI, providing interfaces that make it easier for people to interact with and train chat applications, enhancing the customer experience. With the ability to actively learn, Sociate.ai’s AI technologies generate and ask appropriate questions to encourage customers to share relevant information and to offer them good recommendations. In March 2023, Sociate.ai launched its MAIA generative AI chatbot, which can help fashion brands and retailers integrate generative AI into their websites.

Topia’s presentation at Shoptalk Europe focused on MAIA, which she described as “the world’s most engaging, fastest-learning shopping AI that can see and speak.” MAIA enables shoppers to search for products by specific search terms, without the retailer needing to tag items for them to be shortlisted in the search results. Topia claimed that Sociate.ai’s proprietary AI is 23% more likeable and 21% less frustrating than other AI, and can drive up to a 100% uplift in conversion.

The company outlined its roadmap for MAIA’s development, which will transform the AI from a text-based search tool to a text, voice and vision-powered advice bot (see image below). In addition to customer-facing applications, MAIA may also be used in stores to help customer assistants navigate large stock inventories.

Responding to the judges’ questions, Topia emphasized that MAIA serves marketplace customers, not just brands. There are more marketplaces emerging in the developing circular economy, but the problem of search functionality and the customer experience is worse for these platforms, as “for the customer, it feels like a jumble sale” because there is one of each product in resale and hundreds and thousands of sellers listing products—highlighting the need for the MAIA solution to make sense of unstructured data, according to Topia.

Topia outlines the future of the AI-powered MAIA chatbot
Source: Coresight Research


Syrup Tech

  • Speaker: James Theuerkauf, Co-Founder & CEO
  • Area of disruption: Optimizing Operations and Sustainability
  • Read the full Innovator Profile for Syrup Tech.

Founded in 2020, Syrup Tech offers an AI-powered platform that helps omnichannel brands and retailers optimize inventory management. The Syrup Tech platform uses ML algorithms to analyze historical sales data, market trends and other factors to provide accurate demand forecasts and inventory recommendations. It also offers tools for automating inventory allocation, managing purchase orders and optimizing inventory levels across multiple channels.

A screenshot of a software Description automatically generated with medium confidence

Source: Syrup Tech


According to Theuerkauf, the Syrup platform drives a 5%–10% gross margin increase, reduces excess inventory and waste by 10%–20% and achieves time savings of 60%–90% on manual workflows. Theuerkauf also stated that the platform drives “10X better inventory decisions.” For example, Syrup can correlate the impact of micro-influencers with point-of-sale data.

The company’s omnichannel retail clients include Desigual, Faherty, Reformation and Windsor.

Theuerkauf presents on how the AI-powered Syrup Tech platform positively impacts inventory decisions
Source: Coresight Research