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Shoptalk Europe 2024 Startup Pitch Competition: Recap—12 Innovators, Two Winners

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Coresight Research is an official research partner of Shoptalk Europe 2024, which is taking place during June 3–5 in Barcelona, Spain. Shoptalk Europe is an annual conference that unites retail and e-commerce professionals to discuss the latest trends, innovations and challenges in the retail industry.

On June 3, 2024, Coresight Research hosted the Startup Pitch competition, which saw 12 early-stage retail-technology innovators compete to win the Judges’ Choice and Audience Choice awards. Deborah Weinswig, CEO and Founder of Coresight Research, emceed the pitch competition and served as lead judge.

We provide a recap of the event, with key insights from the startups’ presentations.

Shoptalk Europe 2024 Startup Pitch Competition: Coresight Research Insights

Event Format and Judging Panel

The Shoptalk Europe 2024 startup pitch competition comprised two rounds:

  • Round 1: All competitors presented for three minutes on how their innovative technologies are addressing important challenges in retail, followed by a short Q&A with the judges. The judges and audience then rated each presentation, and the six companies that received the highest aggregate ratings progressed to the next round.
  • Round 2: The finalists each participated in a more in-depth, five-minute Q&A session with the judging panel. The judges and audience re-rated the finalists to determine the winners!

Weinswig was joined by two expert judges:

  • Sarah Kunst, Founder and General Partner at Cleo Capital—Former contributing editor at Marie Claire Magazine, Kunst has also served as a senior advisor at publicly traded tech company Bumble and on the board of the Michigan State University Foundation endowment. She has been named a Future Innovator by Vanity Fair, is a Forbes Magazine “30 Under 30” honoree, and has been honored as a top woman in VC by The Wall Street Journal. Kunst has a track record of leading investments in digital businesses and has been integral to the growth and expansion of many product-led digital technology businesses.
  • Carolin Wais, Partner at EMEA Ventures, Plug and Play—Since joining Plug and Play in 2019, Wais has led over 50 investments and overseen 150+ investments through the company’s EMEA Innovation Center. Her expertise in fostering innovation and guiding startups through critical growth phases is well recognized in the industry. This strong background in venture capital and startup incubation makes Wais an invaluable asset to the judging panel.

The Startup Pitch judging panel—left to right: Kunst, Wais and Weinswig
Source: Shoptalk Europe


Innovative Solutions Across Four Areas of Disruption in Retail

The participating startups satisfied the following selection criteria:

  • Business-to-business (B2B) solution
  • Pre-Series A—funding of less than $8 million
  • Founded since 2018
  • Scalable—addresses a major retail challenge or opportunity
  • Highly differentiated—unique or highly differentiated technology or business model

Coresight Research categorizes the 12 startups into four areas of disruption in retail, as detailed below.

  • Analytics and Insights

This category comprises startups that help businesses enhance decision-making processes and operational efficiency through analytics and insights.

Startups: Carbon Maps, Dragonfruit AI, Rapid Delivery Analytics

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)

This category comprises startups that offer AI solutions for purposes such as personalization, customer service, product data management and fashion design.

Startups: Anam.ai, Guac, Pixyle AI, PSYKHE AI, Raspberry AI

  • Customer Engagement and Loyalty

This category comprises startups that focus on improving customer engagement, loyalty and satisfaction.

Startups: Loyalty Games, Pi-xcels, Veesual

  • Retail Operations

This category comprises startups that offer solutions to optimize retail operations, including returns management and customer engagement.

Startups: Elyn

Figure 1. Shoptalk Europe 2024 Startup Pitch: 12 Innovators Across Four Areas of Retail Disruption

Source: Coresight Research


The Winners

The six finalists (pictured with the judging panel at the top of this report) that made it through to the second round were Carbon Maps, Elyn, Guac, PSYKHE AI, Raspberry AI and Veesual.

Of these companies, the expert panel of judges selected the Judges’ Choice winner as Raspberry AI.

Cheryl Liu, Founder & CEO of Raspberry AI, collects the Judge’s Choice award from the judges
Source: Shoptalk Europe


The audience-voted Audience Choice winner was Veesual.

Maxime Patte, Co-Founder & CEO of Veesual, collects the Audience Choice award from the judges
Source: Shoptalk Europe


The Competing Innovators: Pitch Highlights

We detail highlights from each of the innovators’ presentations below, starting with the two winers and then in alphabetical order.

Judge’s Choice: Raspberry AI

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  • Presenter at Shoptalk Europe: Cheryl Liu, Founder & CEO
  • Area of Disruption: AI
  • Year Founded: 2022
  • Headquarters: New York, New York, US
  • Download the Innovator Profile for Raspberry AI here.

Raspberry AI uses generative AI (GenAI) to “turbocharge the end-to-end design process” in fashion, according to Liu, addressing the difficulties created by conventional design processes. Traditionally, the fashion design process is time-consuming, costly and labor-intensive as it requires designers to manually visualize trends, fabrics, trims, prints, stitch details and silhouettes. “Almost 40% of all apparel is left unsold every single year,” Liu said.

Raspberry AI revolutionizes this process by offering a GenAI-powered design assistant, allowing designers to easily visualize concepts and refresh designs with just a few words.

Source: Raspberry AI


According to Liu, Raspberry AI’s AI-powered “Same-Minute Sampling” enables fashion designers to save 30% on sample cost and time. The solution drives “limitless prototyping” and produces high-fidelity technical CADs (computer-aided designs) in seconds, Liu said. Moreover, the company’s AI models are individually trained to fit the specific design standards and style of each brand, guaranteeing designs that are both personalized and brand-consistent. Liu highlighted that Raspberry AI is the “only image mixer with silhouette control and the only image mixer than accurately blends fabric.”

In response to a question about the design process from the judges in round two, Liu explained that Raspberry AI is an end-to-end solution. “We help merchants and concept designers figure out what is trending on TikTok, Instagram, search and other data sources. In the core design process, we see changes by using past sales, materials and trends into tech packs and designs to turn insights into actual products,” she said.

Liu discusses how Raspberry AI addresses pain points in the traditional fashion design process
Source: Shoptalk Europe


Audience Choice: Veesual

Veesual : Virtual Try-On for Real People

  • Presenter at Shoptalk Europe: Maxime Patte, Co-Founder & CEO
  • Area of Disruption: Customer engagement and loyalty
  • Year Founded: 2020
  • Headquarters: Paris, France
  • Download the Innovator Profile for Veesual here.

Fashion accounts for 20% of e-commerce worldwide, Patte said. However, the traditional online shopping journey presents challenges for consumers he explained—namely, the lack of visualization around how clothes will look on specific shoppers or how different items will look when worn together. This leads to poor performance for fashion brands and retailers, with “stagnating conversion” and high returns rates.

Veesual is enhancing the online shopping experience by leveraging the power of image generation to create “augmented shopping experiences.” The company offers a variety of solutions, including “Look Inspiration,” which showcases how one piece of clothing looks across different styles; “Mix & Match Styling,” which lets shoppers create outfits from various clothing items; and “Switch Model,” which lets shoppers choose a model that resonates with them, including “models of different morphologies, ages and skin tones.” These functions allow buyers to better envision themselves in specific offerings, leading to more informed purchases and satisfied customers.

Source: Veesual


In round two, Patte emphasized to the judges that its clients can choose their own models and outfits. “ We allow customers to use baby steps to access the interface in a way that they are comfortable with and at their own level and speed,” he said.

Patte explains how Veesual is building augmented shopping experiences tailored for fashion
Source: Shoptalk Europe



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  • Presenter at Shoptalk Europe: Caoimhe Murphy, Co-Founder & CEO
  • Area of Disruption: AI
  • Year Founded: 2024
  • Headquarters: London, UK
  • Download the Innovator Profile for Anam.ai here.

Describing the retail problem that Anam.ai is addressing, Murphy explained that “technology has more friction than interacting with a human.” She said that technology misses emotional cues: 7% of communication is verbal, and 93% is nonverbal.

Anam.ai is developing “the next interface for technology,” according to Murphy: digital personas who are indistinguishable from real life. Anam’s real-time personas feel as natural as interacting with a human. They are photorealistic and emotive, understand verbal and nonverbal cues and respond within half a second. Unlike humans, Anam’s personas are available 24/7, can speak any language and are infinitely scalable, according to the company.

With Anam.ai, companies can create digital personas that can be used across a wide variety of scenarios, including customer support, one-on-one teaching, sales outreach, interview preparation, enablement support, executive coaching, focus group moderation and personalized care. These personas can give a face to brands that is available 24 hours a day, providing new levels of personalization and engagement.

Murphy describes Anam.ai’s solution as “the next interface for technology”
Source: Shoptalk Europe


Source: Anam.ai


Carbon Maps

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  • Presenter at Shoptalk Europe: Estelle Huynh, Co-Founder & COO
  • Area of Disruption: Analytics and insights
  • Year Founded: 2022
  • Headquarters: Paris, France
  • Download the Innovator Profile for Carbon Maps here.

Carbon Maps helps address the significant challenge of fragmented supply chains within the agriculture and food industry, as well as issues around the quantification and mitigation of food companies’ environmental impact.

Huynh said that the Carbon Maps’ end-to-end platform allows food companies—from producers and manufacturers to food brands and food service companies—to easily measure and control their environmental footprint by providing access to supplier- and farm-level data on agricultural, land-use, water-use and transportation practices, as well as carbon emission levels. “Every team now must factor in environmental data in their day-to-day job; it is not only the C-level and CSR team’s responsibility. Change management and climate change is a team sport,” Huynh emphasized.

Through its environmental accounting platform—one specifically designed for the food industry—Carbon Maps helps companies meet new environmental disclosure requirements and the growing consumer demand for more sustainable products and practices. So far, Carbon Maps has evaluated the environmental impact of more than 350,000 SKUs ((stock keeping units), helping reduce the food industry’s environmental footprint, Huynh said.


Source: Carbon Maps


During the Q&A in round two, Huynh discussed the how the regulation changes in the EU impact Carbon Maps’ strategy, explaining that companies in the EU have to commit to “very ambitious” carbon-reduction targets for 2030. “Especially when you look at agriculture cycles, it’s very mid- to long-term changes, so companies have to start acting now,” she said.

Huynh discusses the EU’s environmental regulation changes with the judges
Source: Shoptalk Europe


Dragonfruit AI

  • Presenter at Shoptalk Europe: Amit Kumar, Founder & CEO
  • Area of Disruption: Analytics and insights
  • Year Founded: 2019
  • Headquarters: Menlo Park, California, US
  • Download the Innovator Profile for Dragonfruit AI here.

Conventional video surveillance systems often fail to provide companies with useful information on a consistent basis. Dragonfruit AI tackles this problem by converting raw video footage into actionable insights, offering users real-time data on queue wait times, foot traffic, customer and staff behavior, and stock levels, among other metrics.

The company describes itself as “visual intelligence for enterprise retail.” “In-store retail is missing data. We are giving online-level data and analytics to the offline retail store,” Kumar explained. These insightful data allow businesses to make informed decisions that can improve their operations, marketing strategies and customer satisfaction.

Kumar highlighted that Dragonfruit AI is the first scalable solution for top enterprise retailers” and that clients have “already paid for the infrastructure they need.” A standard retail location in a mall, with a classic floor plan, is typically well covered by existing cameras. Dragonfruit AI maps those cameras to the floor plan, “enabling AI-driven spatial insights,” Kumar said, pointing to heatmaps and spaghetti plots to visualize aggregate behavior.

He also explained how Dragonfruit AI enables retailers to “understand customer behavior using WaVES metrics,” as shown in the image below.

Source: Dragonfruit AI


Additionally, Dragonfruit AI enhances a company’s security and loss prevention practices by utilizing AI and computer vision to identify intrusions, identify risks (such as liquid spills, fires or a customer falling in the store) and detect visible weapons; together, these features enhance safety across all enterprise facilities.

Kumar explains WaVES metrics for physical retail
Source: Shoptalk Europe



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  • Presenter at Shoptalk Europe: El Medhi Hachad, Co-Founder & CEO
  • Area of Disruption: Retail operations
  • Year Founded: 2022
  • Headquarters: Neuilly-Sur-Seine, France
  • Download the Innovator Profile for Elyn here.

Elyn addresses a significant challenge faced by fashion brands and retailers: high returns rates due to online orders. Hachad said that “refunds are commonly the only option provided to shoppers requesting a return,” and that refunds “represent a profitability hole for online fashion retailers,” which see refund rates of over 20%.

Elyn’s solution enables fashion brands and retailers to seamlessly implement online exchange offerings, while simultaneously reducing return-associated costs by addressing the root cause of returns.

Source: Elyn


By enabling customers to exchange items rather than requesting a refund, Elyn reduces a company’s returns rates by up to 30%, Hachad said. This solution supports brands—by allowing them to keep earned revenue—and increases customer satisfaction, all while making company operations more efficient.

During round two, Hachad reiterated that Elyn addresses three areas for its customers:

  • Customer experience—“We think of returns not only as a logistics, but as a funnel.”
  • Operations—”Whatever you build has to be pristine, because customers have high expectations.
  • Billing—“The word that scares most of our prospects is integration. We provide one simple tool.”

Hachad explains Elyn’s solution to reduce refunds
Source: Shoptalk Europe



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  • Presenter at Shoptalk Europe: Euro Wang, Co-Founder & CEO
  • Area of Disruption: AI
  • Year Founded: 2023
  • Headquarters: New York, New York, US
  • Download the Innovator Profile for Guac here.

Predicting grocery sales is often a challenging process due to the variable nature of demand, leading retailers to overpredict (producing food waste) or underpredict (causing empty shelves) necessary inventory levels. In the grocery sector, inventory distortion, which includes food waste and empty shelves, accounts for approximately 7% of a grocer’s annual revenue, Wang said. He added that 26% of inventory distortion is due to bad demand forecasting systems.

Guac addresses this issue by using AI to precisely predict future grocery store sales, improving companies’ inventory management processes and maximizing profit and customer satisfaction. The innovator’s AI algorithm provides accurate forecasts for every SKU across all store locations. “We predict exactly how many items will sell in the future so you can order the perfect amount of inventory today,” Wang explained. He highlighted that the solution takes into account 250+ external variables customized for each retailer.

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Source: Guac


Guac’s platform has reduced food waste in its customers’ stores by 33%, enabled 98% forecast accuracy and driven a 25% gross margin increase, Wang said, indicating the effectiveness of its AI-driven approach.

During round two, the judges asked Wang, “You are in a competitive space; how do you stand out?” Wang emphasized that the company’s solution incorporates more variables than its competitors. “We have so many data sets, including a number of external factors, and we have an advantage from this data. We have a unique approach in time-series forecasting,” he said.

Wang highlights Guac’s competitive advantage to the judges
Source: Shoptalk Europe


Loyalty Games

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  • Presenter at Shoptalk Europe: Alexander Kokhanovskyy, Co-Founder & Co-CEO
  • Area of Disruption: Customer engagement and loyalty
  • Year Founded: 2020
  • Headquarters: Barcelona, Spain
  • Download the Innovator Profile for Loyalty Games here.

Loyalty Games aims to help CPG (consumer packaged goods) companies and grocery retailers to engage with young audiences and win the loyalty of their parents.

Younger generations, especially Generations Y, Z and Alpha, who have been raised in the digital world, are no longer responding to traditional loyalty campaigns, such as those based around stickers and toys, Kokhanovskyy said. Loyalty Games solves for this problem through loyalty campaigns that are based on mobile games, connecting the gaming and esports markets with grocery retail. Kokhanovskyy explained that these games target a much wider audience and so “outperform traditional campaigns at scale.”

Source: Loyalty Games


The company’s flagship project is Arena TCG, a mobile collectible card game—complete with a built-in augmented reality (AR) component—designed for children aged 6–14.

Loyalty Games’ portfolio currently has 5+ million players, Kokhanovskyy said. He highlighted the company’s results for retailers, which include a 10%–16% average ticket increase, 3%–8% average turnover growth (versus the market average of 1%–2%) and 17%–25% average engagement (versus the market average of 8%–12%.

Kokhanovskyy explains the benefits of mobile gaming for consumer engagement
Source: Shoptalk Europe



Pi-xcels logo

  • Presenter at Shoptalk Europe: Daniel Lim, Founder & CEO
  • Area of Disruption: Customer engagement and loyalty
  • Year Founded: 2019
  • Headquarters: Downtown Core, Singapore
  • Download the Innovator Profile for Pi-xcels here.

According to Lim, “the problem with the consumer experience today is that the retailer spends a lot of time at the checkout counter to try and create engagement.” Furthermore, traditional paper receipts significantly contribute to paper waste as they are often discarded shortly after use, creating environmental concerns.

Lim discusses the benefits of the Pi-xcels solution
Source: Shoptalk Europe


With its NFC (near-field communication)-powered digital receipt solution, which provides interactive e-receipts to a shopper’s smartphone, Pi-xcels assists retailers in lowering their environmental impact, reducing their paper waste and improving customer engagement in brick-and-mortar stores. “Our solution represents an opportunity for the customer to remove himself or herself from the checkout counter, and the customer can continue to engage with the retailers’ platforms post purchase,” Lim explained. Retailers can also make data-driven decisions to increase customer satisfaction and their bottom line by using the Pi-xcels platform to gain actionable insights into customer behavior, preferences and demographics.

Source: Pi-xcels


Pixyle AI

Pixyle.ai – We're on a mission to help fashion retail companies grow rapidly and work more efficiently by leveraging the power of visual AI. Visit Pixyle.ai

  • Presenter at Shoptalk Europe: Svetlana Kordumova, Founder & CEO
  • Area of Disruption: AI
  • Year Founded: 2019
  • Headquarters: Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Download the Innovator Profile for Pixyle AI here.

Pixyle AI offers an AI-powered solution that enriches the product data provided by fashion e-commerce brands. Kordumova explained that the company’s vision is “to empower people with AI to free them from repetitive data entry and make online sales fast and easier.” Pixyle AI’s technology helps apparel companies catalog their products faster and correctly tag them with detailed product data, eliminating inefficiencies—such as costly, time-consuming manual data entry and inevitable human error—and providing shoppers with the information they demand.

Source: Pixyle AI


Pixyle AI’s platform relies on sophisticated technologies, including computer vision and GenAI, to auto-tag images and provide product descriptions. Kordumova explained that with these technologies, the company’s automation cuts costs, saves time and eliminates mistakes, enhancing the accuracy and depth of the product information provided to customers. This, in turn, improves the product discovery process for shoppers, generating more sales.

“We see that retailers are boosting efficiency by working with us, so they can work with their employees on more relevant tasks—and at the same time, they realize an increase in sales because of richer data,” Kordumova said. “Our AI models are constantly scanning search, so we are gathering data in the voice of the consumer.”

Kordumova discusses how Pixyle AI is redefining e-commerce data input for fashion retailers
Source: Shoptalk Europe



  • Presenter at Shoptalk Europe: Anabel Maldonado, Founder & CEO
  • Area of Disruption: AI
  • Year Founded: 2020
  • Headquarters: New York, New York, US
  • Download the Innovator Profile for PSYKHE AI here.

PSYKHE AI seeks to help retailers optimize their online product discovery processes. Given the vast array of products available online, consumers often struggle to find items that align with their preferences and needs. Additionally, traditional recommendation systems rarely capture individual preferences, causing retailers to miss opportunities to connect with potential buyers, leading to reduced customer engagement, conversion rates and sales. On average, “consumers only look at two static category pages out of hundreds or thousands,” Maldonado said.

PSYKHE AI’s solution tackles this issue by leveraging deep-learning models and product information to accurately predict purchasing behavior based on a consumer’s characteristics and traits, such as their values, desires, interests and lifestyles. The company then generates custom rankings of a store’s products for each user, ensuring that the most relevant products are presented to each user.

PSYKHE AI’s patented system can precisely match products with the right consumers, enhancing the shopping experience and increasing sales. Reiterating this, Maldonado said, “We use deep learning and psychology to get the right product in front of the right person… Soon, the very thought of static merchandising will be outdated.”

PSYKHE AI’s solution drives 32% month-on-month growth, a 72% increase in conversion rate, and revenue growth of 3–5X, on average, according to Maldonado.



In round two, Maldonado told the judges that “the people that win in AI have the best data.” She explained that PSYKHE AI is training on data across different verticals “that no one else has access to. We have a first-mover advantage.” Addressing the Startup Pitch audience, Maldonado said, “It’s time to get the right product in front of the right consumer and increase your conversion rate by using psychology to enhance personalization.”

Maldonado stresses the importance of having the best data when it comes to AI
Source: Shoptalk Europe


Rapid Delivery Analytics

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  • Presenter at Shoptalk Europe: Andrey Dyatlov, Co-Founder & CEO
  • Area of Disruption: Analytics and insights
  • Year Founded: 2021
  • Headquarters: Paris, France
  • Download the Innovator Profile for Rapid Delivery Analytics here.

As the number of mobile-first grocery and convenience delivery apps and platforms—such as Gopuff and UberEats—continues to grow, CPG brands face the significant challenge of measuring their performance across these channels, which, in turn, constrains their ability to make informed decisions and optimize their strategies.

Rapid Delivery Analytics (RDA) aims to solve this problem by providing CPG companies with a digital-shelf analytics platform specifically designed for mobile-first delivery services. Emphasizing the need for RDA’s solution, Dyatlov said, “For on-demand, immediate supply products, quick delivery is becoming a major component of their e-commerce business.”

Dyatlov presents on RDA’s digital-shelf analytics platform
Source: Shoptalk Europe


Since launching in 2021, RDA’s worldwide coverage has grown quickly—currently, it monitors more than 35 applications across 97 countries. By providing users with region-specific data that is updated daily, RDA closes the data gap for CPG brands, allowing them to learn from their performance in the fast-growing mobile delivery market. “We provide brands with crucial key metrics for every delivery zone,” Dyatlov said.

Source: Rapid Delivery Analytics