John Lewis announces JLAB 2017 winners
John Lewis has concluded this year’s JLAB UK retail tech accelerator programme, with two startups receiving funding. These are: WeFiFo – a social hub from West Sussex, which connects home chefs, supper club hosts and professional chefs with paying guests. And Exaactly – an intelligent addressing system that aims to put an end to failed deliveries. It allows customers to provide information up front about how to find their delivery address and where to leave a parcel when they are not at home
John Lewis will make a £100,000 investment in the startups, and its partner, L Marks, will match it. Paul Coby, CIO at the John Lewis Partnership, says: “All our finalists have benefitted greatly from unprecedented access to two of the UK’s leading retailers. The wider scope of JLAB this year has allowed us to bring together some of the most exciting emerging technology, not just in retail but across grocery too. It’s never been more important for the John Lewis Partnership to nurture innovation both inside and outside our business and we are looking forward to progressing this talent.”
The three other 2017 finalists were: Mucho, a smart grocery shopping app which provides daily personalised recipes and enables customers to order ingredients when needed. During JLAB, Mucho trialled their Click & Collect solution with Partners at the Waitrose Bressenden Place branch, based on ingredients for recipes curated from their app and personalised to the user.
Journifi links online and in-store shopping by providing customers with personalised in-store experiences such as tailored personal shopper sessions based on their online behaviour and tastes. The venture is continuing to work with the John Lewis Partnership Group Customer Insight team to explore how they can help support the Partnership’s customer service proposition. BB1 is a data analytics solution that uses customer behaviour to help businesses optimise their ways of working, monitoring an assortment of variables such as customer footfall. It has used its data to model the customer flow dynamics in and around the Waitrose Cambridge branch during the day, how this changes over the course of a year and flows around the city if a competitor opens.