10 big retail tech innovations in 2019
If cool retail tech is your thing, then here are 10 ventures and projects that should be on your radar. This builds on a hugely popular article that appeared on RTIH at the beginning of 2019. We then ran a follow up piece and another one which can be viewed here. At the end of the year, we will be putting together a shortlist of the most innovative tech plays in 2019 and asking our judging panel to vote for their favourites across various categories.
1.) Louis Vuitton owner preps AURA blockchain project
French luxury brand giant LVMH, owner of the Louis Vuitton label, is working with ConsenSys and Microsoft Azure to develop a blockchain platform that proves the authenticity of high-priced goods.
2.) Kroger, Nuro autonomous grocery delivery pilot enters next phase
Kroger Co. and Nuro have launched their autonomous grocery delivery service in Houston. This will be available through two Kroger stores, reaching customers in four local zip codes. It builds on a pilot in Scottsdale, Arizona, further info on which can be found here.
3.) ThirdEye closes £2 million funding round
European VC firm Octopus Ventures and retail and consumer sector investor, True, have participated in a £2 million funding round for ThirdEye, an AI-driven security platform for retailers. Original seed investor Episode 1 Ventures also took part in the round.
4.) Checkout on Instagram starts rolling out to US users
Instagram users Stateside can now tap product tags on shopping posts in order to buy those items without leaving the app, using stored payment info.
Checkout on Instagram is currently in closed beta for businesses. A number of brands, including Adidas, Burberry and H&M, have begun rolling it out, with more set to follow.
5.) McDonald’s signs up with crypto rewards venture LoyalCoin
McDonald’s in the Philippines has partnered with LoyalCoin to provide a cryptocurrency-based rewards programme for customers.
6.) Happy Lemon deploys drink making robot in China
Taiwanese bubble-tea chain Happy Lemon has joined Koubei’s (Alibaba Group’s local services app) smart store programme.
7.) Starbucks to test out eco-friendly cups
Starbucks is set to trial new, greener cup technology over the next year.
8.) Nuggets beats HSBC, Commerzbank to FStech blockchain award
9.) McDonald's announces Dynamic Yield acquisition
McDonald’s is set to acquire Dynamic Yield, an AI startup based in Tel Aviv, for $300+ million.
10.) Rakuten Wallet crypto exchange ready to go following name change
Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten has completed registration of its cryptocurrency exchange Rakuten Wallet.