Four Canadian retail tech startups have been named on CB Insights’ first annual Retail Tech 100, a list that recognizes global technology businesses “reimagining” the traditional retail experience.
All four startups are playing a role in the COVID-fuelled transformation of retail.
The Canadian companies that made the list included PayBright, Coveo, Attabotics, and Bold Commerce. Notably, all four startups are playing a role in the larger transformations taking place in retail created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pandemic has had a widespread and disruptive effect on the retail sector, with many brick-and-mortar merchants being forced to move online due to public health orders. Sub-sectors within retail, such as online payments to supply chain management, have become key areas where technology startups are playing a bigger role in the sector’s evolution.
CB Insights’ research team picked the 100 companies based on factors including patent activity, business relations, investor profiles, news sentiment analysis, market potential, competitive landscape, team strength, and tech novelty.
Toronto-based lending and payments startup PayBright is one of the Canadian startups featured on the Retail Tech 100. The company offers instant point-of-sale financing and installment payment plans for consumers and merchants. This past week, the startup was acquired by San Francisco-based Affirm for $340 million.
Also on the payments side of retail, Manitoba-based tech startup Bold Commerce, which builds apps for e-commerce platforms including Shopify, also made an appearance on CB Insights’ list.
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The startup, last year, raised a $22 million Series A funding round and at the end of 2019, opened a second office in Austin, Texas. Bold Commerce also has offered a number of resources aimed to support merchants during the pandemic.
With the surge in online shopping, fulfillment and supply chain management are also areas of retail that are ripe for disruption. Calgary supply chain startup Attabotics, which is also featured on the Retail Tech 100, is one of the companies looking to innovate this sector.
Attabotics has created a robotic warehousing and fulfillment system. During the pandemic, Attabotics was able to secure a $65.9 million Series C round and partnered with Food-X Technologies to streamline Food-X’s fulfillment technology and operations.
Speaking with BetaKit earlier this year, Coveo’s CEO Louis Têtu predicted that COVID-19 would cause a “digital rush,” and have a lasting and transformative impact on a number of sectors, including commerce.
Coveo, based in Quebec, is looking to play a role in this digital rush. The startup, which also made the Retail Tech 100, uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to build commerce products that use data to create personalized experiences through software services.
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