While the Venture fund market declined in the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic, many organisations have found ways to turn this around and invest in startups that are specifically tailored to the new global situation. IT major Accenture also continued with its annual venture challenge, and has now announced 4 winners from its third Annual Accenture Ventures Challenge. The company says, that it selected these 4 startups for developing “unique, scalable solutions to help businesses accelerate the business transformations prompted by the Covid-19 crisis”.
The company evaluated startups from 4 categories, which were ‘supply chain resilience’, ‘digital commerce’, ‘systems resilience,’ and ‘responsible technology.’
Supply chain resilience’ category: Atlan
Atlan provides a new modern data workspace that enables diverse data teams to collaborate harmoniously. The company offers to make your data portable across 100+ destinations—from BI tools to APIs for specific engineering applications.
As a part of its offering, Atlan provides its users the chance to democratize data access(tools to configure data), data exploration(get access to data from multiple sources) and workflow automation(helps in achieving autonomy in a company’s workflow). To make sure that you get the best results at the fastest pace, the company offers blazingly fast search, data profiles and granular access controls.
The democratization of data explorations is achieved by the company’s proprietary GUI based query builder, a reusable analytics catalog and exabyte scale on the browser.
Last but not least, workflow automation is democratized by a visual prototyping canvas, through the automation of recurring workflows and fuss free proactive monitoring of critical workflows.
All in all, Atlan is a one stop shop for all data related queries a company might have.
The company’s promising solution has already caught the attention of Sequoia, which has formed a partnership with it as part of the Surge accelerator program. The startup already has backers including Sequoia (through Surge), Waterbridge Ventures and the legendary Ratan Tata.
Digital Commerce category: Charmboard
Charmboard has been selected under the digital commerce category for its AI based application that provides interactive experience at scale for users from videos. The company allows you to access videos from its main page, and mark “moments of desires” for charms. Clicking the charm will allow you to discover more capabilities like gaining access to the products seen in the charm, and where to buy them.
To put it in layman’s terms, Charmboard will allow you to buy exactly what you saw Priyanka Chopra wearing at an award show, by using AI. Moreover, you can save your charms on a “Board,” and arrange them on your profile whoever you want. Even more so, you can send these charms to a friend, or invite people to collaborate on your boards.
Supply Chain Resilience category: Increff
Another winner from the supply chain resilience category, Increff has been selected for its algorithm driven merchandising platform that increases inventory turns and warehouse management system that exposes 100% inventory simultaneously to all sales channels.
Increff says that “Brands and retailers lose 20-25% revenue and 4-5% margin due to poor demand prediction and inability to expose single view of inventory.” This is where it can help fashion & lifestyle brands, and retailers improve inventory turns through Intelligent Merchandising (IRIS) and single view Inventory Fulfillment (ASSURE).
The company offers a platform for the Planning, Buying and Distribution of merchandise under the name of IRIS, which is basically an intelligent merchandise planning platform that identifies top-sellers. It computes ideal store assortment (in right size ratios), splits target revenue into merchandise demand, and automates inventory distribution from warehouse to stores. Moreover, it achieves all of this in only a few seconds.
Assure on the other hand, is a web-based omni-channel fulfillment platform, that exposes a single view of inventory to both offline and online channels with 100% inventory accuracy and 100% order fulfillment. This has 4 modules: Integrations, Warehouse Management System, Order Management system and Inventory Management System.
Responsible Technology category: Wysa
Under the responsible technology category, Wysa managed to bag the trophy for its global platform for early-stage mental health support at scale, with a unique (digital + AI + human) model that is anonymous and clinically assured.
The company offers a mental wellness platform, and allows users to either chat with Wysa’s AI chat, or get in touch with actual mental health experts. Wysa mentions that until the coronavirus pandemic is over, its AI chat and tool packs for anxiety and isolation support will remain free.
The company offers AI chat and Daily messaging support, along with 8 live sessions at less than $100/month.
As winners, all of these startups will be given an opportunity to “join the Accenture Ventures Open Innovation partner program and co-create solutions for Accenture clients around the world,” Accenture said. Moreover, they will also get access to benefits from the Microsoft ScaleUp program, which supports Seed or Series A B2B startups to scale and co-sell with Microsoft sales teams.