On Wednesday, October 26, 2016, Westfield Labs and R/GA Ventures concluded a 12-week accelerator demo at Bespoke in San Francisco. The event involved a series of pilots, mentorship, and other technological work with consultants from the R/GA Services team, Westfield Labs and other business partners.
Ten program participants were on hand to represent the best of innovation in retail and commerce. Several companies represented innovation in fulfillment, delivery and returns as well as training and optimization in the retail workforce. Other companies were on hand to present their unique takes on ways to use artificial intelligence for areas such as customer service, image recognition and bot management.
“Consumer behavior habits have changed dramatically and permanently” stated Peter Lowy – co-CEO of Westfield Corp – at a real estate summit held at UCLA in September. “Technology is an opportunity for traditional retail to build stronger connections with its customers.” And that’s just what R/GA Connected Commerce is seeking out to do.
Here’s the companies and platforms made up the graduating class of the R/GA Connected Commerce Accelerator with Westfield Labs. They are as follows:
• Agent Q: A customer service chat service that is powered by artificial intelligence. The platform has teamed up with R/GA Services to improve its machine learning algorithms, making customer service chat agents more effective and efficient.
• AxleHire: A company that offers same day delivery services for e-commerce and physical retail stores that is reliable and effective. The company has nearly doubled in size since the program and has increased its revenue to nearly $200,000 per month and fulfilled as many as 40,000 deliveries in the month of September.
• Clarifai: An artificial intelligence company that exists to assist developers and businesses with solving real-world issues with visual recognition. During the program, the company developed Custom Training, a service that enables customers to train models for AI, and Visual Search for enabling AI to help businesses to browse, recommend and locate photos via keyword and visual similarities. The company recently revealed it received $30 million in funding that was led by Menlo Ventures.
• Cordial: A messaging platform that assists publishers and retailers to combine machine learning and analytics for messaging services that reveal what consumers need. Thanks to its partnership with R/GA, the company is expanding its machine learning abilities as well as its customer base.
• Darkstore: An on-demand delivery program that allows e-commerce companies to keep inventory in city warehouses, making it easier for them to fulfill same day delivery. Darkstore already services San Francisco company Tuft and Needle and recently announced the launch of additional locations in New York and Phoenix.
• Happy Returns: A service, technology and logistics company that allows online shoppers to make returns.
• Myagi: A service that helps sales associates to excel in customer service by providing lessons to them.
• Oak: A company that has launched a product called Oak StockRoom, which uses AI to predict and request stock for stores.
• Percolata: A service that relies on sales data and sensors in physical stores to improve sales teams and revenue.
• Reply.ai: A service that vastly improves customer service with its chatbox platform.