“The quality of entries was exceptionally high and picking a winner proved to be a very difficult process,” commented Stuart Marks, technology entrepreneur and partner of JLAB.“I am sure all the companies will go on to become very successful but there has to be a winner and in this case we felt that Localz has the potential to become a long term partner to John Lewis and to provide continuous innovation for their customers."
Localz wins 100,000 investment from JLAB
Localz was selected as the winner from a group of five finalists, after 12 weeks of streamlining its solution within JLAB and has been awarded 100,000 pounds in investment, as well as the opportunity to trial its solution with John Lewis. The start-up company's uses a number of advance options on a customers smartphone and Beacon technology to help make shopping an overall easier experience for its users.
For example, the technology may be used to make click & collect simpler and easier for a customer to pick up when they enter a store by automatically triggering an alert to let staff know the customer has entered the store, whilst guiding the customer to the collection point.
“JLAB has been an amazing experience for Localz from start to finish. The fact that my father was a Partner with John Lewis for over 30 years gave me a very personal reason to want to be a part of it, in order to try and help the company that supported me and my family when I was growing up,” said Tim Andrew, commercial director and co-founder of Localz.
JLAB was first launched earlier this year as part of John Lewis's 150 year anniversary celebration and the initial entry period for the technology incubator saw hundreds of start-ups applying to take part. Localz's plans for the 100,000 investment is focused around its new UK operations. The company aims to further develop its technology in conjunction with John Lewis in order to support the new generation of mobile and micro-location experiences, and is currently preparing to launch live trials in store.
“Innovation is at the heart of John Lewis and JLAB, our first tech incubator, has given us a new way to explore the technologies that will change how we all shop in the future. It's been a hugely rewarding and educational experience, drawing on a diverse group of people from a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives, and we have a very worthy winner who we're looking forward to working with in the months ahead,” added Paul Coby, IT Director at John Lewis.
Photo: Localz pitch team during JLAB