Top 100 retail tech startups of 2023

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Market intelligence company, CB Insights, recently released the third edition of its annual list, the Retail Tech 100, which recognizes the top 100 private retail tech companies worldwide. This list encompasses emerging and established startups that are disrupting the retail industry by developing cutting-edge solutions across various sectors, including e-commerce, supply chain, loyalty and rewards, digital engagement, and in-store technology.  

The companies featured on the list were selected based on several criteria, including their funding history, market potential, proprietary Mosaic scores, investor profile, team strength, news sentiment analysis, competitive landscape, and technological novelty. 

The recipients of this year’s Retail Tech 100 awards have a strong emphasis on enhancing retail operations across different channels. Artificial intelligence (AI) has emerged as a crucial tool for several of the awardees across various categories, enabling automation of tasks ranging from inventory management and forecasting to tracking counterfeit products.  

In addition, tech stack integration platforms for in-store and online selling are becoming increasingly popular in both developed and emerging markets. Alongside these, other companies are helping retailers create more immersive shopping experiences through innovative tools such as chat commerce, shoppable video, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Furthermore, sustainable shopping solutions for both retailers and consumers are also gaining recognition among this year’s winners. 

Highlights of the top retail tech companies  

retail tech

Funding and valuation 

The Retail Tech 100 cohort has witnessed a significant rise in funding and valuation in recent years. As of 2nd March 2023, the companies on the list have raised a collective amount of approximately $5 billion through more than 250 equity deals since 2019. In 2022 alone, the list participants secured over $3.1 billion across 106 deals.  

Among the companies that made it to the list this year, three have achieved unicorn status:  

  • Mashgin, which offers self-checkout technology 
  • Veho, a delivery management platform 
  • Swiftly, a tool for omnichannel operations and loyalty management  

In terms of funding, leads the list with total equity funding of $323 million. Veho secures the second spot with $299 million in funding, and the newly-minted unicorn, Swiftly, holds the third position with a total equity funding of $216 million. 

Global reach 

The Retail Tech 100 winners this year represent a diverse range of countries, with a total of 20 nations being featured on the list. A majority of the awardees, 56% or 56 companies, are headquartered in the US, followed by the United Kingdom with 6 companies (6%), and China and Australia tied for the third spot, with 5 companies (5%) each. Among the notable trends, this year is the inclusion of 12 companies (12%) from emerging market economies.  

These local businesses are increasingly deploying technology to streamline informal and fragmented retail processes and improve their traceability. Several of these companies, such as Majoo from Indonesia and Dot from India, offer omnichannel retail platforms that enable retailers to digitize their operations across various channels. Meanwhile, companies like Khazenly from Egypt focus on delivery management solutions. 

Digital engagement 

The most significant category in this year’s Retail Tech 100 list is digital shopper engagement, which includes 16 companies (16%). These companies provide retailers with the ability to connect with customers across channels and platforms, with an emphasis on personalization and loyalty.  

Companies such as Charles and Postscript offer chat commerce platforms that enable marketing and checkout through text. Similarly, Arianee, METAV.RS, and Novel help brands create non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and use Web3 tools to increase loyalty and authenticate their products. 

Automation solutions 

Automation solutions are a key theme among this year’s winners, as retailers and brands seek tools to enhance the speed and intelligence of their operations. Companies like Alloy provide a platform to connect e-commerce team applications and automate tasks, while others focus on building supply chain integration platforms that leverage AI to optimize decision-making., Lily AI, and Pixyle use AI to automate product tagging and catalog management online, ultimately improving the accuracy of shoppers’ searches and driving more sales. 

Over half of the winners in this year’s list are early-stage companies (seed/angel or Series A), developing innovative solutions for more personalized and specialized shopping experiences. Insight Partners leads the investor pack this year, with investments in eight winners since 2019, such as nfinite (a 3D digital content producer and manager), iFoodDS (a food traceability solution), and Shipium (a delivery management platform). Tiger Global follows closely with investments in seven companies, while Accel has invested in five. 

Check out the complete list of Retail Tech 100 winners here. 

Source credits: CB Insights 

Read next: Top 150 most innovative digital health startups in 2022 – CB Insights

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