John Lewis Selects Three Retail Startups for Funding

Department store John Lewis has selected three retail start-ups to receive investment following its 2016 summer accelerator programme, JLab.

A total of £200,000 investment will be split between the startups so they can develop their businesses.

CIO of the John Lewis Partnership, Paul Coby, said: “The three startups we have invested in have the potential and the technology to really excite John Lewis shoppers.  This has been JLab’s most successful year so far because everyone involved, us included, have seen it as an opportunity to learning process.”

The three retailers selected for funding are Wedding Planner, DigitalBridge and Link Big.

As part of the programme DigitalBridge was able to hold an in-store trial of its proposed product.

100% of the participants in the trial said they would be keen to use this in-store tech, with 83% claiming it would make them more likely to buy items when in store.

Link Big is a tool which allows customers to buy products through social media platform Instagram and will receive £50,000 of the investment funds.

During John Lewis’ third year running the accelerator five startups were selected to undergo 10 weeks of intensive development.

Technology entrepreneur and chairman of John Lewis’ JLab, Stuart Marks, said: “JLab 2016 has built on the successes of the two previous cohorts.

The five finalists have all made fantastic progress over the past 10 weeks, helped by engagement from buyers, merchandisers, strategists, innovation and IT experts and many more at John Lewis and our team of first-class external mentors.

“We’ve seen some great results with JLab 2016 so far, and I am looking forward to seeing this continue in the future.”JLab’s main focus has been on finding and developing startups that the retailer believes to have the potential to make a difference to both John Lewis and the retail space.

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