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 X5 Retail Group, a leading Russian food retailer, announces the results of its start-up scouting programme conducted jointly with the Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade (ICEX). The Company looked for innovative, technology-based solutions for key areas of the retail business, including logistics, customer experience, in-store operations, and back office functions.

Eleven out of some thirty start-up projects submitted to X5 and ICEX were selected for the final pitch session held in Spain in late September. The finalists were ConverfitTruckstersLocalisticoZAPIENSTop Local Manager,ShoppermotionNIIKIISPRISMASALES LAYER TECHSEEKETING and NEUROMOBILEMARKETING.

The jury of X5 and ICEX experts reviewed various solutions, including a product data processing system, a gamification solution for employee training, customer behaviour analysis tools, a platform for managing Google Maps reviews, a virtual assistant, smart logistics solutions for drivers, AI-based marketing tools, and more. Each of the finalists’ projects were assessed based on their commercial value and the feasibility of implementing them in the next 18 months. Several start-ups were invited to take part in the POC (proof of concept) phase, which includes investments and infrastructure provided by X5.

Jorge Alvar, Director of Infrastructures, Health and ICT of ICEX said: “We were very happy to host the X5 Demo Day. It has been a great opportunity for Spanish retail startups. The X5 Lab team has been very professional, and we are ready to organise more such events for X5 Retail Group in the near future.”

First and foremost, we expect that new solutions will help streamline our existing processes, maximise efficiency, and cut running costs. For us, this basically means automation of most of the processes in our stores, warehouses, and back office functions. At this stage of this international exercise, we wanted to evaluate the potential of Spanish start-ups and their strengths and identify the solutions that can be adapted to our needs,” said Denis Levchenko, Head of Innovation Scouting at X5 Retail Group, commenting on the results.

X5 continues to develop its international scouting programme, with the ongoing selection of technology start-ups in Israel, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Similar projects will be run by the Company before the end of the year in the CIS, Asia and Europe, including Singapore, China, Spain and Italy. X5’s scouting foray into international innovative markets will help bring the latest insights from tech start-ups to the Russian retail industry.

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