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Retail technology startups join TrueStart funding scheme

Footfall data company Hoxton Analytics, video content marketing specialist Photospire, and Clotho London, which allows consumers to exchange unwanted clothes, have been selected to join retail startup accelerator programme TrueStart Collection.

Backed by real-estate firm Land Securities, technology consultancy Accenture and River Island, TrueStart Collection provides young companies with a six-month residency at its 4,500 sq ft ‘innovation hub’ in London’s Victoria, as well as equity funding options ranging from £25,000 for a 4.5% stake to £50,000 for 9%. The spring 15 programme will start on March 23.

It was founded by private-equity group True Capital last year with the aim of connecting young businesses to market leaders.

Hoxton Analytics is a real-time footfall and analytics company that can determine demographic information based on the size and style of shoes shoppers are wearing. Photospire automatically creates videos for retailers by merging images with real-time data, which can be used to create localised video content for in-store digital displays, among other things.

Clothing exchange platform Clotho London is initially targeting university students.

Co-founder Matt Truman said Presence Orb, a Wi-Fi analytics company which allows retailers to better understand their customers’ in-store behaviour, has increased its store penetration tenfold since joining the programme last year and now operates in thousands of stores across the UK and US.

Lauren Bowker, founder of materials company The Unseen, which creates experimental textiles including some that can change colour, took part last year and has since initiated a follow-on funding round with a “strong” valuation and announced a partnership with Selfridges for this winter.

“We have also hosted 68 retailers from across the world, including Tengelmann Group of Germany, Target in the US, Clarks, Debenhams, Kurt Geiger, House of Fraser, Dune, Oasis, Principles, Karen Millen, Burberry and Belstaff,” said Truman. “There is a lot more to come in this area.”

Ailish Christian-West, head of shopping centres at Land Securities, said: “Getting involved in this programme is a real opportunity for us to identify current and upcoming trends and be at the forefront of retail innovation.”

@Tara_Hounslea

Readers' comments (1)

  • Congrats to those selected! Good luck with the programme. TrueStart has assembled a great team to assist you.

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