Via its accelerator UR Link, Unibail-Rodamco constantly builds new collaborations with startups to invent tomorrow’s retail and real estate. The 6 startups of season 2, which came to an end this week, dealt with in-store recruitment (Merito), mobility (Karos), urban agriculture (Sous les Fraises), robotics (Spoon), and data-marketing (Transaction Connect & Kairos Fire)
“After two seasons, we have proved that the UR Link model actually works and enables concrete collaborations, primarily trialled during pilot projects. Collaboration can lead to partnerships.”
⎻ Matthieu Nicoletti, Director of UR Link
Here is a review of the 6 startups of Season 2, and their projects:
Kairos Fire: physical retail is back in the game!
The pilot project of the startup Kairos Fire – a solution providing “the data of the last-meter” in their own words – was launched in 6 Unibail-Rodamco shopping centres, which were equipped with beacons. The goal is to converting real-time traffic in malls into customer knowledge, just like an ecommerce website, but in the physical world. Kairos Fire can count on the low costs of beacons, a large network in France, and respect of personal data (the solution is CNIL-compliant), and helps the shopping centres of the Group as well as retailers customise their marketing approach.
Karos: short-distance car sharing with coworkers
Karos is the first French startup to work on “short-distance car sharing”. The solution decided to improve the day-to-day mobility of people working in shopping centres. It uses mobile technology such as big data and machine learning to help people share cars in an easy and flexible way for their daily commute to work. Directly integrated into the Pass Navigo, the service was trialled among retailers in the Vélizy 2 shopping centre. Here are the results 2 months after the launch: 190 “short-distance car sharers”, among which 60% drivers and 40% passengers; a satisfaction rate of 99%; a reduction of time in transports of 435 hrs; and, finally, better social relationships between retailers in the centre.
Merito: easier recruitment of sales assistants in stores
Merito is a recruitment platform dedicated to professional retailers, and aiming at recruiting skilled sales assistants for the stores of the Parly 2 shopping centre. With no recruiter nor interview, the service is quicker and more reliable than most of existing recruitment tools. “90% of managers spend more than a week in recruiting sales assistants for fixed term contracts, while the latter only spend 3 weeks in average working in stores” explains Marion Nathan, the Co-Founder. At the end of the 4-month period, Merito enabled 46 recruitments, via the shopping centre internal platform dedicated to retailers. It was a successful gamble: managers recommended 100% of Merito candidates and love the service.
For more information: Meet UR Link startup Merito
Sous les Fraises: bringing nature back into cities
By conceiving, installing and operating turnkey urban farms for their customers, the startup Sous les Fraises is ready to disrupt the agriculture sector in cities. Via a vertical permaculture technology, the team – composed of architects, agronomists, gardeners and computers scientists – creates value to real estate and brings nature to empty spaces, such as the roof of the Francilien shopping centre So Ouest. With the “So Farm” project which will be launched in the beginning of Summer, Sous les Fraises will introduce one of the first urban farms on the roof of a shopping centre!
Spoon: a new “machine species” in the service of customer experience
More than a simple robot, Spoon is a new species which has been developed by a number of ex-Aldebaran co-workers for a year now. During three weeks, it was presented in the Rennes-Alma shopping centre to experiment how real life users react in its presence. As the days went by, it met people who asked questions, and it learned useful information for the visitors of the shopping centres. The proof is in the numbers: every day, 1000 to 2000 people came to discover the robot; a third of which interacted with it; and those interactions generated 2500 pieces of knowledge. All in all, great results for the startup!
For more information: #ROBOT: Introducing Spoon, the First Non-Humanoid Robot with a Personality and Emotions
Transaction Connect: converting credit cards into loyalty cards
Transaction Connect transforms any credit card into a loyalty card, with no further hardware or software system installation on cash registers in stores required. Every time a buyer pays with a credit card, the customer is automatically identified and rewarded for his or her loyalty. Tested for a few months in the stores of So Ouest, the solution yielded promising results with a global conversion rate of 18%.
For its third season, starting in a few weeks, UR Link wishes to continue its mission and build new collaborations with startups who care about the following concerns:
- Developing and conceiving more sustainable and more social places, chiming with the CSR strategy of the Group “Better Places 2030”;
- Improving the offer and the services dedicated to retailers and visitors of malls;
- Developing new tools for customer knowledge and engagement, to offer more tailored services.
To apply to the third season, visit www.ur-link.fr between April 3rd and April 30th, 2017!