John Lewis has awarded £200,000 of investment across three start-ups from its third accelerator programme.
The department store retailer has invested £100,000 in home furnishing augmented reality platform DigitalBridge, which will be matched by L Marks, the tech incubator that facilitates its JLab programme.
DigitalBridge held an in-store trial at the retailer’s Cheadle outlet as part of the programme, resulting in 100% of the customers that trialled the product saying they would use it in-store and 82% saying it would convince them to make a purchase.
John Lewis has also invested £50,000 in the start-up Wedding Planner, a platform that allows users to plan their wedding through their mobile, and Link Big, which adds product information to a retailer’s Instagram feed, respectively.
This is the largest sum that John Lewis has ever invested off the back of its annual JLab technology incubator programme.
The three start-ups that won investment were whittled down from 280 applications to a final pool of five, all of which John Lewis will continue to work with in varying capacities.
“This is the largest sum that John Lewis has ever invested off the back of its annual JLab technology incubator programme”
John Lewis Partnership chief information officer Paul Coby said: “The three start-ups 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… a learning process.”
L Marks chairman Stuart Marks added: “The five finalists have all made fantastic progress over the last 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.”