Seven international retailers, including companies from the US, UK, Europe, China, and Japan are arriving in Israel this month to check out the most innovative retail-focused startups in the country for potential collaboration, investment, and mergers & acquisitions (M&As.)
They will visit at the invitation of Re:Tech, Israel’s innovation hub for retail technologies followed by entrepreneurs All Foht and Yael Kochman.
During their visit, companies like UK online retailer ASOS, Japanese casual wear manufacturer Uniqlo, and US fashion brand Express, will be given a firsthand look at the Israeli high-tech ecosystem in a three-day event that includes tours of factories for Kornit Digital, an international manufacturing company producing inkjet printers, pigmented ink, and chemical products for the garment and apparel industry, and Twine Solutions, a startup developing a sustainable thread-dying technology.
The companies will also participate in Retail Disrupt, Israel’s first retail technology and innovation conference on Monday, October 29. The conference, taking place at the Lago Events Hall in Rishon Letzion, includes 32 sessions, 50 speakers, workshops, breakout sessions, and news about the latest trends and tech influencing the retail industry. Participants from giants like IBM, eBay, Google, and Facebook will mingle with Israeli startups such as Riskified, Hexa, Syte, Bringg, Trigo Vision, and more.
“It is no doubt that retail is one of the hottest areas in Israeli high-tech these days”, said Yael Kochman, a partner, and CEO of Re:Tech. “With the recent acquisitions of Upstream Commerce, Visualead, Invertex, and others by retail giants such as Nike, Alibaba and Myntra, it is clear that while Israel doesn’t have a large retail market of its own, it is definitely able to supply cutting-edge technology to provide retailers with a competitive edge”.
According to a study released in January 2018 by Israeli early-stage tech incubator Nielsen Innovative Fund (NIF), financial services company Deloitte, Israeli venture capital firm Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP), and Israeli retail innovation platform The Shelf, over 250 companies and startups operate in Israel’s retail tech industry. The report says they have raised over $1 billion in recent years, and most are active in sectors such as logistics, robotics, and shipping, with technologies in e-commerce, payments, inventory control and more.
“Israel is amongst the most exciting technology hubs in the world today and in my role in leading revenue for a $2Bn business; I am keen to bring the best tech solutions Israel has on offer to bear on our biggest challenges/opportunities and hence scaling our impact. In my early interactions with Re:Tech I have been pleasantly surprised by their agility, focus, customer understanding and depth of connections”, said Mithun Sundar, Myntra’s CRO.
Re:Tech was founded in early 2018 to help global retailers build open innovation programs that “leverage the advantages of working with disruptive startups,” a statement from the hub said. Their first conference was held in 2017 with 750 in attendance. It was called FashTech Stage and focused on fashion technology. Since then, the company has expanded to cover all areas of retail technology and innovation.