Corporate is taking note of startups

Coca-Cola Amatil, which purchased Feral Brewing Co in 2017, yesterday announced its further diversification into the Australian marketplace, partnering with three local businesses that the company has described as “ready-to-go” ideas to improve delivery efficiency and consumer experience.

The three pilot programs have been approved to run under the auspices of Amatil X, which CCA describes as its ’emerging possibilities platform’ and its subsidiary Xcelerate in partnership with a third party technology firm BlueChilli.

Amatil X was launched in April this year, in what Group Director of Partners and Growth at Amatil Chris Sullivan said, is in recognition of the pace of change and the disruption going on in the outside world that impacts Amatil customers and its whole value chain.

Sullivan toldBrews News that the Xcelerate program is designed to test whether combining emerging businesses with Amatil’s established customer base and supply chain footprint, would deliver shared value.

The announcement comes after a similar move by AB InBev, through its ZX Ventures platform, to invest in RateBeer and Boozebud.

Sullivan explained that in CCA’s case, the objective of the Xcelerate program is to attract young organisations with terrific ideas across Australia and New Zealand that Amatil could help add to the marketplace.

“The motivation of the Xcelerate program is really to build and support startup organisations that can help solve some of our current challenges or build future ideas that are going to grow our customers businesses,” Sullivan explained.

The goal is for these ideas to be scalable beyond CCA.

“We’re really looking for growth of our organisation and of our customers.”

Coming back to that pace of change, Sullivan said that unlike the rigidity of corporates, startups can move dynamically and quickly.

“We believe these organisations have the potential to help shape the future.”

“So, it’s a stream of innovation.”

“We want to actively participate with the startup ecosystem because we were impressed, and recognised the speed of change, the customer eccentricity and we want to leverage that.”

For Sullivan, startups offer a closeness to customers that big companies struggle to achieve.

“Startups are providing small company solutions to big company problems.”

“So, really providing a different lense on how to solve challenges and equally a different lense on how to identify opportunities.”

“When we talk about startup ecosystems, there is a whole environment out there that is growing so fast, we want to be an active part of that.”

With over 300 applications, Sullivan and his team were able to get down to 12 startups, of which three have now entered the pilot stage.

The three companies joining the Xcelerate program are:

Bellr: Bellr is a platform for the hospitality industry which help venues and brands attract and retain customers through dynamic venue promotions and tailored loyalty programs, leveraging the emerging trend towards an on-demand cashless economy and increasing use of mobile devices.

Snooper: Snooper is a crowdsourcing platform for brands and retailers, leveraging a community of 35,000 everyday Australians to collect in-store data and share their experience with brands in real-time via our app. Shoppers get paid via the App to take a few photos and answer easy questions about in-store execution, while FMCG companies get instant access to actionable insights through a dedicated online dashboard.

Staybil: Staybil drives operational efficiency by leveraging the combined power of machine learning and enhanced modern mobility. Staybil’s optimisation engine utilises existing but often underutilised enterprise data to drive improvement, improve customer satisfaction, and reduce costs. Staybil also optimises static and dynamic workforces for medium and large location-based organisations and consults on infrastructure optimisation to combat urban congestion.

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