Innovate21st RetailTech&PropTech Program Results
Innovate21st Investment and Acceleration program, which is developed by idacapital and invested into by Akiş REIT, Akkök Holding and EtkiYap Girişim among other investors, is supporting the startups that generate innovative solutions to the changes brought by the digitalization trend in the Retail and Proptech sectors by offering an extensive knowledge base and venture capital support.
During the first phase of the program, 9 startups that would generate innovative solutions were chosen from over 90 applications, following the pre-interview process. The selected 9 startups made their presentations to an advisory board, consisting of local and foreign members who are leading experts in their fields.
Following the evaluations during the second phase of the program:
Pulpo AR, working on augmented reality in the cosmetics sector
Park Palet and Navlungo, serving as a marketplace in the logistics and storage sector
deserved to attend the acceleration program coordinated by idacapital, and a total of 450K USD pre-Series-A level investment were made into these startups.
These startups who are attending the acceleration program are provided with the opportunities to have one-on-one meetings with investment analysts and mentors to get insights on financial model design, unit economics analysis, growth and access to financial support in line with financial metrics; close communication and knowledge sharing with Venture Capital investors and experts in marketing, technology, legal & tax issues, etc.; receive further financing from program backers, opportunity to reach a wide network of Venture Capital investors & co-investors by attending a 24-week program focused on improving their investability levels and increasing their business growth.
Navlungo founder İsa Korkmaz:
“We are happy to be in this program, which includes ingenious content and networking opportunities on every subject. We have no doubt that it will accelerate the growth of Navlungo.”
ParkPalet founder Alp Çiçekdağı:
“We are pleased to be selected as one of the startups for the Innovate21st - Accelaration and Investment program. We believe the investor profile and the focus fields and technologies including e-commerce logistics and proptech is a perfect match for our local and international business model. We are looking forward to the upcoming acceleration program to further develop our growth metrics.”
PulpoAR founder Onur Candan:
“We are delighted to start a business partnership with idacapital as the only investor group in Turkey to have the best grasp of our short, medium and long term vision, not to mention that they are able to take that vision to the next level.They support us in developing our business by looking from different angles at each meeting. I can foresee that they will make a great contribution to our ideal of carrying our vision forward. I firmly believe that it will be a long-term successful collaboration.”
Board Member and General Manager of Akiş REIT Gökşin Durusoy:
“When looking at the portfolio structure of Akiş REIT, it could be said that we are majorly offering services for the retail sector. We started this program in order to keep up with the developing trends in the retail sector that are accelerated with the ongoing pandemic, and to invest into startups that are subsidiary of our main business line. We believe that this industry-leading program will provide added value to our company and to the startups. Akiş REIT will continue to be the leader of the industry by integrating the new growth areas and elements of risk into their business model with the support of the invested startups. We are excitedly waiting for Pulpo AR, ParkPalet and Navlungo’s steps towards digitalizing the retail sector, and we are glad to support them in their journey, aided by their reliable team and business plan.”
ETKİYAP founders Sertaç Yeltekin and Şafak Müderrisgil:
“Etkiyap Girisim is happy to participate in funding innovative and technology oriented projects with a strategic focus in “impact investing”. As a company investing in retailtech, proptech and fintech not only on a global scale but also in Turkey, we are confident that the investment program addressing Pulpo AR, ParkPalet and Navlungo as promising start-ups, will accelerate their growth rapidly and make them become global players.”
İdacapital founding co-partner Cem Baytok:
“Innovate 21st fills a void that calls for a great need to ramp up the investability levels of the start-ups in the early stage venture capital ecosystem. The first theme of the program, Retail & Proptech, has successfully completed its investment round. We believe that the three ventures which are ready to receive continuation investments, will keep on growing with new Series-A funding from us and the other investors during 2021. We will extend the Innovate21st program into other areas that will create impact”.
ABOUT THE INVESTED COMPANIES
Navlungo is a promising investment, challenging the conventional ways of managing logistics operations. The platform they are offering shows all possible transportation methods in an organized and well-structured list. User-interface of the platform allows users to manage their logistics easily. Navlungo has an impact on the economy by increasing the number of businesses that have the dare to do business abroad. We are really excited about how Navlungo could change the way logistics management is done by digitizing the process in a convenient way. With their reliable team and well-established business plan, we are confident enough to support Navlungo during their journey to success.
ParkPalet is currently the only platform in Turkey for companies to reach operated warehouse space and fulfillment services online in a fast, flexible and efficient manner. ParkPalet’s main offering is their online platform for companies requiring warehouse space and fulfillment services to access multiple operators and occupiers listing their excess space capacity and services. In addition to this marketplace offering, they provide a WMS interface that the parties can use during the operation saving them from a costly and time-consuming integration process for short term uses. ParkPalet is currently operating in Turkey with 200 warehouses in 16 different locations. Their team has combined different industry experiences such as logistics and industrial real estate development, logistics operations, warehouse management, supply chain technology with all members having 15-20 years of experience in their related fields. We believe that there is immense value to be created from increasing efficiency via digitalization and making supply chains more robust. As investors we find the value proposed by ParkPalet highly valuable, therefore we are confident in their vision.
PulpoAR is a technology company producing augmented reality tools that can be integrated into retail signage screens, commerce platforms and smart mirrors. PulpoAR offers three different products which enable consumers to try on sunglasses and put on make-up via virtual mirrors prior to buying the actual product. The impact PulpoAR is creating emerges from the substitution of tester products, hence saving costs for the companies. Moreover, with the outbreak of Covid-19, customer tendencies are moving away from traditional retail and directed towards online shopping. In that sense PulpoAR acts as a facilitator of these online transactions, making the purchasing decision safer, thus easier for customers. The augmented reality market is expected to grow about %153 in five years and %94 of the clothing and make-up companies are considering adding augmented reality features as the technology both save costs and increase sales. PulpoAR positioned itself in 4 different countries which are Turkey, USA, UK, Brazil and the company is targeting the to operate in biggest AR markets. Adding up all the factors together, as investors we find the value PulpoAR proposes quite promising, therefore see the company as a lucrative opportunity to invest in.