The State of Retail Technology in Six Visuals

We cover many emerging markets in the startup ecosystem. Previously, we published posts that summarized Financial Technology, Internet of ThingsBitcoin, and MarTech, and Artificial Intelligence in six visuals. This week, we do the same with Retail Technology. At this time, we are tracking 984 Retail Technology companies across 24 categories, with a combined funding amount of $18.9B. These are companies that have anything and everything to do with retail tech. To see the full list of 984 Retail Technology companies, contact us using the form on

The six Retail Technology visuals below help make sense of this dynamic market:

  1. Market Overview: Breakdown of Retail Technology into categories.
  2. Number of Companies Per Category: Bar graph summarizing the number of companies in each Retail Technology category.
  3. Average Funding By Category: Bar graph summarizing average company funding per Retail Technology category.
  4. Venture Funding in Retail Technology: Graph comparing total venture funding in Retail Technology to the number of companies in each category.
  5. Global Breakdown of Retail Technology: Heat map indicating where Retail Technology companies exist.
  6. Median Age of Retail Technology Categories: Bar graph of each Retail Technology category by median age.

1. Retail Technology Market Overview


See the breakdown in sector funding and the most updated market information at

Local Daily Deals: Companies that sell locally available, pre-paid vouchers for steeply discounted goods and services. This category also includes daily deal aggregators.

Last Mile Logistics: Companies that are innovating on the last phase of the supply chain, from the store/warehouse to the consumer.

Social Discovery: This category includes companies that allow for discovery through location check-ins and social sharing of ideas, products, companies, brands, etc.

Point of Sale 2.0: New point-of-sale solutions that create frictionless consumer transaction experiences and also enable retailers to collect data about their customers that can be leveraged for marketing and CRM purposes.

Local Incentives: These companies help stores increase loyalty, customer base, and revenue from both new and repeat customers through deals, local offers, discounts, frequency rewards, gamified badges, and other techniques.

Online to Offline Payments: Technologies and services that are changing the way we pay for goods. In addition to payment execution, this also includes companies that provide consumers with a mobile wallet (e.g. payment information, loyalty cards) or other digital storage functionality (e.g. receipts).

Automated Personalization Platforms: Automated Personalization Platforms work with customers (e.g. retailers) to deliver custom ads, marketing messages, and dynamically optimize site pages for different users.

Loyalty Programs: Products that provide or power a merchant’s reward / loyalty program. Examples include digital frequent shopper cards, tailored rewards based on spending, etc.

Marketing Platforms and CRM: Products that enable merchants / brands to engage with their customers across social media channels, and execute and manage marketing campaigns. This category also includes customer relationship management tools used to improve customer communication, tracking, and overall relations.

Coupons: Companies that focus on both traditional and digital merchant coupons.

Gift Cards: This category includes both physical and digital stored-value and prepaid cards.

Retargeting: Retargeting companies use cookie data to follow online users and serve dynamic, relevant ads all over the web.

Product Recommendation: Product Recommendation companies use crowdsourced data, individual stylists, and/or automated algorithms to determine the best products for a given shopper based on their individual preferences.

Infrastructure and Enablers: Products and tools designed to help developers increase functionality in their existing products (e.g. payment integration), create applications (e.g. mobile apps, websites), etc .

Data and Analytics: These companies help with the acquisition, organization, and distribution of data that companies can then utilize to enhance their applications and service offerings.

Physical Store Analytics and Indoor Mapping: Using sensors, cameras, and mobile devices to provide retailers more data about customer behavior in-store such as window conversion rate, customer dwell time, optimal shelf placement, and ideal store hours. These companies help retailers optimize the customer experience to increase revenue.

In-store Personalization: In-store Personalization providers use physical inputs (e.g. video feeds, beacons, CRM) to customize content that can be delivered via mobile devices, social media, and other similar channels.

In-store Experience: Companies that enable brick and mortar retailers to enhance the customer journey through digital engagement, mobile-first initiatives, gamification, and more.

Search and Local Availability: The companies in this category provide the means by which consumers can search and/or compare local availability of products and prices. This includes innovations such as store-level inventory searches and local comparisons.

Local Advertising Technology: Companies that alert the consumer of a retail product or service. The advertising models in the O2O market often center around targeted ads, real-time mobile ads, retargeting, dynamic ads based on proximity to clear inventory, ads targeted based on check-ins or social comments, and in-store up-sell ads.

Made-to-Measure Customization: Made-to-Measure Customization companies use proprietary technologies and supply chain processes to enable shoppers to create custom goods.

Retail IoT: This category covers physical devices that have a retail application (e.g. beacons).

Price and Feature Comparison: Services that empower consumers to compare product prices at different outlets or compare features across similar products (e.g. scan and engage capabilities for QR codes, bar codes, or physical items to bring up product information and comparisons in real-time).

Retail Augmented Reality: Companies that enable consumers to interact with products using augmented reality (e.g. virtual manipulation).

2. Number of Companies Per Category


The bar graph above summarizes the number of companies in each Retail Technology category to show which are dominating the current market. Currently, the “Deals and Rewards” category is leading the way with a total of 276 companies, followed by “Retail Payments” with 130 companies.

3. Average Funding By Category


The bar graph above summarizes the average company funding per Retail Technology category. Here, the “Last Mile Logistics” category leads the way with an average of $62.2M per funded company. Top companies in Last Mile Logistics today include Instacart, Shyp, and Delivery Hero. Following Last Mile is the “Content Discovery” category with average funding of $53.2M in funding per company.

4. Venture Investing in Retail Technology


The graph above compares total venture funding in Retail Technology to the number of companies in each category. The data suggests that the “Last Mile Logistics” and the “Content Discovery” categories have the most traction.

5. Global Breakdown of Retail Technology


The following infographic is an updated heat map indicating where Retail Technology startups exist across 44 countries. Currently, the United States is leading the way with 550 companies. The United Kingdom is in second with 53 companies followed by Canada with 30.

6. Median Age of Retail Technology Categories


The bar graph above summarizes Retail Technology by median age of category. The “Personalization Platforms,” “AdTech,” “Made to Measure,” and “Price Comparison Tools” categories have the highest median age at 6 years. The youngest categories are “Last Mile Logistics” and “Retail IoT” with 3 years.

As Retail Technology continues to develop, so too will its moving parts. We hope this post provides some big picture clarity on this booming industry.

Venture Scanner enables corporations to research, identify, and connect with the most innovative technologies and companies. We do this through a unique combination of our data, technology, and expert analysts. If you have any questions, reach out to

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