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Localz wins JLAB competition to raise $160k from John Lewis

John Lewis’ new startup incubator JLAB has concluded its 12-week programme, naming Localz as its winner.

The retailer has invested $160k (£100k) in the startup, which supplies and manages iBeacon-like technologies, and offered it the chance to trial its service in-store.

The incubator mentored 5 startups and invested £12,500 in each – as well as Localz these included Musaic, SpaceDesigned, Tap2Connect and Viewsy.

Location, location, location

Localz specialises in location-based technology that can send information and offers directly to a shopper’s smartphone, based on their precise location within a store.

The platform works by combining location technologies like GPS with iBeacon-compatible Bluetooth Low Energy devices, resulting in a range of 10cm to over 70m.

The startup will use the investment to focus on launching live trials in-store, meaning it is also looking to hire new talent in London.

Embracing startup talent

JLAB was launched as part of John Lewis’s 150 year celebrations, and was based at Level39 in Canary Wharf.

As well as investment and office space, its mentors included Luke Johnson, Chairman of Risk Capital Partners, Sara Murray OBE, founder of and Bindi Karia, Vice President of Entrepreneur Banking at Silicon Valley Bank.

Along with pharmaceutical company Bayer Healthcare’s Grants4Apps programme, JLAB formed part of a trend of accelerators and incubators to emerge from the corporate world.