- Bottling giant Coca-Cola Amatil has acquired a minority stake in TabSquare, a Singapore-based restaurant tech startup, through its corporate venture platform Amatil X, according to a news release.
- TabSquare offers an artificial intelligence-powered in-restaurant solution to improve and personalize the dining experiences of consumers at scale and increase operational efficiency for restaurant owners. TabSquare claims it has 6,000 active terminals and serves 12 million consumers each year.
- The investment in TabSquare is the second for Amatil X since launching in April. The group previously backed the Australian startup Doshii in August. Amatil X learned about TabSquare from an employee participating in Coca-Cola Amatil's corporate accelerator program Xcelerate.
Coca-Cola Amatil's investments in TabSquare show how major corporations are more frequently looking to learn from startups rather than trying to develop bleeding-edge solutions in-house, which can often be a time and resource-intensive process.
"Our employee's startup idea was very similar to TabSquare, so they decided to explore TabSquare rather than reinvent the wheel," Chris Sullivan, group director of partners and growth at Coca-Cola Amatil, said in a statement included in the news release.
This strategy can put a foot forward when it comes to adjusting to the food and beverage industry's ongoing demands for digital innovation. TabSquare's AI-powered solution could allow Coca-Cola Amatil to better key into consumer data at different touch points and design more personalized strategies.
Better personalization is increasingly expected from today's consumers, but it's an area where many businesses continue to struggle. In a report published in May, Accenture found that the state of marketing personalization was actually getting worse than the year prior.
Marketers are eyeing AI and related technology fields to help them deliver greater personalization and better measure campaign effectiveness. Among B2B marketers, 53% see AI as a way to boost how effective marketing is in driving revenue, according to an EverString and Heinz Marketing survey. Most marketers are interested in using AI for personalization and customization, per the survey.
While Coca-Cola Amatil is a separate entity from the soft drink giant Coca-Cola, the two are enacting similar strategies to stay on top of market trends. In August, at the Adobe Symposium in Singapore, Coca-Cola's VP of digital transformation Mariano Bosaz outlined how the marketer has leveraged technology, including augmented reality, to take consumers "beyond the real thing," a reference to a long-running brand tagline.
Coca-Cola's four-point digital transformation plan includes enhancing customer experience and business transformation to stay on top of disruption. The company is also focusing on operational transformation to leverage data and technology and improve internal processes to boost speed to market.