Retailers, let's face the challenges
of innovation together


Matthieu JOLLY
8 minutes

After a pause in 2020 due to a global pandemic, Viva Technology is back in mixed format – online and physical – for four days of B2B and B2C innovations.

With a maximum of 5,000 participants attending the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles aisles at the same time for health reasons, physical attendance this year reached 26,000 visitors, far from the 124,000 registered in 2019! Consequence? An intimate salon, far from its usual frenzy forcing to fight, elbow to elbow, a path towards startups. They have thus been able to take time to present their solutions, technological or not, and their benefits to advance the trade of tomorrow.

Also, for this 5th edition, the experts of the BNP Paribas Personal Finance Exchange therefore handed over the cover and organized for BNP Paribas, the group’s partner brands as well as members of the Club Echangeur over 20 Floor Tours in the heart of the fairways in search of the technological nuggets of tomorrow.

Hard to miss! Here are their favorites!


Once again mobility is in the spotlight at the show. The opportunity for the Exchange to discover solutions that will change our approach to mobility in the longer term.

The most «futuristic» is a young French company, Caps, which enters the emerging market of flying taxissuch as the German Volocopter or the Chinese EHang also present on the show. It is developing a single-seat, autonomous air transport system that could be the subject of a first launch at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. This single-seater vehicle incorporates no less than eight electric motors allowing individual flights at a speed of up to 70 km/h at an altitude between 150 and 300 m, and within a radius of 15 km.

The next step is to install mobile landing stations in cities, which are rather light and easy to move around as needed. These stations can be adapted to different locations such as airports, train stations and other business centres. The objective is to develop this new means of transport in some major cities in 2025 or 2026.

Once on Earth, we can continue to travel with Instant System, a young French company that has just raised 8 million euros. It is also available as a white label with BNP Paribas Arval. This young company designs applications that allow users, for a specific route, to choose different mobility solutions: train, metro, bus, VTC, taxi, scooter, carpool, etc.

A network idea similar to the solution deployed by Goggo Network. Autonomous vehicles become carriers of services. The operator is working on the legal and technical framework for the European autonomous mobility networks of the coming decades. His first project in Europe? An autonomous delivery system in partnership with Neolix in Madrid from September 2021 for the Sushi Shop brand.

Autonomous means electric! Mob-Energy, a young French company, wants to accelerate the transition to more sustainable mobility by removing the constraints encountered when recharging the vehicle. Specifically, it develops charging robots called «Charles» that integrate second-life batteries. Once installed in a car park, the robot stores energy and moves autonomously to vehicles that have ordered a charge to give them the desired mileage. You had to think about it!


How do we get to a non disposable company? By attacking our packaging. Startup Hipli sells reusable E-commerce parcels more than 100 times. Launched less than a year ago, it has 80 partner brands including CDiscount. Once the purchase is recovered, the consumer simply returns the Hipli packaging to the sorting centre. Everything is easier for this return since the packaging is already stamped. There is now only to slide it into a mailbox of the neighborhood. If 20,000 parcels are currently in circulation, the company is targeting 150,000 parcels per month by the end of the year.

The issues around food resilience were also discussed in the fairways embodied by urban farms such as PopFarm. The startup is the first vertical farm designed specifically for hypermarkets and supermarkets. In stores, the consumer harvests the plant directly with its roots. Once home, all he has to do is put his basil in a glass of water and it lasts for seven days. PopFarm can accommodate strawberries, salads, small vegetables or even flowers with a goal to sell 20% cheaper than organic in 2022.

Another vertical farm, Ÿnsect which raises insects. It then transforms them into ingredients for animals, fish, plants and tomorrow human. On human nutrition, sports food is the first key market but the French startup sees further. In Germany, burgers made from small beetle larvae are already on the market.

VivaTech has set the stage for innovations that serve our basic needs, such as feeding. Between responsible consumption and alternative consumption patterns, all players are evolving and transforming others in the process.

Customer Experience

The Covid-19 pandemic is exploding e-commerce. More than ever, digital is part of our daily lives. In fact, for more than a year now, the major groups have had to adapt and get up to speed. As a result, the screens are present in force in the aisles of the show. Objective: to maintain the relationship with the customer remotely.

First example, the startup Bambuser with its live streaming solution. While the tool already accounts for more than 10% of digital revenue in China, it is still in its infancy in Europe. Yet its growth and exponential and the brands are trying the experiment. Logically, the Swedish startup announces a +36% increase in the basket! What to salivate all e-commerce sites in Europe!

Partner of the Echangeur and present since 2018 in the showroom, La Vitre made a strong impression this year. As a result of a year spent teleworking behind a screen? Probably so much these tools now show their limits. Indeed, seeing and discussing does not mean working together. But this is exactly what the French startup allows: to link teams located in different places, cities or countries. And this, with a simple objective: to be able to work together on a document, a plan or a video. Add the translation in your language and you get one of VivaTech’s «stars» this year!

For her part, Renée Corner also capitalizes on digital to offer a 100% physical experience. Concretely, it is a digital platform for booking ephemeral sales spaces. It connects brands from e-commerce and points of sale. Surfing the trend of the shop-in-shop, it deploys winning/winning partnerships between brands wishing to meet their consumers without paying too much money and living places that make their square meters profitable while discovering new consumers.

Finally, and although all three of them surf on digital, these three examples illustrate perfectly that today, if commerce mutates thanks to technology, it is at the service of the customer relationship. And yes! The future of trade is human!

Tech Disrupt

VivaTech allows you to discover disruptive technologies or startups every year.These technological solutions allow us to understand the scope of possibilities and the future potential of innovation.Whether it is to fight global warming, optimize telemedicine or create its digital double, the technologies present Porte de Versailles bring a little more real world and science fiction.These solutions are often echoed by the companies or speakers we meet on the CES (Consumer Electronic Show) or at SXSW (South by Southwest).

With Didimo, the user can create his digital double from a simple selfie. This avatar can then be used in video games to immerse the player even more in his game. This same avatar can represent us in a virtual world or even in augmented reality. For the trade, and more particularly the online trade, a digital double will allow to remotely test clothes, shoes and any fashion accessories. This Portuguese startup shows some potential offered by the worlds of synthesis, as discussed at Commerce Reloaded 2021.

In healthcare, i-Virtual deploys a medical solution by image recognition. This solution makes it possible to measure the heart rate, respiratory rate, oxygen saturation, stress level, through the camera of a smartphone and algorithms, etc. It is a real tool to help diagnose or keep seniors at home. This type of solution gives new perspectives to telemedicine. A telemedicine that has taken on a new dimension with the global pandemic which should benefit i-Virtual.

What if the world of life, and more particularly synthetic biology, could help humans fight against global warming? Woodlight, for example, proposes to create bioluminescent plants to offer alternative lighting solutions that do not require electricity.

But especially with Grow Your Own Cloud, it’s the DNA of plants that takes on an unimaginable scale! Indeed, this startup proposes to store your data in the DNA of plants to eventually replace the computer servers used for storage. Did you know that only four grams of DNA could store all the data produced by humanity?

All these solutions are only in their beginnings but suggest a future more glorious than the one we are promised.

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Matthieu JOLLY
Facing with the changes in retail, today's innovations help Matthew to think about tomorrow's relationship between the brand and the consumer.
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