Startup Spotlight – Big brother in the supermarket

Cyrup is an IoT company that develops custom hardware sensors and software on the cloud to track customer behavior in retail

Startups tend to enamor the imagination of the public as companies with billion-dollar potential. But most startups fizzle out after a few years in business. Either you grow or you die. That’s the nature of the game. To play it thick skin is a mandatory requirement.

The startups listed in this section are new and still in the infant stage. Some of them have won accolades in glitzy startup competitions, some are opening up un-ventured markets and some think they have just the right idea.

This is their story.

Big Brother in the Supermarket

Cyrup is an IoT company that develops custom hardware sensors and software on the cloud to track customer behavior in retail

The company’s newest product is Smart Engage, an IoT (internet of things) that is capable of tracking customer interactions through motion sensors. Cyrup’s Co-Founder Sahan Hendahewa says it’s a platform to measure real world engagement. “It allows companies to optimise the customer experience in retail,” he says.

Most retail brands rely on sales as the only metric to evaluate a product’s in-store performance. But with IoT, they are able to see if customers take at interest in the product by lifting it off the shelf and for how long, even if they end up setting it back and not purchasing. “This information provides the edge in retail in an age when e-commerce is beginning to dominate,” says Handahewa about how brick and mortar retail stores can now have the same behavioural insights that an e-commerce retailer has about their customers. This allows improved sales and inventory management efficiency.

The company is backed by BP de Silva Group of Companies, and has a strong partnership with the Singapore University of Technology and Design’s augmented human lab. The lab is headed by Suranga Nanayakkara and is the de-facto R&D hub for the company.

Handahewa says Cyrup is unique in that it builds the platform end-to-end, including the sensors it uses.