Moscow, 2 November 2022 – Retail Innovation Tech Alliance (RITA), an international association founded by X5 Group, M.Video-Eldorado, beeline and Hoff, has launched New Horizons – a joint scouting programme that seeks to support Russian startups. The programme takes an open and transparent approach to implementing digital solutions by identifying startup technologies for investment, piloting and potential rollout in partnership with major market players.
RITA is also welcoming six new partners from the technology and startup universe. VK, Yandex Cloud, the Moscow Innovation Cluster, Syndicate Venture Club, United Investors and technovery are joining the association in different roles and capacities.
VK and Yandex Cloud, RITA’s new technology partners, will provide expertise in scouting for digital solutions. During the pilot phase, startups in the alliance’s funnel may gain free access to resources (for example, via Yandex Cloud Boost or other support schemes), as well as to products, tools, and facilities that enable more effectivedecision-making.
The Syndicate Venture Club and United Investors are VC partners that are expected to share funnels featuringsolutions for joint investing with beeline and piloting with alliance members.
Another new partner, the Moscow Innovation Cluster, will act as a business incubator for Russian developers in RITA’s funnel to raise funds in technology contests and in programmes such as the Academy of Innovators, or receive municipal grants for their projects.
Finally, the technovery platform is set to provide access to modern R&D centres from the nation’s 150 major universities, where RITA members will be able to source existing or tailor-made technology.
The New Horizons programme aims to facilitate technology scouting and review in Russia and other countries. Initial scouting will be carried out by the Russian-based GoTech Innovation, the Internet Initiatives Development Fund (IIDF), LOGA Group, startech.vc, Dsight and SOLYANKA.
“Today, Russia’s technology market is facing a test of its resilience and adaptability. RITA, an international association co-founded by X5 Group, has prioritised supporting and fostering the country’s innovation ecosystem, which has been evolving for many years. Hundreds of Russian startups have taken part in our scouting programmes and passed the pilot stage, going on to thrive after integrating into our partners’ operations. At the same time, market-leading alliance members have enjoyed access to cutting-edge technology and a major boost to their performance through sharing experience and testing innovations together,” said Vladimir Salakhutdinov, Director of Strategy and Business Development at X5 Group.
“Hoff’s membership in RITA has been particularly useful in the current circumstances. These have not stopped us from scouting for new, innovative ideas as we continue to look for solutions that will help us to meet market and customer demands and tackle whatever problems come our way. Among other things, RITA is a place where we can share our knowledge and expertise, benefit from those of our peers, and team up to work on common solutions. As players exit the market, we at Hoff and our peers need to hit the ground running. By working together with fellow members of the alliance, we can strengthen our position and reap synergies on our quest for new solutions,”commented Konstantin Peshekhonov, CEO at Hoff Tech.
RITA is an international association founded in February 2020. Its current members include X5 Group, beeline, M.Video-Eldorado Group, Hoff, Magnum Cash & Carry, the Rolf Group, and the new partners. Over its two years in existence, the alliance has held 11 Deal Flow sessions and 14 Case Study sessions to spot promising technology solutions for its members and share experience, respectively. RITA has a funnel of over 1,200 projects, with 640 of them being Russian-made. These projects cover such areas as logistics management and automation, ML-driven shoplifting prevention, food waste conversion, and reducing CO2 emissions.
For a complete list of scouting areas and more details on RITA’s activities, please visit the alliance’s website.