Stories about innovation

Insight

Investing in the power of sleep

As part of our Future of Health and Wellbeing pillar at True, we have been keeping a close eye on all things sleep. It’s time to wake up to sleep tech - read more on what we've dreamed up based on the latest products and services developed to help us fall asleep, stay asleep, or improve the quality of our sleep.

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Insight

The Retail Climate Challenge - The role of innovation and technology

Technology can be a powerful force in solving the many climate challenges we face, and the climate startup ecosystem is large and complex, covering a vast range of themes. Always on the hunt for the best tech out there, our Innovation team have taken a dive into some of the most notable and interesting, so read on to find out more.

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Insight

The climate challenge – Retail edition

With climate high on the corporate agenda, many retail businesses are setting ambitious net-zero targets. Setting a commitment is one thing - especially when it’s public - but achieving it is another altogether. In this article, we're uncovering the fundamental role innovation will play in tackling the climate challenge for retail.

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Insight

Is She-in or is She-out?

Fast fashion retailer Shein is beset by greenwashing claims and accusations of poor labour practices, but it's also valued at $100 billion and ships to 220 countries worldwide. So what does this say about the future of sustainable fashion, and how has Shein managed to outshine the naysayers?

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Events

WIRED Impact 2022 – The Retail and Consumer Lowdown

The world is changing fast, economically, environmentally, socially and technologically. But what can businesses do to help tackle some of the most pressing global challenges we are facing? We went to WIRED Impact 2022 to find out.

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Insight

Reflections: One year in the metaverse

Once a futuristic, digital space just written about in sci-fi books, the metaverse is really here, with nearly $2 billion spent on virtual land in the last 12 months. But how should brands be thinking about the opportunity the metaverse presents?

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Insight

Supermarket Sweep: How the cost of living crisis is changing our food landscape

In this True Story, we're tucking into the ever-evolving food landscape. As the cost of food rises, we’re seeing new trends appear on supermarket shelves and on our screens, with the emergence of platforms helping shoppers navigate the cost-of-living crisis.

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News

M&S Launches First Sustainability-Focused Innovation Challenge

M&S’s Ignite team – the home of open innovation at M&S – is looking for ideas and technologies that can encourage more sustainable behaviours amongst its customers, as well as solutions that can help M&S achieve further efficiencies in its agricultural supply chains.

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News

Grosvenor Launches Shopping Experience Innovation Challenge with True

Grosvenor has launched an innovation challenge seeking to discover new technologies and partners that are putting customer experience at the heart of bricks and mortar retail.

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Insight

Don't Get Cheap, Get Creative

As the price of materials, energy and products soar, it's tempting for retailers and brands to discount to keep their customers, whose disposable income continues to shrink.  For many brands the urge to discount, if not well thought through, can be damaging to your brand and easily spiral in a race to the bottom. In this piece we take a look at how businesses can lean into strategic partnerships, innovative tech platforms and other ways to creatively keep your customers.

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Insight

Responsible NFTs

NFTs (and applications utilising blockchain technology more broadly) are coming under increasing scrutiny for their impact on the planet, and for good reason. The blockchain technology which enables the creation and trade of digital assets is environmentally damaging due to the ‘mining’ processes required to certify transactions, which use a LOT of power. Having said this NFTs certainly don’t have to be entirely at odds with ESG considerations.

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Insight

Buying into the Metaverse through a tour of Truetopia

For the past two years most of our community interactions have been virtual – but none were quite like the event we hosted at the end of 2021. We jumped into the Metaverse with our guests to take them around a ‘Truetopia’ of virtual shops, streets and leisure spots as our avatars got together in the virtual auditorium, to discuss realistic opportunities for brands and retailers in our community.

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Insight

The Metaverse: a series of opportunities

The Metaverse has well and truly landed. All things 'metaverse' have reached fever pitch since Facebook's rebranding to Meta. The October 2021 announcement not only set out a vision for what a fully immersive digital world powered by VR would look like for the company's 2.89 billion monthly active users, but also confirmed a colossal investment in making this a reality – $10 billion this year alone. Since then, everyone's been talking about it.

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Insight

A Meta-Glossary of Terms

We have been immersed in the virtual world and metaverse for quite some time but the landscape is still evolving and we're still learning. We've done some of the hard work so you don't have to by putting together a glossary of terms that might help unravel the mystery of the metaverse.

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News

True to help Shell improve water efficiency in forecourts

Shell’s latest Innovation Challenge with True aims to find the most exciting businesses and ideas to help its 45,000 forecourts improve their water efficiency.

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News

Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health works with True to find future-fit technologies and services

Johnson & Johnson has chosen to work with True to run its LaunchPad process, using its own international network of startups and investors to identify and filter market-leading solutions capable of adding value to one of the world’s largest consumer goods companies.

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News

True Leads Consumer & Retail Trade Mission to New York

True co-hosted a consumer and retail trade mission to New York in collaboration with the UK Department for International Trade. Hoxton Analytics, Localistico, Mishipay, Spirable, ADAY, All Shades Covered, Placed and VITL all took part representing the breadth of businesses we invest in.

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Insight

Investing for Growth in a Changing World

Here at True we're fortunate to witness the innovation activities of a wide range of players from early-stage brands through to emergent, scaling operators all the way to some of the largest global businesses. In addition to ongoing, organic innovation we are increasingly seeing a trend towards acquisition as a means for larger companies to expand their capabilities and reach. Here Matt investigates why more businesses are turning to investment to innovate.

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Podcast

True Talks: Rich meets ... Giles Humphries, Mindful Chef

Giles Humphries, CMO and Co-founder of health-focused food box, Mindful Chef, talks to Rich about how he and his Co-founder built their business to put purpose, people and planet at the heart of their operations. Giles also shares his founder journey from the early stages through to its acquisition by Nestle and discusses some of the challenges faced during the pandemic, which included how to deal with a trebling of demand over a very short period.

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Podcast

True Talks: Rich meets ... Jonathan Petrides, allplants

With an increased awareness among consumers of the impact a meat-free diet can have on climate change and the environment, allplants has put plant-based eating at the heart of their business. Hear how Jonathan (JP) has built his business to harness not only the vegan target market, but the thousands of consumers who are looking to put plants at the heart of their diet, whether that is for their own health reasons, or for the health of the environment.

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Podcast

True Talks: Rich meets ... Alison Hutchinson CBE, Pennies

Alison Hutchinson CBE, Founder & CEO of Pennies, the UK's leading fintech charity, speaks to Rich about the charity's unique model and challenges in funding the development of such an innovative platform. They discuss everything from having to create a complicated payments platform, with a lean team, through to the huge impact retailers and brands can make to their nominated charities through the micro-donations platform.

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Podcast

True Talks: Rich meets ... Catherine Bond Muir and Alice Powell

How do you level the playing field between the sexes in male-dominated sports? If you were brave you could start by setting up a new all-female motor sport business and race series. This is exactly what Catherine Bond Muir has done with the single-seater W-Series. Catherine speaks to Rich about the commercial challenges of setting up such an expensive sport and fundraising more generally, while driver Powell talks to Rich about her role as an influencer in supporting and growing the series.

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Podcast

True Talks: Rich Anson meets … Lucy Jewson

True acquired sustainable kidswear brand Frugi in 2018. Nine months on, Rich Anson catches up with Frugi’s Co-founder Lucy Jewson and True’s Co-founder Paul Cocker about why Lucy and her husband – a couple with a passion for the planet – decided True would be the right investor to work with as they grow their company the responsible way.

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Podcast

True Talks: Rich Anson meets…Andy Smallwood

Ribble Cycles is a bike brand to be passionate about, and the company has rewarded our own faith with superb performance since we acquired it in November 2015. True brought in CEO Andy Smallwood, formerly of Boardman Bikes, to help support the growth and transformation of the brand. The results of the rebrand have been phenomenal, with sales growing 50% year-on-year and a significant increase in the average selling price of each bike, reflecting the increasingly aspirational nature of the brand.

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Podcast

True Talks: Rich Anson meets…Danny Gray.

True invested in the game-changing beauty brand War Paint in 2020, following a period of massive growth for the company. Founder of War Paint, Danny Gray, talks to Rich about how he used his experience as a teenager to build a successful business in one of the fastest growing sectors of the beauty industry.

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