Gap boosts tech capabilities with acquisition of AI start-up
American fashion retailer Gap Inc. announced on Monday that it has acquired New York and Tel Aviv-based AI start-up Context-Based 4 Casting Ltd. (CB4), as it seeks to transform its retail operations with the use of AI and machine learning.
Brokered by Gap’s strategic growth office, the deal will see the company gain access to CB4’s cutting-edge AI and machine learning tools, which use predictive analytics and demand sensing to drive sales and improve customer experience.
“We believe artificial intelligence and machine learning will shape the future of our industry,” commented Sally Gilligan, chief growth transformation officer and head of the strategic growth office at Gap, in a release. “Gap Inc. has experience working with CB4’s world-class data scientists, so we understand the impact and the wide applications their science can have across sales, inventory and consumer insights, as well as its potential to unlock value and enhance the customer experience.”
As part of the agreement, CB4’s team will join the Gap group as full-time employees.
Founded by Prof. Irad Ben-Gal and Dr. Gonen Singer following a research project at Tel Aviv University in 2010, CB4 is currently led by CEO Yoni Benshaul. The company boasts funding from Sequoia Capital and a client list including Levi’s, Urban Outfitters, Lidl, and Kum & Go.
According to the company, its award-winning technology makes recommendations that lead to further sales and heightened customer satisfaction. In February 2021, CB4 was named in market research firm CB Insights’ inaugural Retail Tech 100 ranking, featuring the 100 most promising B2B retail tech companies from around the globe.
“CB4’s AI helps lift sales and enhance customer experiences. As we join Gap Inc., I’m excited to see how our team can drive even broader and deeper impact at the company’s global scale,” said Benshaul.
Having moved to the cloud in October 2020, Gap has been doubling down on its tech investments of late. The company’s strategic growth office led the acquisition of 3D-fit tech and virtual fitting room start-up Drapr earlier this year and also took part in the latest funding round of Obé Fitness, a digital fitness platform and partner of the group’s Athleta brand.
Gap reported net sales of $4.2 billion in the second quarter ended July 31, 2021, while net income for the period totaled $258 million.
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