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October 5, 2021

Gap Inc acquires AI start-up CB4

US specialty clothing retailer Gap Inc has acquired AI start-up Context-Based 4 Casting Ltd (CB4) that uses machine learning tools to transform retail operations, increase sales and improve customer experience through predictive analytics and demand sensing.

By Beth Wright

The acquisition of New York and Tel Aviv-based CB4 was brokered by Gap Inc’s Strategic Growth Office, a unit of the company that seeks out opportunities to fuel growth and accelerate new capabilities across its portfolio of brands.

“We believe artificial intelligence and machine learning will shape the future of our industry,” says Sally Gilligan, chief growth transformation officer and head of the Strategic Growth Office at Gap Inc. “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.”

CB4’s technology makes recommendations that support new sales and more satisfied customers. Funded by investors including Sequoia Capital, CB4’s technology has been implemented by retailers including Levi’s, Urban Outfitters, Lidl, and Kum & Go.

In February, market research firm CB Insights named CB4 to its inaugural Retail Tech 100 ranking, which showcases the 100 most promising B2B retail tech companies in the world.

As part of the acquisition, CB4’s team will join Gap Inc as full-time employees.

“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,” adds CB4 CEO Yoni Benshaul.

Since moving to the Cloud in October 2020, Gap Inc has increased investments in technology to enable growth and innovation that can impact its entire portfolio of brands.

Earlier this year, the Strategic Growth Office led Gap Inc’s acquisition of Drapr, an e-commerce startup that powers 3D-fit technology and virtual fitting rooms to reduce online returns, and also participated in the latest funding round for obé fitness, a digital fitness platform that partners with Gap Inc’s Athleta Brand to bring entertainment, pop culture, and design to fitness.

Gap Inc recently released its 2020 Global Sustainability Report in which it said it is on track to meet its goal of sourcing 100% renewable energy by 2030 for globally owned and operated facilities.

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