BOSTON — Marketing analytics firm Dunnhumby on Tuesday said it has launched Dunnhumby Ventures, an investment firm that will focus on financing retail technology start-ups.

“We are looking for retail’s game changers,” says Dave Balter, global head of investments at Dunnhumby, who will run the new operation from Boston. “Dunnhumby Ventures is a strategic resource to help fund and accelerate innovations, startups, and motivated entrepreneurs with tenacity.”


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Dunnhumby, which is owned by Tesco in the U.K. and has a joint venture with Kroger Co. in the U.S., said the new Dunnhumby Ventures division will also provide strategic input and mentorship to tech companies. Average initial investments will be $100,000 to $500,000.

One of the first companies selected for dunnhumby Ventures’ portfolio is InfoScout, a San Francisco-based start-up that seeks to give CPG brands a comprehensive view of customer behavior, by item, across all retailers. The company's mobile apps incentivize shoppers to share information about their everyday purchases with InfoScout, generating insights for the company's brand clients, which include Procter & Gamble, Nestlé and Unilever.

Read more: DunnhumbyUSA Hires Two VPs, Promotes Another

“The mobile and digital landscape is opening up innumerable innovative ways for customers to find value and convenience,” said Simon Hay, chief executive officer of Dunnhumby. “We are always looking for creative ways to help them and earn their loyalty. The explosion of data is introducing many new opportunities for us to do this.”

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