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Delivery apps Bottles, Checkers Sixty60 scoop BCX digital awards

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The Checkers Sixty60 app took first place in the corporate category.
The Checkers Sixty60 app took first place in the corporate category.

Grocery delivery services Bottles and Checkers Sixty60 were crowned the overall winners of the BCX Digital Innovation Awards, which took place last week.

Now in its second year, the awards programme seeks to recognise SA’s most innovative small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and large corporates/enterprises.

The initiative is aimed at setting the standards for businesses as they take on the challenge to embrace digitalisation, in turn contributing to the economic strength of the country.

Bottles, which scooped the top prize for the SME category, is an on-demand liquor delivery app, launched in 2016. Following the prohibition on the sale of alcohol in March due to the COVID-19 lockdown, Bottles re-purposed its app, emerging with a new offer to deliver on-demand “grocery essentials” through its partnership with Pick n Pay.

Last month, Pick n Pay acquired Bottles, in a move which it said will help the grocery, clothing and general merchandise retailer strengthen its online business.

The Checkers on-demand grocery delivery app Sixty60 took first place in the corporate category.

Billed as SA’s first 60-minute grocery delivery service from a supermarket chain, the mobile app allows users to shop for groceries and drinks from the comfort of their homes, with the delivery arriving within an hour from the time of order. Users can track the status of their order and delivery in real-time.

Speaking at the awards, Jonas Bogoshi, CEO of BCX, noted 2020 was a year of disruption that forced businesses and industries to innovate and think outside of the proverbial box.

“Congratulations to the winners and the runners-up. We hope to see them rise in size and influence, as well as in the impact their companies make not only in the country but at a global level.

“Businesses had to reinvent and reimagine their services and products within very challenging socio-economic conditions to unlock greater customer value. This year, we had phenomenal entrants in the BCX Digital Innovation Awards, many of whom turned adversity into opportunity for their businesses. I am encouraged by the level of innovation and imagination that exists in South African businesses,” added Bogoshi.

The main judging criteria this year was to gauge the results, set targets and impact to society that the winning innovations have had or made.

The runners-up for the SME category were: Ozow Revolution (second place), a digital payments platform that facilitates payments for SMEs; and FinChatBot (third place), a conversational artificial intelligence start-up that helps financial service providers acquire and retain customers while reducing operating costs.

The runners-up for the corporate/enterprise category were: Netcare VirtualCare, a new telehealth platform for virtual doctor consults; and Old Mutual Wealth, which has built a platform to simplify complex financial planning for clients, through the use of in-house technology and innovative financial planning tools.

The inaugural BCX Digital Innovation Awards in 2019 saw digital identity platform provider iiDENTIFii bag first place in the SME category for its innovation in biometric identity authentication. For the corporate category, Old Mutual Group secured first prize for its innovations in cognitive automation and artificial intelligence.

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