Consumption Information Real Time (CIRT) has been award second place at the prestigious Africa Cup Awards for its Q-Hop solution that provides a digital shopping experience in a physical store environment.

The Africa Cup Award – hosted by the SA Innovation Summit – aims to promote and develop the entrepreneurial creativity of start-up operations who are disrupting traditional ways of doing business. It is billed as a centre stage platform that provides start-ups and early stage companies in tech-enabled sectors from around the world, to compete for investment, showcase products and services, gain market and media exposure, and secure support in the stages of scaling and growth. It is hailed as an opportunity for all start-ups with a high growth potential, scalability, and expansion plans, to showcase their technologies while obtaining access to funding, new markets, and exposure on high profile public platforms.

According to Audrey Verhaeghe, CEO of SA innovation Summit, the judges looked for scalable technology solutions, strong teams, traction, and companies that solve a defendable problem in Africa that can scale into global markets. “CIRT performed excellently in all of these areas.

“Companies like CIRT are leading the field in the new, fast-growing, tech solutions from Africa to the world, race. We believe in what they have to offer as a business and as a solution,” she says.

Ajay Lalu, co-founder of CIRT, says this is a high profile accolade for its globally competitive technology. “We are thrilled to have our locally developed technology acknowledged in this way in a field of stiff international competition. It is a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase our ground-breaking Q-Hop solution both locally and internationally.”

Q-Hop creates a convenient digital experience for retail customers by allowing them to use a mobile application to scan the barcodes of items they wish to purchase, and then pay automatically using a variety of digital payment platforms including PayPal; BitCoin; Masterpass; Zapper; SnapScan, and mobile wallets.

At the back end, the Q-Hop system collects and analyses customer data to enable real-time decision-making aimed at maximising profits through providing personalised real time promotions and continuously improving the customer experience. “We use advanced proprietary artificial intelligence engines to provide unique insight into shopper behaviour,” says Lalu.

“The retail sector is fast moving, and customer experience is everything. Consumers want technology that allows them to spend less time checking out. CIRT invented Q-Hop to address this challenge. This world class solution is built to bring a digital experience to physical store environments, ensuring that brick and mortar retailers can remain competitive with online retailers like Amazon,” he adds.

ShiSh Shridhar, global retail lead of Microsoft for Startups, adds: “CIRT’s Q-Hop solution enables our joint customers to benefit from high value functionality and helps retailers to drive a uniquely convenient digital experience for shoppers. We look forward to supporting CIRT in its drive to deliver its innovative solution to our joint customers.”