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    • Sorry as a Service wins global startup accelerator to partner with Autoglass®

11 September 2016

Sorry as a Service wins global startup accelerator to partner with Autoglass

Belron®,  the world's leading vehicle glass repair and replacement company and parent to UK brand Autoglass®, will invest £50,000 in personalised customer relationship startup - Sorry as a Service - the first startup investment from its global startup accelerator. Innovation Partner, L Marks, will match the investment.

London, 12 September 2016: In March, Belron® launched its global initiative, called ˜Drive: the startup accelerator', alongside investor and innovation partner L Marks. The initiative was designed to fast-track the growth of startups and improve Belron® operations and its approach to delivering an exceptional customer experience.

Four startups - Sorry as a Service, Atta, Smartcalling and TheThings.io - were selected to join the accelerator and partnered with Belron® Business Units across the globe for an unparalleled opportunity to trial their products and solutions.

During the 12 week programme Sorry as a Service were mentored and deeply immersed in the customer and digital team at Autoglass®.  As a result, Sorry as a Service are now developing a platform to provide easy access to information about each customer's experience and interaction with Autoglass®. With the ultimate goal of delighting customers with a personal touch, Autoglass® are exploring how to leverage the new partnership and implement the Sorry as a Service platform.

Also during the programme, Atta worked with Belron® Canada to develop a gamification app to increase employee engagement - the pilot still has a few weeks to run; SmartCalling worked predominantly with Carglass® Germany to integrate their solution into the Carglass® Germany Android app allowing customers who have the app to be delivered a customised call screen; and TheThings.io worked with the Carglass® Spain team to create a prototype of an in car display device that uses sensors to capture certain information from the vehicle and can be used to alert the owner when things go wrong.

Following a successful day of demonstrations in July from the four startups taking part, Belron® has announced that it will continue working with all of the companies and, together with L Marks, will invest £100,000 in Sorry as a Service.

Nick Burton, Head of Digital & Innovative Technology at Belron®, said: We're delighted to be able to continue to work with all the startups that took part in Drive. Each startup has brought a different type of solution that could really make a difference to our business. We're thrilled to be investing in Sorry as a Service and can really see the potential of their approach and the value it will add to Autoglass®. This has been a really successful initiative; we are really pleased at how working with startups has challenged how we think about, and approach, the things we do every day. We're looking forward to being a part of the growth of each of these startups.

Stuart Marks, Chairman, L Marks commented: Drive has been a very successful accelerator. The quality of the finalists and the relationships built during the programme mean that Belron will continue to work each company and deploy their products and solutions.

For more information, please visit: www.drivewithBelron.com

“ ENDS “

For more information please contact the Autoglass Press office:

Delia Williams-Falokun

(+44) 207 413 3041

Delia.williams-falokun@hkstrategies.com 

Note to editors:

About Belron®:

Belron® is the world's leading vehicle glass repair and replacement group. We operate worldwide, employing 26,500 people in over 30 countries across five continents. We focus on building strong brands in the countries we operate in. These include Carglass®, Safelite®, Autoglass®, Lebeau®, O'Brien®, and Smith&Smith®. You can find out more about Belron® at www.Belron.com.

About L Marks:

L Marks are an investor and innovation partner who run corporate partnership programmes that bring together the corporate and startup worlds. L Marks help corporates to harness the disruption coming from the startup world to innovate and future-proof their business, as well as helping startups get the funding, mentoring and the validation they need to grow their business. L Marks are partners in JLAB with John Lewis, BMW Innovation Lab with BMW Financial Services and JD Works with N Brown.

About Drive: the startup accelerator from Belron®:

Drive was the 12-week startup accelerator run by Belron® from May to July 2016. It was designed to fast-track the growth of startups that could improve Belron® operations and its approach to delivering an exceptional customer experience. Each team involved in the programme was partnered with a Belron® Business Unit “ Autoglass® UK, Belron® Canada, Carglass® Spain, Carglass® France and Carglass® Germany “ with whom they had the opportunity to trial their products and solutions. You can find more about Drive at www.drivewithBelron.com.

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