Consumers are one step closer to wide-spread checkout-free grocery stores, following Israeli start-up Trigo’s latest funding round.
The retail tech company, which uses AI and camera sensors to create ‘autonomous’ shops, has raised $100M (around £86.6M) in a new equity financing round led by Singapore investment firm Temasek.
Money raised by the start-up will be put towards both scaling and commercialising the technology further in Europe, the US and new markets.
Trigo has already attracted the attention of several big players within the grocery store space, including Tesco in the UK. Its technology was used in the brand’s first ever checkout-free supermarket in London last year.
The start-up creates autonomous grocery stores by first installing ceiling mounted cameras and shelf sensors. These are used to create a ‘digital twin’ of the shop, and computer vision algorithms log interactions between shoppers and stock.
The sum of this technology means consumers can walk into their local shop, select items from the shelves and leave without needing to queue at a checkout and manually scan and pay for goods. Payments and receipts are settled digitally.
By making the in-store shopping experience more seamless, in the same way online shopping is, the hope is to drive people back towards bricks-and-mortar shops.
Additionally, automating more grocery store operations could help in minimising food waste through better stock management, Trigo says.
Beyond this technology, the start-up also plans on using the funding to continue development of its inventory management application, StoreOS.
According to Trigo, the system will help stores “track inventory in real-time, minimise out-of-stock and expired items for in-store and online shopping, mitigate fraud, personalise marketing, and manage store and supply chain operations predictively.”
Michael Gabay, Trigo Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer said: “By opening multiple autonomous stores with five of the world’s leading grocery retailers, we have proven that we can deploy computer-vision and AI to empower physical stores with the same kinds of insights and capabilities that e-commerce stores have.
“This investment allows Trigo to build on this success and focus on three core initiatives: expanding our autonomous retail platform, building increasingly larger stores, and executing a pipeline of contracted stores around the world.”
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