Smart grocery cart startup Shopic has secured funding to accelerate the rollout of its clip-on device in the US and Europe.
The Tel Aviv, Israel-based company said it aims to challenge Amazon’s Dash Cart with a clip-on alternative that works with any cart in a seamless shopping experience “from shelf to the car “. The U.S. expansion coincides with Shopic’s $35 million Series B investment round led by Qualcomm Ventures, bringing its total funding to $56 million.
Shops AI-powered clip device uses computer vision algorithms to identify items placed in the shopping cart in real time, while displaying product promotions and related product discounts. The self-service checkout interface allows customers to checkout and pay without queuing. Shoppers remove the device when they’re done and roll the cart to the parking lot.
“Consumers today are used to frictionless online shopping experiences, but retailers are struggling to deliver them to in-store shoppers,” according to Raz Golan, CEO and co-founder of Shopic. “As the only solution that uses full computer vision rather than barcode scanning, Shopic enables retailers to not only meet customer expectations, but also delight them.”
The attachment uses a duo of cameras inside the cart to support catalogs of over 50,000 items, cover edge cases, and achieve low latency with limited processing power. The algorithm can identify products thrown into the cart when it is in motion or when multiple products are placed in the carts simultaneously.
Live system deployments found that Shopic’s solution increased shoppers’ monthly spend by 8%.
Shopic also provides real-time inventory management and customer behavior reporting for retailers via an analytics dashboard. The insights also include aisle heatmaps, promotion monitoring, and new product adoption metrics.
Merav Weinryb, Vice President of Qualcomm Israel Ltd. and managing director of Qualcomm Ventures Israel and Europe, explained why Qualcomm supports Shopic: “We support Shopic’s vision of hybrid retail, where the best of online shopping and physical store experiences merge,” she said. . “Shopic’s smart cart, which is a compelling and pragmatic smart retail solution, helps enable this future. We were very impressed with the performance of Shopic’s trolley in live supermarkets, demonstrating the potential of AI to transform everyone’s daily experiences.
Other participating investors include Vintage Investment Partners and Clal Insurance, as well as existing Shopic investors IBI Tech Fund, Tal Ventures, Claridge Israel and Shufersal.
Shopic is targeting Amazon as it rolls out an improved version of the Dash Cart, which brings additional functionality and now carries more groceries and can be taken by shoppers to their car.
Other grocery players have also shown increased interest in smart shopping cart solutions.
Last fall, Instacart acquired smart cart maker Caper Inc. in a $350 million deal. Caper’s artificial intelligence (AI) powered cart allows shoppers to scan items they select from store shelves and pay for them directly through the cart, eliminating the need to wait at checkout. Caper’s cart was already being tested at US grocers such as The Kroger Co. (who dubbed the cart “KroGO”), Wakefern Food Corp. and Schnuck Markets. Sobeys Inc., one of Canada’s largest food and drug retailers, rolled out the Caper cart after testing the technology in October 2019.
And last May, Veeve Inc. unveiled a partnership with Albertsons Cos. to drive its AI-powered shopping carts. Veeve smart carts allow shoppers to scan, pay and go. The technology combines barcode scanning and computer vision to identify products added or removed from the cart. A built-in scale captures the weight and calculates the price of unpackaged groceries, such as produce, and a touchscreen near the cart handle keeps a running total of the purchase. After completing their purchases, customers press the “Checkout” button and tap to pay or insert a credit/debit card using the adjacent payment device.
Plans are for Albertsons to pilot Veeve Smart Carts in “a few dozen stores” across the country later this year, Seattle-based Veeve said. Its smart cart is also being tested by Western grocer Raley’s.