Trigo, an Israel-based computer vision company building the infrastructure for autonomous retail stores and retail analytics has raised $100 million in a new equity financing round to scale deployment of autonomous urban supermarkets across Europe and the US, enter new geographies, and develop its comprehensive store and inventory management software application suite, StoreOS™.
Frictionless shopping, also called seamless or cashierless shopping, where shoppers can pick their items and walk out without queuing at checkout, is gaining traction globally as grocery giants scramble to match consumer expectations for convenience and personalization on the one hand, while keeping costs down and optimizing inventory and supply chain management. Smart checkout technology is estimated to process nearly $400 billion of transactions within the next five years, according to Juniper Research.
The investment was led by Singapore investment firm Temasek and 83North. New strategic investors include SAP SE, who will also help commercialize Trigo’s solution. Existing investors joined the round, including Hetz Ventures, Red Dot Capital Partners, Vertex Ventures, Viola, and supermarket giant REWE Group, one of the world’s leading retailers.
Trigo transforms existing supermarkets into fully autonomous digital stores where feeds from ceiling-mounted cameras and shelf sensors are analyzed to generate a “digital twin” of the store. Computer vision algorithms – similar to the ones on driverless cars – log interactions between humans and merchandise. The result is a fundamental transformation in the way physical stores are being managed and experienced by both shoppers and operators. For example, shoppers can walk into stores, select their items off the shelves, and leave without having to queue at checkout or scan any goods. Payments and receipts are settled digitally.
Built on top of that core technological infrastructure, the company will offer retailers access to additional applications through its StoreOS™ store operating system, with which they can track inventory in real-time, minimize out-of-stock and expired items for in-store and online shopping, mitigate fraud, personalize marketing, and manage store and supply chain operations predictively.
Trigo’s computer vision system generates a 3D digital representation of the physical space of the store, using feeds from ceiling-mounted cameras and shelf censors to analyze interactions between shoppers and items. The system recognizes the shoppers’ movement while they are in the store, and correlates that with computer vision data on the items they pick up. Trigo does not know the identity of the shoppers at any stage. The system does not use facial recognition, does not scan eyes, fingerprints, or any other biometric features, and Trigo does not hold any direct identifiers of shoppers.
Trigo’s solutions are currently deployed with some of the world’s leading grocery retailers, including Tesco PLC in the UK, ALDI Nord in The Netherlands, REWE Group in Berlin and Cologne, Netto Marken-Discount (also known as Netto) in Munich, Israel’s Shufersal (SAE), and Wakefern Food Corp., the largest retailer-owned cooperative in the U.S.
Trigo will use the funds to execute on significant deployment of stores, increase the size of stores supported to include full-sized urban supermarkets, expand into new geographies, and further develop its StoreOS™ offering.
“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,” said Michael Gabay, Trigo co-founder and CEO. “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.”
Trigo’s system also aims to minimize waste, where perishable and other expired products need to be discarded. The annual value of retail shrink (including grocery) is estimated at around $100 billion.
“Trigo’s superior computer vision technology built the infrastructure for grab-and-go shopping and laid the foundation for additional in-store scenarios of the future,” said Joern Keller, EVP and Head of SAP S/4HANA Industry Cloud at SAP SE. “As a leading provider of enterprise software for the retail industry, SAP is delighted to join as a strategic investor to Trigo to support the development of the StoreOS autonomous supermarket operating system. Their solutions will complement SAP’s cloud solutions for retail, integrating seamlessly with SAP S/4HANA and pave the way towards building an intelligent store.”
According to Trigo’s analysis of Kantar supermarket data, there are about 500,000 convenience and small format grocery stores worldwide that have the potential to be retrofitted with AI-based frictionless technology. Around 120,000 of them are in the EU alone. The technology for scaling to larger store formats is maturing in parallel.
Trigo PR: Amir Mizroch, amir[at]orangegrovecomms.com