Tiliter, An Australian startup that is using Computer Vision to power cashierless checkout tech that replaces the need for barcodes on products has closed a $ 7.5 million series of funding led by Investec Emerging Companies.
The company, founded in 2017, is using A.I. For retail product recognition – manually identifying loose items that do not contain barcodes (such as fresh fruit or ripe goods), as well as reduction of packaging waste, to claim benefits that remove the need for retail staff. is.
It also argues that AI-based product recognition systems reduce inaccurate product selection (either intentionally or accidentally).
“Some items simply do not contain barcodes that lead to the slow and poor experience of manual identification,” says Martin Carafilis, co-founder and CEO. “These are items like bulk items, fresh produce, bakery pieces, mix and match etc. Sometimes barcodes are not visible or may be damaged.
“The most important thing is that a huge amount of plastic has been made in the world for barcode and identity packaging. With this technology we can dramatically reduce and, in some cases, eliminate single-use plastics for retailers. “
Currently the team focuses on supermarket verticals – and claims 99% accuracy in under a second for its product identification system.
It is developed hardware that can be added to existing checkouts to run computer vision systems – aimed at offering retailers a “plug and play” cashierless solution.
Marketing text on its website adds its AI software: “We use our own data and do not collect any in-store. It works with bags, and can even spell out the toughest sub-categories such as truss, roma, and gourmet tomatoes or Red Delicious, Royal Gala and Pink Lady Apples. It can also distinguish between organic and non-organic products [by detecting certain identification indicators that retailers may use for organic items]. “
“We use our already trained software,” says Carafilis. “Asked if the system needed a training period to upgrade the retailer’s inventory.” “We have focused on creating a versatile and scalable software solution that works for all retailers. In the example there is no item in the software that can be collected by the supermarket in about 20min and has the ability to learn. “
As well as boasting easy installation, given hardware can bolt on existing retail IT, Tilliter estimates “lower costs than what Autonomous Store Solutions currently offers. (Amazon is a notable competitor on that front .)
It sells the hardware outright, charging an annual subscription fee for the software (this includes 24/7 global service and support).
“We provide proprietary hardware (cameras and processors) that can be sold at a lower price on any existing checkout, scale of sales system or point of view, which integrates our vision software with a point of sale,” Carafilis says Are, that driving the demand for epidemics is easy to implement cashierless technology.
The startup cited a 300% increase in ‘scan and go’ adoption in the US over the past year due to COVID-19, for example, that further global growth is expected.
It’s not breaking customer numbers at this level – but early adopters for its AI-powered product recognition system include Woolworth with more than 20 live stores in Australia; Countdown in New Zealand and several retail chains in the US such as New York City’s Westside Market.
Series A funding will go on rapid expansion across Europe and the US – “many” supermarkets will be ready to adopt its technology in the coming months.