Israeli startup Stor.ai raises $21 million in funding to usher in a new era of online grocery shopping
The grocery industry is facing one of the most transformative years in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. By 2025, digital grocery sales are projected to be 60% higher than pre-pandemic estimates. Yet the rising popularity of online grocery shopping, in general, has often come at the cost of customer loyalty to their preferred brick-and-mortar retailers. While some grocers have implemented eCommerce solutions or apps to quickly meet consumer demands, these platforms are not a viable strategy for long-term profitability and risk decreasing brand loyalty and ultimately putting grocers out of business.
Enter Stor.ai (formerly known as Self Point), a Tel Aviv, Israel-based tech startup that provides all grocers, from smaller local retailers to national chains with hundreds of branches, with the tools to build and manage their own catalog of inventory and leverage advanced fulfillment methods to propel online business and meet growing consumer needs. Stor.ai’s quick time-to-market empowers grocers to swiftly move online, ensuring that customers continue to have the positive experience they already associate with the brand.
Today, stor.ai announced it has raised $21 million in an extended Series A round led by Meitav Dash and Mizrahi Tefahot and supported by existing investor Kli Capital and individual investors including Mayer Gniwisch. Stor.ai will use the capital to integrate new, next-generation features into its core offering, accelerate the company’s growth in North America, and enter into new markets in Latin America and Europe, helping grocery stores thrive in an increasingly digitized market.
The latest funding will accelerate stor.ai’s go-to-market of new, next-gen in-store shopping technology. These new AI-based tools will complement stor.ai’s existing flagship offerings, which include an eCommerce solution seamlessly integrated with grocers’ POS systems, and stor.ai’s Picker-App, which customizes and maps in-store grocery fulfillment. With its broadened product suite, stor.ai will further empower retailers to offer shoppers a holistic, customer-first experience, whether they prefer to shop in-store or online.
Founded in 2014 by Udi Yadin, Yossi Rabinovitz, and Yossi Weinfeld, Stor.ai a digital transformation partner for retailers and wholesalers of all sizes, providing immersive and enriching experiences across digital touchpoints inside and outside the store. Stor.ai has a growing client and partner base including Unilever, Toshiba, Microsoft, and more.
Serving as a change agent for the industry, the stor.ai technology suite supports food retailers’ transition to online, integrating fulfillment methods and point of sale and retail catalogs into a mobile-first, custom-branded eCommerce experience within days. stor.ai’s digital commerce engine combined with Artificial Intelligence, omnichannel marketing tools, and delivery logistics software, elevates customer experience and loyalty and results in increased sales and profit.
“I am delighted to see stor.ai build on the 250% year-on-year growth we achieved over the past twelve months and begin an exciting new era for the company, in which we are set to expand both our product offering and our customer base,” said Orlee Tal, CEO, stor.ai. “Our digital transformation platform provides a win-win scenario for customers and grocers alike: shoppers replicate the in-store experience at their favorite stores, while stores can seamlessly integrate a range of digital solutions at a time when facilitating online shopping is integral to their business. Customer-first commerce is the future of this industry.”
As a result of the funding round, stor.ai will also continue its growth and expansion in North America and broaden its development into new markets in Latin America and Europe. At present, stor.ai works with hundreds of grocers in North America and worldwide to implement bespoke digital systems.
“Stor.ai has established a reputation as a market leader providing top-of-the-range technological solutions, helping retailers realign to customers’ needs during the most challenging time for business in recent history,” said Guy Mani, Meitav Dash’s CIO for provident and pension funds, Meitav Dash. “We are proud to support such exciting eCommerce products, as online grocery shopping continues to capture record market shares, with stor.ai ideally placed to build on its current growth and expand throughout 2021 and beyond. Customers’ needs and preferences are constantly evolving, and we trust stor.ai’s experience, market leadership, and ability to help shape future trends with flexible and creative solutions that will enhance the entire customer-based experience for any retailer.”