Israeli tech startup Shopic bags $35M to bring its AI-enabled smart cart to top U.S. grocery chains
These days, leading grocers and retailers are constantly exploring smart cart technologies to meet the growing demand for frictionless shopping and cashier-less checkout. However, introducing purpose-built smart carts to a store is often operationally complicated and very costly.
Enter Shopic, a Tel Aviv, Israel-based smart grocery shopping startup that provides a frictionless shopping experience for medium and large grocery stores. Shopic overcomes these challenges with an AI-powered clip-on device that can turn any standard shopping cart into a smart cart.
We wrote about Shopic a year ago after the Israeli startup closed a $10 million funding to let consumers make purchases in large retail chains without having to wait in line at checkouts. A lot has changed since then. The startup has expanded its footprint. Through partnerships, its AI-enabled smart cart has now been deployed in top grocery chains around the world.
Today, Shopic announced it has raised a $35 million Series B funding to bring its AI-enabled smart cart to top U.S. grocery chains. The round which brings SHopic’s total funding raised to $56 million, was led by Qualcomm Ventures, with participation from other investors including Vintage Investment Partners and Clal Insurance, together with Shopic’s existing investors IBI Tech Fund, Tal Ventures, and Shufersal.
Founded in 2015 by CEO Raz Golan, Dan Bendler, and Eran Kravitz, Shopic is transforming brick-and-mortar stores with its frictionless, personalized retail solutions. The company has developed an AI-powered device that can be attached to any standard shopping cart, turning it into a smart cart.
Shopic offers an AI-powered clip-on device that transforms shopping carts into smart carts. Utilizing computer vision algorithms, Shopic identifies items placed in the cart in real-time, while displaying to shoppers product promotions and discounts on related products. The Shopic system acts as a self-service checkout interface as well, saving customers the time and hassle of standing in line to pay.
Data collected by the company during live deployments of its system found that Shopic’s solution increased shoppers’ monthly spending by 8%.
Shopic not only delivers a new retail experience for in-store shoppers but also provides real-time inventory management and customer behavioral insights for grocers through its analytics dashboard. These reports also include aisle heatmaps, promotion monitoring, and new product adoption metrics.
“Today’s consumers are used to friction-free online shopping experiences, but retailers struggle to deliver them for in-store shoppers,” said Raz Golan, CEO and co-founder of Shopic. “As the only solution that uses full computer vision rather than barcode scanning, Shopic empowers retailers to not only meet customer expectations but to delight them”.
The Series B investment will be used to expand the company’s penetration of global markets. Shopic’s solutions are already deployed by several grocers in Europe, the Americas, and Israel. They include some of the world’s largest supermarket chains.
As opposed to monolithic smart carts, such as Amazon Dash, Shopic’s clip-on device can be used with any shopping cart, offering a highly cost-effective implementation path for grocers. Additionally, shoppers can remove the device when their transactions are complete and use the cart to take their groceries out to the parking lot, completing a truly frictionless shelf-to-car shopping journey.
Inside the cart, Shopic uses a camera duo that enables its AI-computer vision model to support large catalogs of over 50,000 items, cover edge cases and achieve low latency with limited processing power. The algorithm can even identify products thrown into the cart even when it’s in motion or when people put multiple products in their carts simultaneously.
Merav Weinryb, VP of Qualcomm Israel Ltd. and Managing Director of Qualcomm Ventures Israel and Europe, said: “We support Shopic’s vision of hybrid retail, where the best of online shopping and physical store experiences merge. Shopic’s smart cart, which is a compelling and pragmatic smart retail solution is helping enable this future. We were very impressed with the performance of Shopic’s cart in live supermarkets, demonstrating the potential of AI to transform everyday experiences for everyone.”