AiFi, a startup originating from San Francisco that builds autonomous retail technologies announced US$14.5million pre-Series B fundraise on 19th October 2020. The funding investors included Qualcomm Ventures, its existing investors TransLink Capital, Cervin Ventures and new investor Plum Alley.
The products offered by AiFi
The technology company AiFi creates cutting-edge systems for store automation. It combines Artificial Intelligence, expandable sensor fusion technology and edge computing, to provide automated checkout operations for retailers of all sizes. The NanoStore by AiFi is built to provide a modular, plug and play automatic store of the future with a small footprint. NanoStore can be operated unstaffed 24*7 to deliver faster and convenient shopping experiences near offices, schools, transit centers and homes.
AiFi intends to use this fresh investment to scale the number of stores that use its offered technology. It is also planning to employ the investment for increasing its sales, engineering and marketing teams. Since its inception in 2016, the enterprise has raised US$30 million funding to date. Presently, they have 14 stores operating successfully in Asia, Europe and the US and by the end of 2020; they are having new ones coming to Texas and California. AiFi is also building hundreds of retrofitted autonomous stores around the globe and has planned to open 330 stores in 2021.
They are also working with edge computing and 5G, which was one of the driving forces for AiFi to build partnership with Qualcomm. AiFi is expecting this relationship will help them to deploy the technology quickly and refine their product with good profitability.
The OASIS platform by AiFi
AiFi’s OASIS or the Orchestrated Autonomous Store Infrastructure and Services provides a shopping experience free from checkout for the customers and enables the retailers of the store to build and easily operate their stores with customization and operational tools. OASIS doesn’t use any facial recognition algorithm, processes all data on-spot and can be adapted to campuses, gas stations, grocery stores, pharmacies and offices. They would just require a minimum number of RGB cameras. For the management work, it ships with a white label application that the customers can customize to suit their brand. The app supports various payment channels with the Visa, Mastercard, Adyen, Stripe and other providers’ integration. The platform can track the store inventory and recognize misplaced items.
The IT Company was founded in 2016 by Ying Zheng and Steve Gu and is headquartered in Santa Clara, California. It was also highlighted with the diversity spotlight for being a women founded enterprise in the US.
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