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From Go Stores to Dash Carts

From Go Stores to Dash Carts
July 15, 2020

Amazon is making another splash in the cashierless tech industry. After opening its first Amazon Go stores to the public in 2018, Amazon is doubling down on cashierless technology with innovative smart shopping carts. Despite the initial success, the Go stores have smaller footprints and are closer in feel to convenience stores than grocery stores.

This paradigm shift prompted Amazon to roll out the Dash Carts during the pandemic. The Dash Carts are embedded with cameras, sensors, a weighing component and a smart display that automatically tracks a shopper's order, while allowing for a digital checkout without a human cashier. The carts, designed for small- to mid-sized grocery trips, will come first to Amazon's grocery store in the Woodland Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles, which is slated to open in 2020.

Amazon is expanding its real-world footprint with another unconventional physical product: a shopping cart. While it certainly looks like an aesthetic upgrade to your standard grocery store cart, the Dash Cart (as it’s called) is in fact a smart version of the tried-and-true food transport vehicle.

It’s equipped with a touchscreen and other various hardware components to automatically detect what items you’re placing inside and even how many of those items you’ve picked off the shelf. When you’re done shopping, you’re allowed to take the cart through a special lane that checks you out digitally without requiring a human cashier to ring you up.

The idea builds on Amazon’s approach of trying to take the convenience it has mastered in the digital realm and bring it into the real world. Amazon’s efforts are now resulting in hybrid products that bridge the digital and physical, if only in small and experimental bursts.

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Cashierless Tech Companies:

Grabango is a relative newcomer to the cashierless space and came out of stealth earlier this year. It uses many tiny smartphone camera-sized cameras mounted on the ceiling to saturate its computer vision field and keep track of purchases. Grabango’s hook is that it integrates with the store checkout system, so when shoppers are done, they can still pay with a credit card or cash without a cashier scanning each item. Grabango has raised $17.3M and says it is in pilots with three major grocers and one convenience store chain.

Standard Cognition has its own working store in San Francisco to showcase its cashierless chops. Standard Cognition’s website makes a big deal about it not using facial recognition and being built around privacy. The company has raised $51M in funding and says it has agreements with four retailers across Asia, North America, and Europe. It has also acquired cashierless tech startup DeepMagic and Checkout Technologies.

Zippin is a cashierless checkout technology provider. Zippin uses a combination of computer vision, AI, and sensor fusion technology to offer consumers a completely checkout-free shopping experience. Launched in 2015, the company is powering four autonomous public stores and several private pilot stores globally. Zippin most recently made headlines for its newly operational autonomous concession stand in Golden 1 Center, home of the Sacramento Kings.

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Since last week, PrivCo has added:
808 Profiles Updates | 113 M&A Deals144 Funding Activities

Funding & Deal Highlights:

Beast Brands, a Nashville maker of personal care products, closes its Series A funding round of over $3M that included participants Callais Capital Management, Sand Hill Angels, and Capital Innovators.

1sm, the first Revenue Operations Analytics Platform, announces that it has closed a pre-seed funding round of $375,000 with participation from Jenny Fielding (Managing Director at Techstars), Tim Geisenheimer (Founder & COO at Facet Data), Michael Ruskin (COO at Jetson), and Josh Dunham (VP, Partnerships & Business Development at Life Happens), along with senior executives and angels from Oracle, Okta, mParticle, Pitchbook, BlueCrest Capital Management, and The Venture Center.


Bien-Etre Labs, a High Point, NC-based nutraceutical research, discovery and development company, completes a $7M investment funding round.

Paige raises $15M from Goldman Sachs to detect cancer with computer vision.

Drone-maker Skydio raises a $100M Series C round of funding led by Next47.

UiPath, a leading startup in the space, announces a $225M Series E at an eye-popping $10.2B valuation.

SEATTLE, WA based LumiThera raises approximately $14M in Series C led by WaterStar Capital.

Mmhmm, a company that turns Zoom calls into TV shows, raises $4.5M led by Sequoia Capital.

Illinois-based Reedy Industries has acquired Arctic Engineering Co. Inc., though financial details of the deal are not being disclosed.

McClatchy, America's second-largest newspaper chain, announces that Chatham Asset Management, a New Jersey-based hedge fund, will take over the company's assets as a result of its bankruptcy auction.

Voyager Space Holdings, Inc. (Voyager), the world's first space-focused holding company, announces the acquisition of  Pioneer Astronautics in a cash and stock transaction.

CoasterStone, based in Indianapolis, announces that it has acquired Tree-Free Custom, which has rebranded as 4 Quarts by CoasterStone. 4 Quarts by CoasterStone will now bring activity books, monthly planners, coloring books, playing cards, drinkware and more to CoasterStone’s product line.

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