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Trigo raises $100MM to scale AI-powered frictionless grocery retail platform

Trigo Raises $100M to Scale AI-Powered Frictionless Grocery Retail Platform
Trigo-powered ALDI Nord store, Utrecht. Credit: ALDI Nord.

TEL AVIV, Israel – Trigo, an Israel-based computer vision company building the infrastructure for autonomous retail stores and retail analytics has raised $100 million in a new equity financing round to scale deployment of autonomous urban supermarkets across Europe and the US, enter new geographies, and develop its comprehensive store and inventory management software application suite, StoreOS.

The investment was led by Singapore investment firm Temasek and 83North. New strategic investors include SAP SE, who will also help commercialize Trigo’s solution. Existing investors joined the round, including Hetz Ventures, Red Dot Capital Partners, Vertex Ventures, Viola, and supermarket giant REWE Group, one of the world’s leading retailers.

Trigo transforms existing supermarkets into fully autonomous digital stores where feeds from ceiling-mounted cameras and shelf sensors are analyzed to generate a “digital twin” of the store. Computer vision algorithms –similar to the ones on driverless cars –log interactions between humans and merchandise.

The result is a fundamental transformation in the way physical stores are being managed and experienced by both shoppers and operators. For example, shoppers can walk into stores, select their items off the shelves, and leave without having to queue at checkout or scan any goods. Payments and receipts are settled digitally.

Built on top of that core technological infrastructure, the company will offer retailers access to additional applications through its StoreOS store operating system, with which they can track inventory in real-time, minimize out-of-stock and expired items for in-store and online shopping, mitigate fraud, personalize marketing, and manage store and supply chain operations predictively.

Trigo’s solutions are currently deployed with some of the world’s leading grocery retailers, including Tesco PLC in the UKALDI Nord in The Netherlands, REWE Group in Berlin and Cologne, Netto Marken-Discount (also known as Netto) in MunichIsrael’s Shufersal (SAE), and Wakefern Food Corp., the largest retailer-owned cooperative in the U.S.

Trigo will use the funds to execute on significant deployment of stores, increase the size of stores supported to include full-sized urban supermarkets, expand into new geographies, and further develop its StoreOS offering.

Michael Gabay, Trigo co-founder and CEO said, “By opening multiple autonomous stores with five of the world’s leading grocery retailers, we have proven that we can deploy computer-vision and AI to empower physical stores with the same kinds of insights and capabilities that e-commerce stores have. This investment allows Trigo to build on this success and focus on three core initiatives: expanding our autonomous retail platform, building increasingly larger stores, and executing a pipeline of contracted stores around the world.”

Trigo co-founders Michael (left) and Daniel Gabay. Credit: Tom Bartov.

Joern Keller, EVP and Head of SAP S/4HANA Industry Cloud at SAP SE said, “Trigo’s superior computer vision technology built the infrastructure for grab-and-go shopping and laid the foundation for additional in-store scenarios of the future. As a leading provider of enterprise software for the retail industry, SAP is delighted to join as a strategic investor to Trigo to support the development of the StoreOS autonomous supermarket operating system. Their solutions will complement SAP’s cloud solutions for retail, integrating seamlessly with SAP S/4HANA and pave the way towards building an intelligent store.”

What is frictionless shopping: Also called seamless or cashierless shopping, where shoppers can pick their items and walk out without queuing at checkout, is gaining traction globally as grocery giants scramble to match consumer expectations for convenience and personalization on the one hand, while keeping costs down and optimizing inventory and supply chain management. Smart checkout technology is estimated to process nearly $400 billion of transactions within the next five years, according to Juniper Research.

How it works: Trigo’s computer vision system generates a 3D digital representation of the physical space of the store, using feeds from ceiling-mounted cameras and shelf censors to analyze interactions between shoppers and items. The system recognizes the shoppers’ movement while they are in the store, and correlates that with computer vision data on the items they pick up. Trigo does not know the identity of the shoppers at any stage. The system does not use facial recognition, does not scan eyes, fingerprints, or any other biometric features, and Trigo does not hold any direct identifiers of shoppers.

Why it matters to shoppers: Standing and waiting in line wastes time, it causes stress, it leads to lost productivity, and as we’ve seen during the pandemic, it can be unsafe. Trigo’s frictionless checkout solution means no waiting in lines at stores, and no receiving out-of-stock or expired deliveries.

Why it matters to grocery retailers: Trigo aims to tackle long-standing pain points in the $11.3 trillion global food and grocery retail industry, including laborious and often manual stock-taking and replenishment processes, shrinkage (misplaced or stolen products), and minimizing waste, where perishable and other expired products need to be discarded. Especially in periods of high inflation, rising prices, and supply chain disruptions, the value of managing the inventory and procurement is huge. Improving out-of-stocks even by half could grow a retailer’s net income by 18%.

Why it matters to the environment: Trigo’s system also aims to minimize waste, where perishable and other expired products need to be discarded. The annual value of retail shrink (including grocery) is estimated at around $100 billion.

What’s next: According to Trigo’s analysis of Kantar supermarket data, there are about 500,000 convenience and small format grocery stores worldwide that have the potential to be retrofitted with AI-based frictionless technology. Around 120,000 of them are in the EU alone. The technology for scaling to larger store formats is maturing in parallel.

About Trigo

Leveraging world class AI experts, Trigo works closely with retailers to convert their existing stores into frictionless shopping experiences while maintaining their unique character and layout. The company’s advanced retail automation platform identifies picked up shopping items with exceptional levels of accuracy, creating an entirely seamless checkout process. Trigo’s GDPR-compliant solution is built with a privacy-by-design architecture. No biometric or facial recognition data are gathered or analyzed. Powered by its proprietary 3D engine, Trigo offers grocery retailers a range of additional solutions through its StoreOS suite, including predictive inventory management, pricing optimization, security and fraud prevention, planogram compliance, and event-driven marketing. This layer quickly enables actionable insight that boosts the chain’s efficiency. Please visit Trigo for more information.