7 AI startups aim to give retailers a happy holiday season

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nothing is hotter than artificial intelligence (AI) startups that can help retailers win big this holiday shopping season.

According to eMarketerRetailers are turning to AI to tackle everything from supply chain challenges and price optimization to self-checkout and fresh groceries. And retail AI is a massive and fast-growing segment full of AI startups looking to enter a market that is Estimate reach more than 40 billion by 2030.

Here are seven of the hottest AI startups that are helping retailers meet their holiday goals:

Afresh: the AI ​​startup looking for fresh food

Founded in 2017, San Francisco-based Afresh has been on a roll this year, raising a whopping $115 million in August. Afresh helps thousands of stores address the complex supply chain issues that have always existed at the edge of the supermarket, with its fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and fish. That is, how can stores ensure they have plenty of fresh, perfectly ripe food on hand, while minimizing shrinkage and reducing food waste that is past its prime?


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According to a company press release, Again is on track to help retailers save 34 million pounds of food waste by the end of 2022. It uses AI to analyze a supermarket’s past demand and data trends, allowing retailers to keep food fresh during the shortest possible time. The platform uses an algorithm to assess what is currently in the store, with a “confidence interval” that includes how perishable the item is. Workers help train the AI-driven model by periodically counting inventory on hand.

AiFi: AI-powered cashierless payment

based in Santa Clara, California ai fi offers a frictionless and cashier-free service AI-powered retail solution deployed in various places, such as sports stadiums, music festivals, supermarket chains and university campuses. Steve Gu co-founded ai fi in 2016 with his wife, Ying Zheng, and raised a new $65 million in March. Gu and Zheng both have doctorates in computer vision and spent time at Apple and Google.

AiFi implements AI models through numerous cameras placed on the ceiling to understand everything that happens in the store. Cameras track customers throughout their shopping journey, while computer vision recognizes products and detects different activities, such as putting items on or taking items off shelves.

Under the hood of the platform are neural network models developed specifically for people tracking as well as activity and product recognition. AiFi has also developed advanced calibration algorithms that allow the company to recreate the business environment in 3D.

Eversen: AI and self-payment for artificial vision

Eversen has been around since 2007, but 2022 was a big year for the Cork, Ireland-based company, which offers self-checkout technology powered by AI and machine vision. In September, Kroger Co., the largest grocery retailer in the United States, announced that going beyond pilot stage with Everseen’s solution, rolling out to 1,700 grocery stores and reportedly rolling out to all locations in the near future.

The Everseen Visual AI platform captures large volumes of unstructured video data using high-resolution cameras, which it integrates with structured POS data sources to analyze and make inferences about data in real time. Give shoppers a “gentle nudge” if they make an inadvertent scanning error.

Not everything has been easy for Eversen: in 2021, the liquidated company a lawsuit with Walmart over claims that the retailer misappropriated the Irish company’s technology and then built its own similar product.

Focal Systems: digitizing shelves in real time

Burlingame, based in California Focal Systems, which offers AI-powered real-time shelf digitization for physical stores, recently found success with Walmart Canada. The retailer is rolling out the Focal Systems solution, which uses in-shelf cameras, computer vision and deep learning, to all stores after a 70-store pilot.

Founded in 2015, Focal Systems was born from the Stanford Computer Vision Laboratory. In March, the company launched its FocalOS “autonomous store” solution, which automates order writing and ordering, directs stockists, tracks productivity by associate, optimizes category management by store, and manages platforms. e-commerce to eliminate substitutions.

According to the company, corporate leaders can view any store in real time to see what its shelves look like and how stores are performing.

Hivery: hit with the assortments of the store

South Wales, based in Australia hibernation addresses the complex challenges surrounding battles for space in physical retail stores. Help stores make decisions about how to use physical space, set up product displays, and optimize assortments. It offers “hyperlocal retailing” by allowing stores to customize their assortments to meet the needs of local customers.

Hivery’s AI-powered, SaaS-based Curate product uses proprietary ML and applied mathematical algorithms developed and acquired from Australia’s national science agency. They claim that a process that takes six months is reduced to about six minutes, thanks to the power of AI/ML and applied mathematical techniques.

Jason Hosking, Co-Founder and CEO of Hivery, he told VentureBeat in April that Hivery customers can run rapid-fill scenario strategy simulations around SKU rationalization, SKU introduction, and space while considering any category goals, merchandising rules, and demand transfer. Once a strategy is determined, Curate can generate supplemental planograms for execution.

Lily AI: connecting shoppers with products

just a month ago, AI lilyconnecting shoppers at a retailer with products they might want, raised $25 million in new capital, no small feat during these trying times.

When Purva Gupta and Sowmiya Narayanan launched Lily AI in 2015, the Mountain View, California-based company sought to tackle a thorny e-commerce challenge: shoppers leaving a site before buying.

For clients including ThredUP and Everlane, Lily AI uses algorithms that combine deep product tagging with deep psychographic analysis to power a web store’s search engines and product discovery carousels. For example, Lily will capture details about the styling and fits of one brand’s product and use customer data from other brands to create a prediction of a customer’s affinity for the product attributes in the catalog.

Shopic: one of several smart cart AI startups

Tel Aviv-based Shopic has been making a splash with its AI-powered clip-on device, which uses computer vision algorithms to turn shopping carts into smart carts. In August, Purchase received a series B investment round of $35 million.

Shopic claims that it can identify more than 50,000 items once they are placed in a cart in real time while displaying product promotions and discounts on related products. Their system also acts as a self-checkout interface and provides real-time inventory management and customer behavior insights for merchants through their analytics board, the company said. Supermarkets can receive reports including aisle heat maps, promotion monitoring, and new product adoption metrics.

However, Shopic faces headwinds with other AI startups in the smart cart space: Amazon’s Dash Carts are currently being tested at Whole Foods and Amazon Fresh, while Instacart recently purchased AI caper.

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