VendScreen, a company that produces and markets an Android-based touchscreen for vending machines, has secured a $12 million investment, noted company cfounder and CEO Paresh Patel, who spoke at the Portland Incubator Experiment (PIE) demo day at the Bagdad Theater in Portland, Ore.
VendScreen was among eight companies that made presentations at the demo day. The companies are the first group of PIE’s startup companies.
Patel told the group that in the next five years, 20 percent of the U.S. vending machines will accept cashless payment, compared to about 5 percent today.
He noted that VendScreen, a touchscreen which uses a cloud-based server, will allow customers to browse product and nutrition information. It will also allow brands to advertise on the screen. He noted that it also allows vending operators to schedule deliveries more efficiently.
“With VendScreen, we make dumb vending machines smart,” he said.
Patel noted that his partner in the business, Glenn Butler, is the former chief technology officer of a major vending machine manufacturer (Crane Merchandising Systems) and is a contributing editor to Automatic Merchandiser Magazine.
Patel, who also owns Courtesy Vending Inc. in Portland, noted that as a vending operator he has experienced falling profits due to rising costs.
He noted that the impending calorie disclosure rule will require U.S. vending companies to assume 14 million man hours complying with the law. “With VendScreen, we make that compliance seamless and automatic,” he said.
Patel described VendScreen’s business model. He said vending operators will pay 2.75 percent of their sales as a fee for the VendScreen. He said the operator will be able to experience as much as a 20 percent sales lift due to cashless vending, more efficient operating and stronger merchandising.
He noted that the company’s first two vending operator customers have placed $5 million in orders.
“Be on the lookout for a VendScreen on a vending machine near you,” Patel said.
He noted the company recently received $12 million from an investor.