AiFi, a flexible AI platform that enables retailers to affordably deploy and scale autonomous shopping solutions, announced a $65 million Series B funding round with participation from ALDI South Group, Żabka Group, REWE, Verizon Ventures, and Qualcomm Ventures LLC, among others. The strategic investments from its retail partners reflect a commitment to scale with AiFi after successful platform integrations and positive customer feedback. This round, which brings AiFi's total funding to $80 million, will primarily be used to expand the company's technical team to cater to the surging demand for AiFi's solution.
"The pandemic heavily influenced consumer preferences, including the need for quicker, more seamless shopping experiences. It's become clear that shoppers are ready for autonomous retail and AiFi is here to deliver," said Steve Gu, AiFi CEO and co-founder. "We relentlessly improve our AI algorithms to ensure we have a strong foundation to support our platform, and the success we've seen with diverse store formats, speed of deployment, and a frictionless customer experience attests to the flexibility and maturity our product has achieved. We have deepened our partnerships with some of the world's largest retailers that share a vision of innovation. With this latest round of funding, we'll be able to scale our partnerships and launch customized stores in record time to bring us closer to our vision of using AI to simplify people's busy lives."
AiFi, which works with top retailers worldwide such as ALDI South Group, Carrefour, Compass Group, and Żabka Group, currently has the highest number of computer vision powered autonomous stores across the globe. The company's technology is being used to deploy a diverse set of store formats including grocery stores, sport stadium canteens, convenience stores at universities, and more. AiFi's camera-only solution does not require weighted shelves, which significantly reduces the deployment cost and time. AiFi leverages advanced tracking algorithms that can scale up to 10,000 square feet to support various shopper journeys such as an app, credit card, gated, or hybrid entry.
"AiFi shares our passion for industry-leading innovation. Their technology – combined with the power of Verizon 5G and MEC – hold great possibilities for the future of retail," said Jeff Black, managing director at Verizon Ventures. "We look forward to supporting AiFi and their talented team."
Carlos Kokron, vice president, Qualcomm Technologies Inc., and managing director, Qualcomm Ventures Americas, added: "As demand for autonomous retail grows and business intelligence continues to move from the cloud to the wireless edge, we are excited to support AiFi to help drive the connected intelligent edge. We value AiFi's innovative approach to edge-computing and look forward to accelerating the deployment of AI-powered solutions that further improve operational efficiencies and elevate customer shopping experiences."