Australian retail tech startup Tiliter raises $7.5m for cashierless AI shopping technology
Tiliter, artificial intelligence (AI) provider whose technology uses computer vision to recognise products without barcodes compled a $7.5 million capital raise led by Investec Emerging Companies (IEC). Eleanor Venture, a tech investment syndicate for angel investors, and New York's Cornell University also participated in the funding round.
Tiliter's technology automatically identifies items, such as fresh produce, without the need for barcodes, packaging, and price stickers, making it easier for shoppers to manage during self-checkout. The company is currently focused on the Supermarket vertical and its camera and software system uses AI to pre-select items and remove the need for manual entry, with over 99% accuracy and in under one second.
Karen Chan, Head of Investec's Emerging Companies division, said Tiliter aligned with the Fund's philosophy of investing in companies with high growth potential backed by strong founders. "We are excited to be working with the Tiliter team and believe this technology solves a very real need for both consumers and retailers in the Australian market and abroad," she said.
With retailers increasingly moving towards self-checkout and mobile-checkout options, Tiliter's technology makes it easier and faster for customers to complete their transactions, reduces fraud, costs, and waste for businesses, and addresses the need for contactless purchases in a COVID-19 world. This can all be done with limited integration and no changes to the retailer's IT infrastructure.
Tiliter was founded in 2017 by Marcel Herz, Martin Karafilis, and Chris Sampson. Commenting on the Tiliter team, Chan said, "The Tiliter co-founders are a visionary team, leveraging technology to solve the problems of the future. At IEC, we believe in acting as a true partner to our investee companies to provide advice, capital, and connectivity. We look forward to supporting the Tiliter team to reach their global growth aspirations."
Tiliter's early adopters include Woolworths in Australia with over 20 live stores, Countdown in New Zealand, and several retail chains in the U.S., such as New York City's Westside Market. The company will use the latest funding to accelerate its expansion across Europe and the U.S., with many supermarkets to unveil Tiliter's product recognition technology over the coming months.
CEO and Co-founder of Tiliter Marcel Herz welcomed the funding from Investec and noted there had been a 300% increase in scan-and-go adoption in the U.S. over the past year due to COVID, and this growth is expected to rise globally. "As an industry, we're just at the beginning of how AI combined with computer vision will shape the future for brick-and-mortar and online shopping. It was important that we partner with investors that understand the new dynamics in retail innovation and the massive opportunity arising from this change," he said.
One factor many retail technology companies face is the cost and operational overhead to install and maintain their solutions.
Martin Karafilis, COO and Co-founder of Tiliter said: "There has been an increased focus for Tiliter to create a plug-and-play solution for retailers and remove the operational friction of adopting cashier-less technology, particularly during the COVID pandemic. The end-to-end capability of Tiliter's dedicated hardware and software is an example of how Tiliter's recognition technology can be easily installed and used anywhere in the world at a lower cost than currently offered autonomous store solutions."