Israeli Trigo raises $100m for its cashless shopping system

Israeli computer vision startup Trigo has successfully raised $100 million to further develop its checkout-free shopping system in new markets, the company announced on Wednesday.

Temasek Holdings, in Singapore, and VC 83North, in London, are the main players in this fundraising, with SAP SE, which joins the backers already involved, Hetz Ventures, Red Dot Capital Partners, Vertex Ventures, Viola and the German supermarket giant REWE Group.

This new transaction brings Trigo’s total capital raising to over $200 million.

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REWE is one of many big names in grocery retailing around the world to have deployed Trigo technology, which allows shoppers to shop and pay without checking out.

Payments and receipts are processed digitally.

Trigo uses proprietary algorithms combined with cameras installed in the ceilings of retail signs, which track shoppers’ movements and products purchased in-store in real time.

The Tel Aviv-based company is also developing a suite of inventory management software applications called StoreOS, which the new funds will support.

StoreOS makes it possible to “track inventory in real time, avoid stock-outs, limit the number of expired items, fight against fraud, personalize marketing and better anticipate store and supply chain operations”, said explained the company in a press release on Wednesday.

Trigo’s checkout-free shopping solution is already offered by a Tesco grocery store in London, REWE stores in Berlin and Cologne, a Netto City store in Munich and an Aldi Nord in the city of Utrecht, the Netherlands .

The company made its first foray into the United States this year with a pilot project at a Wakefern store in New Jersey.

Wakefern Food Corp is the largest retailer-owned cooperative in the United States.

Trigo co-founders Michael, right, and Daniel Gabay. (Tom Bartov)

Tesco, REWE and Aldi Nord are grocery heavyweights in the UK and Europe.

Aldi Nord, a division of the German supermarket chain Aldi, is considered the continent’s largest grocery retailer. The brand also operates Trader Joe’s markets in the United States.

Last month, one of Israel’s leading supermarket chains, Shufersal, which has used Trigo technology for years, opened its first automated supermarket on Mendele Street in central Tel Aviv, a Shufersal Express Shop&Go store from 100 square meters.

The store “sells more merchandise per square meter than any other store with Trigo solutions,” said Michael Gabay, co-founder and CEO of Trigo.

Trigo said it would use the newly raised funds to roll out its cashless system to new stores, including standard-size urban supermarkets, and expand into new markets around the world.

According to the announcement, SAP SE, the German multinational software company, will help Trigo bring its products to market.

“We have proven that we can implement computer vision and AI to give brick-and-mortar stores the same types of information and capabilities as e-commerce outlets,” Gabay explained in the statement released Wednesday.

“This investment allows Trigo to implement its expansion plan and perfect its products to best meet the changing needs of our customers. »

A customer at a REWE store in Cologne, Germany, which has been equipped with Trigo’s cashless shopping technology. (Credit: REWE/Kai Schulz)

Around the world, big names in retail and supermarkets are looking to boost their customer base with new and convenient experiences – including cashless shopping – amid fierce competition, razor-thin margins, supply chain management and Amazon’s expansion into grocery retail.

Amazon offers customers “Go” and “Just Walk Out” shopping at more than 30 Amazon Go and Amazon Fresh stores in the US and UK. In these stores, consumers walk out with their purchases without needing to checkout to make payment.

Amazon builds bespoke stores tailored to its technology, while Trigo works with retailers that already have infrastructure, giving the Israeli company a significant comparative advantage.

Trigo specializes in renovating existing spaces, allowing retailers to retain both their identity and layouts, while transforming the spaces into standalone digital stores.

“Physical retail is the only space where traditional businesses can take on Amazon and win. The chains we work with already have thousands of stores, where Amazon needs to build new ones,” Gabay said.

He founded Trigo in 2018 with his brother Daniel Gabay.

Joern Keller, head of SAP SE, said Trigo’s computer vision technology “has established the basic infrastructure for take-out shopping and laid the groundwork for other scenarios for stores of the future. As a leading enterprise software provider to the retail industry, SAP is pleased to partner with Trigo as a strategic investor to support the development of the StoreOS standalone operating system for supermarkets. »

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