Tesco, a British grocery multinational and the world’s third-largest food retailer, has invested an undisclosed sum in Israeli startup Trigo Vision which developed a computer vision platform for a checkout-free shopping experience that allows customers to grab items and go.
The companies announced on Thursday that customers who use the Tesco app will be able to walk into a store, select items, and leave without going through the checkout counter. The payment will be processed automatically. Tesco has been collaborating with Trigo since this past summer, Bloomberg reported earlier this year.
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The investment adds to Trigo’s recent $22 million Series A funding round led by Red Dot Capital, with participation from previous investors Vertex Ventures Israel and Hetz Ventures, the companies announced on Thursday.
“We’ve vetted the main players in the industry and Trigo is the best by a mile,” said Tesco’s outgoing CEO Dave Lewis in a statement.
“It is an honor for us that a company like Tesco believes in us,” said Trigo’s CEO Michael Gabay. “We see Tesco as a forward-thinking retailer. Tesco has always been a pioneer in innovation in the industry, from internet purchasing to automation.”
“This collaboration is a huge expression of confidence in the idea of cashier-less supermarkets. With this partnership, we will be able to move from a pilot to a larger scale expansion,” he added.
Founded in 2017, Trigo Vision uses ceiling-mounted cameras and 3D Space Mapping tech to identify items in a store selected by customers, and allows to automatically charge them. The tech is similar to Amazon Go, the world’s first automated supermarket where shoppers pick up items and pay automatically through an app rather than paying through a cashier.
But Trigo’s tech covers more ground and it says it offers a solution for every store or retailer, regardless of layout.
Trigo has also been working with Shufersal, Israel’s largest supermarket chain, to bring its technology to the chain’s stores – starting earlier this year with a pilot program in one of its Tel Aviv branches.