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Startup raises $14 million for its smart shopping cart tech

Auckland-based startup IMAGR has raised $14 million funding to expand its new tech that allows shoppers to skip checkout queues.

The funding was led by global industry giant Toshiba TEC and other global technology heavy-weights, IMAGR CEO William Chomley said.

Chomley said the support of an international point-of-sale leader like Toshiba TEC, which owns 96 per cent of the convenience market in Japan, showed they have the right technology in place to change how retail shopping is done.

The new SmartCart shopping trolley, developed by IMAGR, uses cameras and artificial intelligence to analyse and recognise what people put in their cart and automated checkouts to let people skip the the queue and “just walk out”.

Masami Uchiyama, Toshiba TEC senior vice president, said IMAGR’s SmartCart shopping trolley is the most promising automated checkout provider and the most advanced technology of its kind.

“Its computer vision and AI technology is industry-leading, outperforming other AI retail systems we have seen, and the integration into existing stores is simple and scalable,” Uchiyama said. 

“We can’t wait to see IMAGR change the retail industry in the 2020s.”

The funding round was also backed by Sage Capital and Harald McPike, both existing IMAGR shareholders.

“We were overwhelmed with support during this capital raise with an over subscription nearly doubling the amount we initially set out for,” Chomley said.

Chomley said the funding from the capital raise will benefit execution in the Japanese and New Zealand markets, as well as further international expansion.

IMAGR will launch its SmartCarts in Japan next year with H2O Retailing Corporation and in New Zealand with Farro Fresh.

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