Standard Cognition, a startup that develops autonomous checkout technology that rivals Amazon’s, has raised $35 million in a Series B funding round and is valued at $535 million, according to a report by TechCrunch.
The company is based in San Francisco. It uses artificial intelligence (AI)-driven computer vision system to aid stores in having an autonomous checkout option. The company currently has the programs installed in five stores in Japan and the United States, and with the new money it plans to expand around the globe.
Standard Cognition Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer Michael Suswal said the company is relying on European investor EQT Ventures to spearhead the tech in Europe.
When a customer enters a store that has the startup’s technology, there are about 27 cameras (give or take) set up to identify a person by movement and shape (not facial recognition). When the customer opens the store-specific app, a special light pattern flashes and the camera links the person to a payment method. Then a customer can just shop and leave.
The technology also works without an app, through a kiosk screen where cameras will identify objects and allow a person to pay with either cash or a card.
News of the funding comes in tandem with Amazon’s announcement that it’s going to open up three more Amazon Go stores. Standard Cognition doesn’t plan on opening any of its own stores, and Suswal said that “running stores takes a lot of effort.” The company will instead bring its tech into existing chains with the new capital.
The company closed a $40 million Series A round about eight months ago, and it’s raised a total of $86 million so far.
“Traditional brick-and-mortar retailers are caught in a perfect storm,” EQT Ventures Partner Alastair Mitchell said in a statement. “From the encroachment of behemoths like Amazon into every inch of the market to changing consumer attitudes, as busy people demand an ever more efficient shopping experience, margins are being squeezed like never before. The talented and driven Standard Cognition team have worked quickly to build a product that allows physical retailers, of all sizes, to tackle these challenges.”