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Gather AI Raises $17 Million for AI-Powered Inventory Monitoring

warehouse inventory monitoring

Gather AI has raised $17 million to scale its computer vision and AI-powered warehouse inventory monitoring offerings.

The Series A-1 round, announced Wednesday (March 27), will be used to scale operations as Gather AI tries to grow its customer base by solving supply chain issues with richer data and artificial intelligence (AI).

‍“Today, companies combat low accuracy with cycle counting via barcode scanning,” Gather said in a news release.

“Still, these counts only partially represent inventory, and capacity constraints make it difficult for workers to survey the full warehouse. On average, inaccurate inventory can cost a business hundreds of thousands per year per warehouse and significant revenue loss in missed orders.”

The company says it automates inventory visibility challenges through autonomous drones for third-party logistics, manufacturing and retail facilities, offering much richer data than warehouses can currently obtain using barcodes.

According to the release, the Gather AI solution lets drones fly autonomously through warehouses, scanning 15 times faster than traditional means, while additional AI can glean bar codes, text, empty locations and other inventory-related information from the images, automatically comparing them with what’s in the warehouse management system.

PYMNTS spoke earlier this year with Akash Gupta, CEO of GreyOrange, about the use of automation in retail, which — in an ideal scenario — can handle up to 80% of warehouse-related activities. Robotics, he said, could help eliminate some of the physical work involved in the sorting, picking, and packing of goods.

“It’s a combination of movement and manipulation,” Gupta told PYMNTS in January.

But automation also should be used to reduce the fulfillment time, and to streamline decision making — determining, as he put it, “what [task] needs to be done, by whom it needs to be done … and when it needs to be done.”

The old ways of managing inventory in “batches” are no longer sufficient to satisfy the demands of omnichannel commerce. Advanced technologies such as AI and what he termed “an intelligent software orchestration layer” help improve the flow of inventory and data so that orders and fulfillment are managed as deftly as possible.

In another interview, Erik Nieves, CEO and co-founder of Plus One Robotics, told PYMNTS that AI lets robots do more than just recall a preprogrammed routine, and help them detect changes around them and use algorithms to make decisions on the fly.

“One of the keys to this accomplishment is 3D sensor technologies that enable robots to understand their environment much more deeply,” Nieves said. “Now, robots aren’t just operating in a predictable use case; with minimal guidance, they can intelligently see and adapt to novel situations.”