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Cathay invests in smart store start-up Cloudpick
- July 23, 2020
- Steve Rogerson
Venture capitalist Cathay Innovation has joined Intel in investing in Chinese smart store start-up Cloudpick.
The company provides smart retail and artificial intelligence. The series A+ round follows investment in series A fundraising led by Intel Capital last year.
Founded in July 2017, Cloudpick provides smart store products combining AI technology with retail sales. Thanks to computer vision, machine learning and multi-sensor integration technologies, the Cloudpick++ patented algorithmic behaviour recognition and learning engine, developed in-house, can precisely identify product information and customer behaviour, and thus delivers a seamless grab-and-go shopping experience. This enables the transformation of traditional stores into digitised, cashless smart stores.
Cloudpick has already equipped around 100 stores worldwide, notably in the USA, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and China. It has also built up partnerships with companies and organisations such as NTT Data and NEC in Japan, and Emart24 in South Korea.
In practical terms, shoppers enter the store by scanning a QR code. Then, throughout their visit, the smart system will gather data on product choices and identify customer behaviour. Once customers have finished shopping, they simply walk out, with no need to checkout. This 100% contactless payment system not only allows stores to stay open round the clock but serves also as a tool to reduce transmission rates in times of pandemic.
In addition to a simplified, secure personalised user experience, Cloudpick lets stores access a real-time data portal to optimise performance through automated payment systems, intelligent inventory management and personalised marketing tools.
By leveraging Cloudpick’s technologies, stores can digitalise all product, spatial and behavioural data to create a digital copy of their operations, accurately modelling various complex scenarios. For example, they can recognise incorrect handling or location with an accuracy rate up to 99.9% in five to ten seconds.
Furthermore, the systematic use of data in operation will result in the integration of the value chain, from downstream warehouse supply to upstream services such as order picking and home deliveries. It helps traditional retail stores decrease manager dependency, and provides managers with more effective support data for decision-making.
“This round of financing marks a new starting point,” said Rosie Zhang, co-founder of Cloudpick Technology. “Whereas traditional operating methods are still focusing on price competition, new digital platforms focus on customers’ needs and improving user experience. Cloudpick increases the interaction between retailers and their customers through a complete AI transformation.”
Denis Barrier, co-founder and CEO of Cathay Innovation, added: “The retail sector has been strongly impacted by the consequences of the pandemic, but this crisis has acted as a catalyst for the digital transformation of the sector and has increased consumer acceptance of new, easy-to-use and personalised services. We are convinced of the potential and value of this investment theme and that Cloudpick will be at the forefront of this AI-led consumer revolution given the full range of digital innovations which Cloudpick offers.”