ScanWatch raises €0.5m to transform checkout

  • October 26, 2021
  • Steve Rogerson

Lithuanian AI start-up ScanWatch has closed a €0.5m seed round to transform store checkouts.

ScanWatch reduces the time spent at self-service checkout counters. The product automatically identifies scanned fruit, vegetables and other unpackaged goods, helping retailers mitigate checkout fraud, as well as reduce unintentional scanning errors.

“More than 60% of shopping baskets include at least one unpacked item,” said ScanWatch managing partner Evaldas Budvilaitis. “Selecting fruit or vegetables from the self-checkout counter menu creates additional friction in the checkout experience, also increasing checkout time, especially if scanning a few unpackaged items per checkout.

ScanWatch also compares visual images of scanned products with corresponding barcode and product image database, mitigating the risk of intentional product mislabelling.

According to research, more than one per cent of retail revenue is lost due to checkout fraud or scanning errors, totalling more than $300bn per year.

“ScanWatch trials in large Baltic grocery retail chains indicated that in 0.92 to 0.95% of all self-checkout scans the product was not identified correctly,” said Budvilaitis. “By harnessing computer vision, we can significantly reduce these retailer losses.”

ScanWatch uses cameras installed in the self-checkout area to identify scanned products. It is compatible with 80% of self-checkout hardware available on the market.

Technology company Agmis and smart retail security provider Neto Baltic led the funding round. For technology development, ScanWatch partnered with Lithuania-based Agmis, which also boasts an in-house AI product development team.

“The investment marks a new stage for Agmis, as we move from software development for clients or in-house products, towards investing into end-products created by our partners,” said Saulius Kaukenas, CEO of Agmis. “We plan to expand our investment portfolio and contribute to further growth of the Lithuanian start-up ecosystem.”

Budvilaitis has more than 30 years of retail technology experience. Previously he co-founded New Vision Baltija (now StrongPoint), which was among the pioneers of self-checkout software and hardware deployments in the Nordic region. Linas Svaikauskas leads ScanWatch business development. He was in charge of New Vision Baltija sales and headed the StrongPoint Technology R&D department in Lithuania and Sweden.

“There are more than a million of self-checkout counters around the world, with a total market value of $8bn, said Svaikauskas. “As retailers are moving towards autonomy and automation, the role of AI in retail technology will only increase.”

ScanWatch has piloted the technology in Baltic and Nordic markets. The company plans to expand sales to central Europe and the Middle East. It is also considering additional investment to boost business development.