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NZ smart-trolley startup finds strong demand in Japan

Kiwi automated checkout startup Imagr aims to expand its business offshore by raising US$25 million through a private investor pool.

According to the company, the demand for its autonomous checkout system has soared since the Covid-19 pandemic started. 

“While I didn’t know it at the time, interest in the low-touch retail solution we’ve created has surged since the rise of Covid-19,” said William Chomley, founder and CEO at Imagr. “In a post-pandemic world people will still look for contactless solutions.”

Last month, the startup successfully secured US$9.5 million in its pre-series A funding round led by Toshiba Tec, of Japan. Imagr’s end-to-end autonomous checkout system went live in Japan last week, the world’s largest AI checkout of its kind. The launch was part of the company’s partnership with H2O Retailing announced last year, which was also the company’s first deal outside New Zealand. 

“We have the most advanced vision-only frictionless checkout solution available in the global retail market. A deployment of this scale of self-contained vision technology in a supermarket is a world first,” Chomley said. 

The company also said it is working on its expansion plan in European cities in the coming weeks. 

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