Edgify raises $6.5m for checkout tech expansion

Edgify has secured $6.5 million in a seed funding round backed by Octopus Ventures and Mangrove Capital Partners.

The backing will allow it to rapidly scale and commercialise its solutions within the grocery retail sector to enable faster checkouts - which it claims can cut customer time at weighing stations or selecting loose produce at self-checkouts by 98 per cent.

Edgify’s technology is already integrated with Strongpoint, through a partnership with Shekel Scales, and is ready for deployment across Europe. It uses computer vision-based product recognition to enable self-checkout kiosks, weighing stations and labelling machines to identify fresh produce, with zero human input.

For a single type of apple there are thousands of different shapes, sizes and shades of colour. This means fresh fruit and vegetables are the most difficult items for a machine to automatically recognise, which is why stores usually rely on customers inputting such items themselves.

With Edgify’s solution, a grocery store’s machines will automatically be able to distinguish between a Granny Smith and a Gala apple, immediately reducing losses associated with item fraud at checkout.

Edgify lets individually connected devices at the network edge interpret vast amounts of data and share that learning across an entire network of similar devices, thereby training them to identify unique aspects of an item.

This distributed and continuous learning helps to reduce the risks, costs and time associated with transferring sensitive data to or from an external server or the cloud. As devices accumulate and distribute knowledge across an entire network without the need to transfer any data to the cloud, retailers will have no need to invest in new infrastructure.

Ofri Ben-Porat, co-founder and chief executive of Edgify, commented: “Globally, retail has seen significant disruption this year, especially when it comes to consumer behaviour - stores have accelerated their plans around self-checkout kiosks and other areas of automation, but in order for these things to have a positive impact, the right technology needs to be in place.

"That being said, retailers shouldn’t be looking to overhaul their IT infrastructure, but need to make sure that they’re future-proofing stores given the appetite for automation - think self-service stores, self-checkout and smart carts - while providing a renewed shopping experience for customers. Our technology makes these new experiences scalable and, by sharing knowledge throughout a retailer’s network, there are no infrastructure costs or added complications.”

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