Zippin, the cashierless checkout technology provider, raised $12 million in a Series A funding round led by Evolv Ventures, the Kraft Heinz-backed venture capital fund, the startup announced in a press release. The funding will allow Zippin to open in more locations in the next few months within grocery stores, convenience chains, sports facilities, airports and other retailers, the company said.
The latest round brings the company's total funding to $15 million, Zippin said in the release. The cash infusion enables Zippin to invest in product innovation, hire additional staff for its technical team and expand sales and partnership efforts.
The company recently introduced the Zippin Cube, a "fully functional autonomous microstore" ranging between 300 and 500 square feet, inside the Sacramento Kings' Golden 1 Center, per the company statement.
Zippin's funding round comes after the startup signed an 18-month deal in August with Brazil's largest retailer, Lojas Americanas S.A., to introduce its technology in stores across the country.
"When we launched the Zippin platform for retailers in 2018, we removed friction from the checkout process. With the Zippin Cube, we are aiming to remove friction from bringing that experience to retail stores," Zippin CEO Krishna Motukuri said in a statement. "We obsess about retail operations and physical infrastructure just as much as we obsess about AI and computer vision. That's why we have more operational public stores than most other startups in the checkout-free space."
But as Zippin aims to reach dominance, other cashierless companies have been eyeing that corner of the market, too. Accel Robotics, another checkout-free technology startup, raised $30 million in Series A funding led by SoftBank Group and has already been introduced in grocery stores, convenience stores and quick-service restaurants.
Meanwhile, Standard Cognition, the AI-backed autonomous checkout startup, raised $35 million in Series B funding earlier this year. And, Trigo, another cashierless technology firm, raised $22 million in Series A funding to expand its technology. As startups vie for the top spot in cashierless technology, Amazon continues to expand its cashierless Amazon Go stores.
According to a SOTI survey, nearly three-fourths of shoppers said they prefer self-checkout technologies over talking with store staffers, but a report from A.T Kearney found that only one in three consumers have seen the latest technologies deployed in stores.