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Retail tech startup Tiliter raises $7.5m for cashierless AI shopping technology

Tiliter to increase global footprint as Investec invests through its IEC Australia Fund I

Investor demand for innovative emerging companies remains strong with Australian AI tech startup Tiliter completing a $7.5 million capital raise, led by Investec Emerging Companies (IEC). IEC invested $3.5 million through its Investec Emerging Companies Australia Fund 1, the seventh investment for the fund.

Eleanor Venture, a tech investment syndicate for angel investors, and New York’s Cornell University also participated in the funding round.

Tiliter is a leading artificial intelligence (AI) provider whose technology uses computer vision to recognise products without barcodes.

Its technology automatically identifies items, such as fresh produce, without the need for barcodes, packaging, and price stickers making it easier for shoppers to manage during self-checkout.

Tiliter is currently focused on the Supermarket vertical and its camera and software system uses AI to pre-select items and remove the need for manual entry, with over 99% accuracy and in under one second.

Karen Chan, Head of Investec’s Emerging Companies division, said Tiliter aligned with the Fund’s philosophy of investing in companies with high growth potential backed by strong founders.

“We are excited to be working with the Tiliter team and believe this technology solves a very real need for both consumers and retailers in the Australian market and abroad,” Ms Chan said.

With retailers increasingly moving towards self-checkout and mobile-checkout options, Tiliter’s technology makes it easier and faster for customers to complete their transactions, reduces fraud, costs and waste for businesses, and addresses the need for contactless purchases in a COVID-19 world. This can all be done with limited integration and no changes to the retailer’s IT infrastructure.

Tiliter was founded in 2017 by Marcel Herz, Martin Karafilis, and Chris Sampson. Commenting on the Tiliter team, Ms Chan said: “The Tiliter co-founders are a visionary team, leveraging technology to solve the problems of the future.

“At IEC we believe in acting as a true partner to our investee companies to provide advice, capital, and connectivity. We look forward to supporting the Tiliter team to reach their global growth aspirations.”

Tiliter’s early adopters include Woolworths in Australia with over 20 live stores, Countdown in New Zealand, and several retail chains in the US, such as New York City’s Westside Market.

The company will use the latest funding to accelerate its expansion across Europe and the US with many supermarkets to unveil Tiliter’s product recognition technology over the coming months.

CEO and co-founder of Tiliter, Marcel Herz, welcomed the funding from Investec and noted there had been a 300% increase in scan and go adoption in the US over the past year due to COVID, and this growth is expected to rise globally.

As an industry we’re just at the beginning of how AI combined with computer vision will shape the future for brick-and-mortar and online shopping. It was important that we partner with investors that understand the new dynamics in retail innovation and the massive opportunity arising from this change,” says Marcel Herz.

One factor many retail technology companies face is the cost and operational overhead to install and maintain their solutions.

“There has been an increased focus for Tiliter to create a plug and play solution for retailers and remove the operational friction of adopting cashier-less technology particularly during the COVID pandemic,” says Martin Karafilis, COO and Co-founder of Tiliter.

“The end to end capability of Tiliter’s dedicated hardware and software is an example of how Tiliter’s recognition technology can be easily installed and used anywhere in the world at a lower cost than currently offered autonomous store solutions.”.

Tiliter was named “most disruptive startup” at the 2019 Startcon Australasian Startup Awards as well as being named one of six finalists at the Webit Founders Games Festival, the biggest Startup Challenge in the world. Other awards include Grow New York and That Startup Show Winners.

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About Tiliter:

Tiliter is the world’s most flexible and accurate identification system.

Tiliter makes software and hardware that uses computer vision to recognise products without barcodes. Tiliter’s early adopters are in grocery. By retrofitting existing or new checkouts and in store scales, Tiliter’s software helps grocers eliminate packaging to reduce plastic and theft while enhancing productivity and customer experience. The Tiliter Vision software uses the latest in artificial intelligence and machine learning to automatically identify objects.

Tiliter utilises their proprietary algorithms to achieve exceptional performance without collecting data in stores. It works with bags and can tell even the hardest sub-categories apart such as Truss, Roma, and Gourmet tomatoes or Red Delicious, Royal Gala and Pink Lady apples. It can also differentiate between organic and non-organic produce.

Tiliter offers their solution globally with supporting teams and offices in the US, Europe and Australia.

About Investec Emerging Companies:

Investec Emerging Companies (IEC) is a division of Investec Australia. IEC partners with emerging companies to provide them with an integrated capital and advisory offering. The team partners with companies led by strong founders, with high growth potential and a demonstrated track record.

IEC also manages the Investec Emerging Companies Australia Fund which provides sophisticated investors an opportunity to invest alongside Investec in emerging companies. This fund currently has 7 investments including Vamp, Longtail UX, Comestri, MadeComfy, Dresden Vision, and now Tiliter.

About Investec in Australia:

Investec in Australia provides advice, debt and equity capital and hedging products to High Net Worth, Corporate and Institutional clients. We also invest in and manage real and financial assets on behalf of third parties.

We focus on our core areas of Corporate and Acquisition Finance, Corporate Advisory, Emerging Companies, Power & Infrastructure Finance, Property and Resource Finance. As a specialist provider we deliver global capability, products and solutions, supported by a local team of experts who understand your business and are empowered to make decisions quickly.

In 2019 we established Investec Bank plc, Australia Branch, providing Australian lending clients with direct access to the balance sheet of our UK parent.

We believe in long term, mutually beneficial relationships where we, as a trusted adviser, grow as our clients grow.

We live our brand — Out of the Ordinary — in all we do.

Corporate & Acquisition Finance | Corporate Advisory | Emerging Companies | Global Resources | Power & Infrastructure Finance | Property


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