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Autonomous Retail Startup AiFi Secures $30M Total Funding

Silicon Valley checkout-free, autonomous retail startup AiFi has secured a new round of funding, bringing its total raised to $30 million, the company said in a press release on Monday (Oct. 19).

AiFi, which was founded four years ago, said the investors include Qualcomm Ventures, existing investors Cervin Ventures and TransLink Capital, new investor Plum Alley and others.

“As intelligence continues to move from the cloud to the wireless edge and demand for contactless shopping grows, we are excited to be investing in AiFi,” said Carlos Kokron, vice president and managing director, Americas, Qualcomm. He added that Qualcomm is “very impressed” with AiFi’s edge-computing solutions.

Aifi Co-Founder and CEO Steve Gu said the funding will advance the rollout of autonomous stores and help with “building out our OASIS platform so implementations will be even faster.”

He added that the investment will also help AiFi advance its technology “so stores around the world will get smarter and more efficient, making in-store shopping easier, more profitable and safer than ever before.”

AiFi has 330 autonomous store openings on deck for next year while it continues building out new and retrofitted autonomous stores worldwide. AiFi is also partnering with top supermarkets in the U.S., Europe and Australia. A variety of openings are expected in California and Texas by the end of 2020.

With its Autonomous Store Platform OASIS, AiFi offers checkout-free or cashierless technology featuring a variety of customizations and tools to help retailers create autonomous stores. The company said by going cashierless, stores will see an increase in productivity and profitability while making things more convenient for shoppers.

The most recent PYMNTS Automated Retail Tracker examines the automated retail space, including 7-Eleven’s testing of cashierless convenience stores and Nordstrom’s efforts to digitize vending machines.

Checkout line lengths often negatively influence consumers’ decisions to shop. Faster and more streamlined payments could be the key to the future of shopping.

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