Focal Systems raises $25.8M in Series B funding to automate retail globally - The EE

Focal Systems raises $25.8M in Series B funding to automate retail globally

Francois Chaubard of Focal Systems

San Francisco. 27 Dec 2021- Focal Systems, the industry provider of retail automation, closed a $25.8m (€22.78m) Series B financing round, led by Point72 Ventures, and joined by existing investors Costanoa, Zetta, and Zebra Technologies, among others.

The company will use the new funds to continue its rapid pace of growth and innovation with their AI-powered retail automation solutions, as well as expand its global sales and technical teams.

Focal Systems is rolling out with the retailers in the world, including Walmart, to rip and replace legacy Sales-based Perpetual Inventory (PI) systems with a real-time, accurate, and low-cost Computer Vision-based PI system that digitises and transforms stores.

Focal’s AI leverages a network of patented low-cost shelf cameras that digitise the sales floor and backroom hourly to deliver impactful operational efficiencies, availability increases, sales growth, and inventory reduction. Entering 2021, Focal Systems had 10,000 cameras deployed, and over the course of the year, that number has grown 400%, with more than 40,0000 additional cameras deployed to major retailers across the globe. The company already has commitments to deploy an additional 200,000 cameras in 2022.

“I love partnering with retailers to transform their stores. Retailers are pushing harder than ever before to adopt Computer Vision and AI at scale, and Focal is here to help. At a time when supply chain issues, organised retail crime, and labour shortages continue to challenge the retail industry, merchants are still relying on outdated and inaccurate Sales-based PI systems that just do not work. Approximately half of the out-of-stock items on a grocery store’s shelves are not related to supply chain issues or labour shortages they’re a result of Sales-based PI systems not accurately capturing data. Focal solves this,” says Francois Chaubard, CEO of Focal Systems.

“Focal Systems has developed a unique platform to help the world’s biggest and most well-known retailers automate and optimise retail operations to truly maximise cash flows through improved inventory, supply chain, and labour efficiency,” says Sri Chandrasekar, partner at Point72 Ventures. “We believe Focal’s AI will play a vital role in the transformation of retail.”

“Focal has built and deployed the first Computer Vision-based PI system that is better on every metric,” Chaubard continues. “It requires no additional labour to manage it and it’s much faster and more accurate at detecting outs and lows, allowing retailers to actually know what is going on in their stores versus just guessing. If our cars can drive themselves, why can’t your stores? Focal retailers are doing it today at scale. This funding round allows us to continue our rapid growth by speeding up our product roadmap and scaling globally. Focal Systems is providing retailers the ability to digitise and transform in an era when they desperately need it.”

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