Advertima, a startup leveraging AI to customize in-store experiences, today closed a €15 million ($17.3 million) funding round. CEO Iman Nahvi says the company will put the new funds plus €10 million ($11.5 million) of its own capital toward refining its tracking platform.
Before the pandemic, AI appeared poised to transform — and indeed was already transforming — brick-and-mortar retail. Predictive analytics services like Celect ensure shelves remain stocked during the year’s busiest shopping days. Meanwhile, startups like Trigo, Grabango, and Standard Cognition compete with Amazon Go for contactless AI-powered checkout experiences. And companies like Memoni use AI to let customers virtually “try on” apparel and makeup.
Advertima’s specialty is computer vision — its technologies interpret movement to understand browsing and buying habits. Thanks to algorithms that can recognize a person’s limbs and the real-time positioning of their heads, Advertima can analyze attention — ostensibly without compromising individual privacy or identity. Plus, its zoning features allow the algorithms to focus on a specific area to improve tracking quality while reducing the potential for false positives.
Advertima’s smart signage enables sales campaign targeting and measurement with 3D sensors and software that track motion, skeletal information, and predicted walking paths. When combined with Advertima’s analytics product, smart signage can be used to create what the company calls an “autonomous store” that lets customers grab and purchase items without needing to pay at a register.
Advertima can optionally track information like age, gender, position in space, time spent looking at something, attention span, distance from installation points, and group context to trigger targeted content. The company says it doesn’t use any facial recognition or collect biometrics and only processes “minimal” anonymized data, which it evaluates in an aggregated way that precludes association with payment or personal information. The company also claims it uses “the highest level of encryption” and deletes all visual information within 10 milliseconds. And it says it informs people at the point of installation about the purpose and functionality of its products.
Advertima, which developed its platform in partnership with Swiss retailer Migros and international grocery franchise SPAR, counts over 14 brands among its customers, including Red Bull, Westside, Volvo, Porsche, and Mercedes-Benz. Within grocery chains like SPAR, Advertima combines its autonomous checkout solution with inventory management to serve content via digital screens throughout store aisles.
Real estate company and existing investor Fortimo Group led this week’s series A round, which brings Switzerland-based Advertima’s total raised to roughly $26 million.