BERKELEY, Calif. — Grabango, a checkout-free technology provider for convenience stores, has raised $39 million in Series B funding. The round was led by Commerce Ventures with participation from Founders Fund, Unilever Ventures, Honeywell Ventures and WIND Ventures.
“We evaluated nearly every company in the space and chose Grabango because they had the most robust technology, an approach that works in complex retail environments, and an incredible team. This combination is why they continue to pull away as the market leader,” said Matt Nichols, partner at Commerce Ventures. “Incredibly, the $5.7 trillion grocery market had been left behind as tech innovation focused on other sectors. Grabango delivers a new level of convenience for shoppers and will transform the economics of grocery and convenience stores across the world.”
The new capital accompanies additional store deployments with existing and new customers in 2021. To date, Grabango has signed five retail partners. Multi-store deployments are underway at several. Grabango will use some of the new capital to augment its development team.
“We pride ourselves on identifying and supporting forward-thinking founders like Will Glaser,” said Stephen Willson, managing partner of Unilever Ventures. “In 2016, he recognized that the grocery industry was long overdue for in-store innovation and conceived of checkout-free technology as a way to transform the industry. Now, he and his team at Grabango are deploying these systems to reshape the experience for the modern shopper.”
Grabango retrofits its checkout-free technology into an already-operating store, saving shoppers time by letting them skip the line. In partnership with Giant Eagle and its GetGo stores, Grabango has deployed its technology in a real-world environment with more than 15,000 SKUs and tens of thousands of transactions each month. Grabango’s system was installed with no disruption to store operations using an automated process that can be replicated across the chain. Given this success, Grabango will launch its checkout-free technology into four more Giant Eagle GetGo stores in the Greater Pittsburgh area by the end of 2021.
- Getgo Cafe + Market, a brand under the Giant Eagle’s Convenience Division, is No. 29 on CSP’s 2021 Top 40 update to the Top 202 ranking of c-stores by store count.
“At Giant Eagle, our success over our 90-year history is founded in our commitment to service and innovation,” said Laura Karet, president and CEO of Giant Eagle. “In the past decade, we have experienced significant growth in using technology to advance how our customers shop with us in-store and online. Grabango is a key partner in what we will accomplish in the next 10 years.”
With Grabango, visitors shop as usual and then skip the line by scanning the code in their Grabango app on the way out. Grabango’s product uses computer vision technology to identify items as they are picked up. It counts those items and sends the receipt to the shopper’s phone after they leave the store.
“We pride ourselves on the accuracy of the system, and the ease with which it operates in the dynamic environment of a modern store,” said Will Glaser, CEO of Grabango. “Wasting time in lines has always bothered me, and now we no longer have to endure it.”
Berkeley, Calif.-based Grabango is a provider of checkout-free technology for existing, large-scale store chains. The Grabango platform is a network that processes millions of simultaneous transactions. The system places no limits on who can enter the store, what can be sold there or how the shelving is configured. Grabango was founded in 2016 by Will Glaser, who is also a co-founder of Pandora Media.