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Zippedi is using robots to digitize inventory for last-mile delivery –

Luis Vera believes that the third is attraction. The self-proclaimed entrepreneur admits that his vision for retail counting was ten or two years ago when he started his travels in the 90s. Using a start-up partner – Prospect and Scopex – he tried various methods to help capture store items, including mounting cameras on the shelves and a roof-based system where one of them was walking down the street.

He was, effectively, trying to compete well with Amazon before Amazon, well, Amazon – at least in every sense of the word. Computer vision, machine learning and so on have taken a lot since then, of course. The idea of ​​competing directly with Amazon is an order that seems absurd, but ZippiThe view uses the geographical advantage of bricks and mortar to help facilitate the final mile delivery.

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The company uses a product robot to protect the contents of drawers, creating “digital twins” on the line. When someone orders an item, say, DoorDash, the shopper not only knows what is on the shelf, but where it is found. The system can both provide product orientation and provide a priority shopping list, to get in and out of it as quickly as possible. It’s easy to see how the company could add AR in the future (and that’s on the road map), but we’re a little ahead of ourselves here.

“A good example is when Uber came out, if there was a taxi company,” Vera said. “Brick and mortar stores are here to stay. There will be a lot of people shopping in the store, so I think the best way to deal with this is to digitize the store and do all these things that will please your customers. If it’s a last-mile delivery, if it’s a shopping spree – when you have digital twins, you can do a whole lot. “

Today, the Bay-based company announced that it has raised $ 12.5 million for Series A, led by Transpose Platform. That joins the $ 6.9 million seed cycle announced in September last year, led by former robotics investor, Grep VC.

“When we have invested in the later stages of the retail sector, we are very pleased to see how Zippidi has managed to do what they have tried before and failed and very well and effectively,” he said. said Transpose’s Alex Bangash. “What Zippidi is doing in terms of retail site digitization is a big change and there is no doubt that the technology package they are building will be used by every modern retailer who wants a better shopping experience for their customers as well as to useful to work on “

The company has been testing the system for some time now, including Vera tests in Chile. Since then she has entered into an agreement with the largest home improvement store. The company can show a lot, without mentioning the real name of the retailer. It is easy to make produce from there, However. The chain has awarded a contract for the use of 100+ Zipdi Robots. The startup is careful not to put all its eggs in the basket, lest they face the same fate as the Bossa Nova – Walmart deal.

It signs additional partnerships that do not directly compete with the home improvement team. Given the congestion of many retailers, Zippidi wants to split the cost of taking advantage of robots as well as partnering with these types of stores.

“We are working with Unilever, SC Johnson, Johnson & Johnson, Pepsi and Colgate, to name a few,” Vera said. “We really broke up the peanuts to produce value for them. So the next step is to bring that to the United States.