Zippedi, a Silicon Valley-based RaaS (Robotics as a Service) company, has today announced a $12.5 million Series A investment led by Transpose Platform. Additional investors in the round include Gen 1 Capital and Endeavor Catalyst. The company specializes in digitizing grocery and home improvement retail environments to improve the consumer experience whether shopping in person, online or for delivery, and increasing store efficiency by improving out of stocks, price compliance, and e-commerce among other retail issues.
“Understanding that the brick-and-mortar retail business model has remained pretty much unchanged during the last 100 years, we built Zippedi with the idea that by digitizing the physical stores we could help the industry fully take advantage of AI and computer platforms available to digital natives,” noted Luis Vera, CEO and Co-founder of Zippedi. “With our Series A funding, we will be able to expand what we’ve done in the Home Improvement sector and the grocery sector, which will provide us with a huge opportunity globally.”
Zippedi was founded in 2017 and started operating in Sodimac, a leading Latin American Home Improvement chain based in Chile. Once that model was proven, Zippedi expanded the solution to one of the largest Home Improvement Chains in the U.S., which is now expanding the Zippedi solution to 100+ stores. With a similar approach, Zippedi started working with the grocery industry and has managed to generate value not only for retailers, but also the CPGs and Last Mile Delivery companies. Also guided by Mr. Vera, with the experience gleaned in this Latin American Pilot market, Zippedi will invest in taking the learnings to the U.S. grocery market where we will be able to provide a powerful and affordable solution to the grocery industry which has the nuance of having to operate on razor thin margins.
“Having invested in later-stage companies in the retail tech sector, it thrills us to see how Zippedi, in a very capital-efficient manner, has managed to do what predecessors have tried and failed,” said Alex Bangash, Co-founder and General Partner of Transpose Platform. Mr. Bangash added, “What Zippedi is doing in terms of digitizing the retail space is so transformative that we have no doubt that the tech stack they are building will be used by modern retailers who want to provide an excellent shopping experience for their consumers, as well as to operate profitably.”
By digitizing the brick-and-mortar store, retail industry players can now apply workflow collaboration tools, AI, and gain visibility that clearly drives efficiency and profitability. By applying this technology, Zippedi has managed to help its retail and CPG customers increase sales by 2-5% and increase productivity by 30 – 50%. Zippedi also helps their e-commerce/Last Mile Delivery customers minimize substitutions and significantly increase assortment, while at the same time reducing product picking times by up to 50%, gains that are impossible to achieve in the purely physical realm.
“Zippedi is a perfect Robotics as a Service (RaaS) application,” says Zippedi seed-stage lead investor Paul Willard. He is a Partner at Silicon Valley early-stage RaaS venture fund Grep VC. Mr. Willard and Grep VC have invested in other noteworthy RaaS companies, including Zipline, Cobalt Robotics, and Electric Sheep, among others. “The team at Zippedi is applying world class machine learning and robotics skills to create structured digital data for a new domain so that modern tools can be brought fully to bear. Retail tech is a large market, and we see AI applications in the sector continuing to grow, with 85% of all grocery shoppers still preferring to shop in person, even during the pandemic.”
“The Zippedi founders Luis Vera; Ariel Schilkrut, Ph.D. MIT; Alvaro Soto, Ph.D. CMU are some of the world’s experts in retail, logistics, robotics, AI, ML, and computer vision. We invest in the best founders regardless of geography and continue support this amazing team as they expand across North and South America,” said J. Cheng, Managing Director of Gen 1 Capital, “where one of their theses is robots augmenting (not replacing) humans to enable more engagement in high value tasks like caring for customers.”
Zippedi will use the proceeds to accelerate onboarding of new customers as well as continue to build out a comprehensive suite of products to make shoppers happy and retail stores as efficient as possible. Keep your eyes out for a Zippedi in your local retail store and know that the robot is helping make sure you have a great shopping experience.
Zippedi is a Silicon Valley-based AI startup, Robotics as a Service (RaaS), founded in 2017 by Luis Vera, Ariel Schilkrut, and Álvaro Soto. The company digitizes shelves and optimizes the execution in the store, through a robot that works with AI, which detects Out of Stock, planogram and promotional compliance among other services and makes the tasks of in store personnel more efficient, which directly provides retailers with a better margin and a better shopping experience.
Currently the company has contracts for 200+ retail stores in the U.S. and Latam and expects to significantly increase its footprint globally in the next few years.
About Transpose Platform
Transpose Platform (formerly known as TI Platform Management) is an investment firm that backs disruptive business venture models and ambitious founders. It was established in 2015 by Alex Bangash and Trang T. Nguyen, and it is headquartered in Houston, Texas.