Aldi’s “just walk out’ store technology partner, Aifi, has secured £50 million ($65 million) in a Series B funding round.
Among its investors are several of Aifi’s retail clients, including Aldi South Group, German supermarket chain Rewe and Polish store brand Żabka Group.
The round brings Aifi’s total funding to £61 million ($80 million) and will primarily be used to expand the company’s technical team to “cater to the surging demand for Aifi’s solution”.
“The pandemic heavily influenced consumer preferences, including the need for quicker, more seamless shopping experiences. It’s become clear that shoppers are ready for autonomous retail and AiFi is here to deliver,” Aifi chief executive Steve Gu said.
“We relentlessly improve our AI algorithms to ensure we have a strong foundation to support our platform, and the success we’ve seen with diverse store formats, speed of deployment, and a frictionless customer experience attests to the flexibility and maturity our product has achieved.
“With this latest round of funding, we’ll be able to scale our partnerships and launch customized stores in record time to bring us closer to our vision of using AI to simplify people’s busy lives.”
In the UK, Aifi has partnered with Aldi and Morrisons. In January, Aldi became the first discount retailer to offer “just walk out” shopping with the opening of its Shop & Go store in Greenwich, London.
Morrisons announced In July 2021 it was trialling checkout-free at its headquarters in Bradford.