RADAR Gets Investment from Big Names to Help Brick and Mortar Retailers Compete with Amazon
The Funding Includes Strategic Investments by Industry-Leading Retail, Logistics and Tech Companies; Rollout Includes Pilot Programs with Three Apparel Retailers Operating 7500+ Stores Globally
RADAR, a platform that fuses RFID and Computer Vision to automate inventory management, analytics and checkout in physical stores, announces $16 million in funding. Investors include Ashton Kutcher and Guy Oseary’s Sound Ventures, Japanese NTT Group and two multi-billion dollar, publicly-traded apparel retailers that are also two of RADAR’s lead customers. The $16 million investment will be used to deploy RADAR’s proprietary hardware and software platform across three enterprise customers.
The company, which has offices in New York City and San Diego, is taking a holistic approach to helping brick and mortar retailers compete with Amazon’s online and offline businesses by first improving in-store inventory management, second creating e-commerce quality analytics in physical stores, and third unlocking autonomous checkout. This milestone funding validates the retail community’s confidence in RADAR’s proprietary technical approach and go-to-market strategy.
“The rise of Amazon and direct-to-consumer brands has created unprecedented consumer expectations around speed and convenience. While enabling autonomous checkout will play a part in meeting these changing expectations, it’s definitely not the foundational part that brick and mortar retailers are focused on today.” said Spencer Hewett, Co-founder & CEO of RADAR. “Retailers still don’t know exactly what they have in their stores, let alone where it is, and it’s costing them billions. By combining RFID and Computer Vision, we’ve created the only solution on the market that allows retailers to know exactly where all their products are in real-time in 3D, from the floor of a fitting room to the highest stockroom shelf. This allows retailers to make every last unit available to all customers both in-store and online.”
“RFID technology was originally designed to help retailers improve inventory management, but most solutions remain highly manual, limited in capability or too expensive to deploy.” said Adam Blair, Co-founder & CTO of RADAR. “Computer vision solutions, on the other hand, have been focused on small convenience stores with controlled store layouts because this technology alone has major challenges scaling to large, varied formats with different product categories. We recognize the power of truly integrating RFID and Computer Vision. This is why we’ve gone through the effort of developing proprietary, advanced signal processing methods and a proprietary sensor that allows us to realize the benefits of both technologies. In doing so, we’ve created a scalable solution that not only solves inventory management but also enables e-commerce quality analytics and autonomous checkout in all retail stores.”
RADAR’s technology has been purpose-built to locate products more quickly and accurately than any other solution in the space enabling it to track products in real-time, down to their slightest movement. This capability is made possible by RADAR’s custom-made sensor which combines proprietary systems, algorithms, and signal processing methods to create a defensible, flexible and scalable solution for retailers. RADAR’s proprietary technology and fully-integrated platform will unlock industry-changing applications for retailers focused on:
- Inventory Management – RADAR is solving retail’s massive inventory management problem; one that generates $1.1 trillion in lost revenue globally due to out of stocks and overstocks. Through the installation of its fully-integrated platform – which captures all in-store inventory data presenting it to retail employees in a simple, actionable fashion – physical retailers know exactly what is available and where it is in real-time in 3D. This capability creates the opportunity to increase sales in stores and online and reduce excess throughout the supply chain.
- E-commerce Quality Analytics – RADAR’s proprietary technology captures every single consumer-product interaction, down to a product’s slightest movement. This enables retailers to finally begin analyzing physical stores exactly like e-commerce sites. Via future software updates, the platform will be able to measure everything from customers’ engagement with specific products to the productivity of employees performing specific tasks.
- Autonomous Checkout – The exact same infrastructure that RADAR uses to solve inventory management and improve in-store analytics will also be used to unlock autonomous checkout via a simple software update. This enables the company to create value for retailers from day one while simultaneously using real-world data to improve the platform’s technology, ultimately enabling autonomous checkout.
The team behind the technology includes members that have built scalable products and processes for industry-leading companies including Amazon, Boeing, Facebook, Inditex (Zara), Qualcomm and Spotify. Joining two of RADAR’s enterprise customers and Sound Ventures in this funding are several seasoned retail and tech investors including Align Ventures, Beanstalk Ventures, Colle Capital, Founders Fund Pathfinder, Novel TMT, and NTT Docomo Ventures, the investment arm of the Japanese telecom conglomerate, NTT Group.
“RFID has traditionally been good for managing inventory,” said Ken Seiff, Managing Partner of Beanstalk Ventures. “But RADAR’s new, proprietary approach that combines RFID and Computer Vision will open up entirely new profit opportunities for all retailers. It has the potential to become the central nervous system for retail operations. This is the kind of team and technology we love to back.”