Business COVID-19 Venture

Armed With Computer Vision And $80M Series C, Scandit Sees 2020 With 20/20

Scandit helps consumers and employees find things on store shelves with their smartphones, and as things become more “contactless,” more investors see Scandit’s potential.

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The company, based in Switzerland, landed $80 million in Series C-related funding led by G2VP, which was joined by Atomico, GV, Kreos, NGP Capital, Salesforce Ventures and Swisscom Ventures.

G2VP General Partner Ben Kortlang said in a written statement that Scandit’s platform puts “an enterprise-grade scanning solution in the pocket of every employee and customer without requiring legacy hardware,” and that the platform will be even more “critical” as the world increasingly uses online shopping.

Including the new funding, the 10-year-old company has raised a total of $123 million, according to Crunchbase data. Scandit last raised funding in July 2018, a $30 million Series B round led by GV and NGP Capital.

Scandit’s computer vision and machine-learning platform combines barcode scanning, text recognition, object recognition with augmented reality (AR) for any camera-equipped smart device, such as smartphones, wearables, robots and even drones and smart glasses, Scandit CEO Samuel Mueller told Crunchbase News.

“You just download the app to your device, point the camera at something on the store shelf and magically interact with a product in AR,” Mueller said.

The app can be used on BYOD (bring your own device) or COPE (corporate owned, personally enabled) smart devices, he added.

Saving time and money

Scandit’s software is fast, accurate, can scan in bad light and at any angle, and be used with damaged labels, Mueller added. For consumers, it can even drill down to a certain product type, size or color and the app filters accordingly with those items lighting up in the augmented reality.

“When you think about traditional ways of data capture and product identification, a lot of scanning happens in the last mile of a retailer or health care company, using a barcode,” Mueller added. “Traditionally enterprises buy dedicated, but unwieldy, scanning computers. We enable the same speed and accuracy of product identification and capturing data, but on a smartphone, which is five times cheaper and a much more user-friendly manner.”

The Global Industrial Barcode Scanner Market is expected to grow by $538 million in the next four years, according to Reportlinker.com.

Scandit is already seeing some of that demand. Since its last funding round in 2018, the company tripled recurring revenue, more than doubled its enterprise customers and doubled its global headcount, Mueller said. In 2020, he said he expects to grow Scandit’s 250 employees by 40 percent.

Putting funds to work

The company touts customers including 7-Eleven, Alaska Airlines, Carrefour, DPD, FedEx, Instacart and Johns Hopkins Hospital, which perform tens of billions of scans every year on more than 100 million active devices.

However, COVID-19 has accelerated many customers’ plans for mobile computer vision on personal smart devices, and Scandit is helping them rapidly ramp up those services in the increasingly “contactless” business environment, Mueller said.

As a result, last-mile delivery and parcel volume is through the roof as online ordering surges, quickly growing the number of delivery staff needed to handle the demand, he said. In addition, being a software-only solution enables customers to bring tens of thousands of new staff up-to-speed quickly.

“Retailers are quite fundamentally rethinking their business models and quickly spinning up their scanning solutions, spinning up their buying online and picking up, as well as curbside solutions through their newly expanded online and fulfillment organizations,” he added.

Where the new funding will come into play is to continue its expansion in newer markets, such as Latin America, Asia Pacific and the Middle East. It will also invest further in the North American and European markets as well as all existing verticals, such as retail, transportation, logistics, manufacturing and health care, Mueller said.

“We have seen a lot of demand and success in those geographic areas, so we are also going to strengthen our teams there,” he added. “We also want to grow our product and engineering teams to accelerate our technical leadership and company roadmap.”

Photo: Courtesy of Scandit
Blogroll Illustration: iStock

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