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Inventory Management, Frictionless Checkout, Computer Vision • TechCrunch

Grocery Technology hasn’t changed much in decades, so when the pandemic hit, it served as a wake-up call to the industry, highlighting its shortcomings, especially when it comes to e-commerce. Grocery stores that do not adapt will most likely lose market share.

The good news for the grocery industry is that technological advancements in recent years, particularly in the area of ​​computer vision, are enabling startups to provide grocery stores with e-commerce-like functionality in a physical environment. .

And venture capital is there for that. Investors say computer vision, along with frictionless payment and inventory management tools, are revolutionizing the grocery industry and will ultimately impact the broader future of retail.

Capture capital and expand footprints

Grocery technology attracts venture capital activity for several reasons: On the one hand, retail grocery is such a large market – a A trillion dollar industry which is expected to grow 3% each year for the next eight years, according to Grandview Research.

Before the pandemic, about 3% of that trillion came from online sales. That figure has now risen to 8%, said Elaine Russell, director of Greycroft and co-head of the Albertsons Fund, a $50 million fund launched by Greycroft and the grocery chain in 2018 to invest in the future of businesses. retailers and next-gen retailers.

Another is that e-commerce’s share of the grocery market is expected to be between 10% and 20% by 2025, Russell told TechCrunch.

“This kind of hundreds of billions of dollars change shakes up an entire industry and shines a light on the glaring holes and problems that big retailers need to address,” she added. “Change brings innovation and opportunity, and grocery is a good test, in a way, for the industry, because most of the technologies used in grocery can also be applied to other retailers.”