The startups in this infographic have raised nearly $1.5B to optimize grocery store operations with AI, virtual reality and more.
While grocers have traditionally not been as affected by the migration to e-commerce as other retailers, e-commerce has now begun to hit the grocery space. As Amazon — the leading threat in nearly every retail industry— pushes more heavily into grocery, brick-and-mortar grocery stores will continue to face increased pressure to optimize every inch of their physical stores.
Dozens of startups aiming to help grocery businesses improve their brick-and-mortar operations have raised funding. These startups offer products ranging from sensors to track shopper routes throughout the store, to virtual reality to design more attractive product displays.
The infographic below highlights 65 startups that focus on serving grocery businesses. We previously looked at startups serving brick-and-mortar retailers here and startups seeking to optimize restaurant operations here. All startups included in this post have a notable use case within the food & grocery industry, although many work with other types of brick-and-mortar retailers as well.
See the infographic, category descriptions, and full startup list below. All startups on the map are private companies and have raised investment since 2013.
Real-time shelf monitoring – These startups help food and CPG brands monitor their products in stores — either through AI-powered visual monitoring or via field check teams — to ensure their products are properly displayed, visually monitor product promotions, and more.
Store robots & chatbots – These startups power robots for use in stores, to greet customers and/or track and move inventory.
Augmented/virtual reality tools – These startups use augmented and virtual reality to help brands and retailers design and refine in-store promotional displays before launching them. InContext raised $40M and has a long client list including Coca-Cola, AB InBev, Kellogg’s, and Walgreens. Augment has raised $5M and has worked with Nestle, Coca-Cola and others.
Interactive displays – These startups provide digital, interactive screens to stores to help boost customer engagement in the aisles.
Digital labels – These startups let shoppers scan products with their mobile phones to see additional product information.
Music management – These startups help businesses manage their in-store music playlists.
Smarter receipts – These startups help stores provide digital receipts and receipts with personalized rewards to shoppers in stores.
Beacons & location tracking – Startups such as Euclid Analytics ($43.6M in disclosed funding), RetailNext ($189M), and Swirl Networks ($32M) use beacons, sensors, and Wi-Fi signals from phones to track shoppers throughout the store and provide grocery stores with insights on foot traffic and individual shoppers. Some also provide proximity marketing tools. These startups offer a similar use case as the In-Store Shopper Insights category (noted below). However, this category is more focused on location-based tech and tends to cater to retailers, rather than brands.
Store management – These startups provide broad software platforms for store management, integrating features such as payment processing and inventory tracking.
In-store rewards – These startups give grocery stores platforms to offer rewards and cash back to in-store shoppers.
In-store shopper insights – These startups provide software platforms to help food and CPG brands monitor their performance at the granular store level. For example, Metabrite ($18.9M in disclosed funding) provides automated receipt processing to help brands understand purchasing patterns at each individual store. Index helps grocery stores offer targeted promotions and shopper insights based on in-store data.
Merchandising tools – These startups aim to improve merchandising for grocery stores and brands. Blue Yonder uses machine learning to help stores optimize pricing and replenishment. Rangeme and Alkemics aim to connect CPG brands and stores for improved merchandising.
Food waste management – These startups help grocery stores and restaurants manage and reduce food waste. Enterra, with $5M in funding, collects food waste from grocers and converts it to livestock feed and fertilizer. Spoiler Alert, which raised $2.8M from investors including Campbell Soup’s Acre Venture Partners, offers a B2B marketplace to help grocers sell and donate surplus food.
Promotion optimization – Startups such as Eversight ($25.2M in disclosed funding) track the performance of promotions to help stores and brands optimize their promotion strategies.
Store gardens – Startups including BrightFarms set up local hydroponic farms near grocery stores and restaurants so businesses can sell sustainable, local produce. BrightFarms raised $55.4M and works with ShopRite, Wegmans, Giant, and others.
|Grocery Store Tech Company List|
|Augment||Augmented/Virtual Reality Tools||Salesforce Ventures|
|InContext Solutions||Augmented/Virtual Reality Tools||AMD Ventures, Beringea, Hyde Park Venture Partners, Intel Capital, Plymouth Ventures|
|Beabloo||Beacons & Location Tracking||Baozun, Infema Family Office, SoftBank Group|
|Bfonics||Beacons & Location Tracking||Undisclosed|
|Estimote||Beacons & Location Tracking||Bessemer Venture Partners, Commerce Ventures, Homebrew, Innovation Endeavors|
|Euclid Analytics||Beacons & Location Tracking||Benchmark, NEA, Harrison Metal|
|Footmarks||Beacons & Location Tracking||Commerce.Innovated, R/GA Accelerator|
|Innorange||Beacons & Location Tracking||Visit Intelligence|
|PlaceIQ||Beacons & Location Tracking||Alibaba Group, IA Ventures, kbs+ Ventures, US Venture Partners, Valhalla Partners|
|RetailNext||Beacons & Location Tracking||August Capital, Commerce Ventures, Nokia Growth Partners, StarVest Partners|
|Scanalytics||Beacons & Location Tracking||Wearable IoT World Labs|
|Sewio Networks||Beacons & Location Tracking||Y Soft Venture Capital|
|Swirl Networks||Beacons & Location Tracking||General Catalyst, Hearst Ventures, Longworth Venture Partners, Softbank Capital, Twitter Ventures|
|Walkbase||Beacons & Location Tracking||MoneyTime Ventures, PV Seed|
|itemMaster||Digital Labels||Chicago Ventures, Edison Partners|
|ScanLife||Digital Labels||Masthead Venture Partners, Hudson Ventures|
|Supersmart||Digital Labels||MasterCard Start Path|
|Enterra||Food Waste Management||Avrio Capital, Wheatsheaf Investments|
|FoodMaven||Food Waste Management||Undisclosed|
|Matsmart||Food Waste Management||Edastra Venture Capital, Northzone Ventures|
|Spoiler Alert||Food Waste Management||Acre Venture Partners, Fresh Source Capital, FTW Ventures, Valley Oak Investments|
|Fetch Rewards||In-Store Rewards||BrightStar Wisconsin, Great Oaks Venture Capital|
|FiveStars||In-Store Rewards||DCM Ventures, HarbourVest Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Menlo Ventures|
|Ibotta||In-Store Rewards||Great Oaks Venture Capital|
|Koupon Media||In-Store Rewards||Matthew Pritzker Company, Mercury Fund, Trailblazer Capital|
|SavingStar||In-Store Rewards||American Express Ventures, DCM Ventures, First Round Capital, IA Ventures|
|Civalue||In-Store Shopper Insights||Deutsche Telekom, Mac Fund, Nielsen Innovate, Wellborn Venture|
|Index Systems||In-Store Shopper Insights||General Catalyst, Innovation Endeavors, Khosla Ventures|
|Manthan Software Services||In-Store Shopper Insights||DFJ ePlanet Ventures, Eight Roads Ventures, IDG Ventures India, Norwest Venture Partners, Temasek Holdings|
|MetaBrite||In-Store Shopper Insights||Acorn Ventures, Camp One Ventures|
|Aila Technologies||Interactive Displays||Bolt Innovation Group, Romulus Capital|
|CloudTags||Interactive Displays||Alerion Ventures, Foundry Group, Hallett Capital, IDEA Fund Partners, Knoll Ventures|
|Enplug||Interactive Displays||#Dominate Fund, 500 Startups, Amidi Group, Amino Capital|
|eyeQ||Interactive Displays||Alignment Capital Group, Corsa Ventures, DreamIt Ventures|
|Alkemics||Merchandising Tools||Cathay Innovation, Index Ventures, Partech Ventures, SEB Alliance, Serena Capital|
|Blue Yonder||Merchandising Tools||Warburg Pincus|
|RangeMe||Merchandising Tools||Freestyle Capital, Simon Equity Partners, Transmedia Capital|
|Shelvspace||Merchandising Tools||AngelList, Tallwave|
|ATMO Select||Music Management||SA Framtak|
|Rockbot||Music Management||Detroit Venture Partners, Google Ventures, Universal Music Group|
|Soundtrack Your Brand||Music Management||Creandum, Northzone Ventures, Telia, Spotify|
|Eversight||Promotion Optimization||Bow Capital, Emergence Capital Partners, Industry Ventures, Sutter Hill Ventures|
|Quri||Promotion Optimization||Catamount Ventures, Matrix Partners, Simon Equity Partners|
|Shelfbucks||Promotion Optimization||Capital Factory|
|Clic and Walk||Real-Time Shelf Monitoring||BPI France, Breega Capital, CITA Investissement|
|GoSpotCheck||Real-Time Shelf Monitoring||Insight Venture Partners, Oakview Group, Point Nine Capital, Venture51|
|Mobee||Real-Time Shelf Monitoring||Accomplice, Flint Capital, InterWest Partners|
|Observa||Real-Time Shelf Monitoring||Undisclosed|
|Trax Image Recognition||Real-Time Shelf Monitoring||Investec|
|Ecrebo||Shopper Feedback||Octopus Ventures|
|TruRating||Shopper Feedback||Peter Ayliffe, SandAire|
|Wyzerr||Shopper Feedback||Connetic Ventures, Rough Draft Ventures|
|flexReceipts||Smarter Receipts||AltaIR Capital, Angel Street Capital, PJC, Struck Capital, Synchrony Financial|
|Snapcart||Smarter Receipts||SPH Media Fund, Wavemaker Partners|
|BrightFarms||Store Gardens||Catalyst Investors, Emil Capital Partners, Montage Ventures, NGEN Partners, WP Global Partners|
|Bindo Labs||Store Management||Compound Ventures, East Ventures|
|Frogtek BOP||Store Management||Undisclosed|
|Lightspeed POS||Store Management||Accel Partners, iNovia Capital, Investissement Quebec|
|ShopKeep POS||Store Management||Canaan Partners, Contour Venture Partners, Tribeca Venture Partners, TTV Capital|
|COSY||Store Robots & Chatbots||Ben Franklin Technology Partners, GreatPoint Ventures, Intel Capital, Safeguard Scientifics|
|Fellow Robots||Store Robots & Chatbots||Crowdfunder, HAX|
|Satisfi||Store Robots & Chatbots||DreamIt Ventures, Stadia Ventures|
|Simbe Robotics||Store Robots & Chatbots||Cherubic Ventures, HAX, Pillar|