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Grocery Store Of The Future: 65 Startups Reimagining Shelf Stocking, Product Promotion, Shopper Tracking, And More

Posted by Jason Trovela on 4/19/17 2:30 PM

4.12 grocery headerOriginally published on CB Insights.

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.

Note: Market map is not meant to be exhaustive of startups in the space. Some startups may offer products across multiple categories on the map. In that case, we categorized them according to their primary use case. 

4.13 grocery store graphic

Category breakdown

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.

Shopper feedback - Startups including Wyzerr, TruRating, and Ecrebo help businesses solicit reviews and satisfaction ratings from customers at the point of sale.

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
Company Category All Investors
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 Inc. 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
Ksubaka Interactive Displays Undisclosed
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
Kazum Music Management Undisclosed
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

About Scanalytics

Scanalytics is among the top 10 fastest growing “Internet of Things” companies, measuring human behavior insights through intelligent floor sensors. The SoleSensor platform translates consumer foot traffic into actionable data through a dashboard interface for real-time and historical viewing of trends in physical spaces. Using the floor sensor technology, brands capture and analyze occupancy, traffic patterns and engagement times to increase conversions and improve ROI.

With over 80 million impressions to date, Scanalytics has deployed SoleSensors across the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe and Southeast Asia. Learn more at: www.scanalyticsinc.com

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