- Mashgin, a maker of touchless self-checkout systems, announced on Monday a $62.5 million Series B round led by global venture capital firm NEA. The funding raised Mashgin’s valuation to $1.5 billion, giving the company unicorn status, according to the press release.
- Mashgin, which currently partners with convenience stores, cafeterias, hospitals and sports arenas, said it will use the funding to build out its team, speed up expansion and scale globally.
- Convenience stores and grocers are stepping up their efforts to reduce friction at checkout and give shoppers faster and easier ways to pay.
Mashgin said that its touchless checkout system, which doesn't need barcodes and instead uses artificial intelligence and computer vision to identify products, can allow customers to pay in as little as 10 seconds. The company added that its checkout technology is four times faster than cashiers and traditional point-of-sale systems.
Mashgin makes its hardware in California and charges roughly $1,000 per machine per month, Forbes noted in a recent article about the company. Since its founding in 2013, the company has completed more than 35 million transactions and processed $310 million through its platform.
Mashgin's touchless self-checkout kiosks are currently in more than 800 locations, including convenience store chains like Delek, more than 30 sports stadiums and corporate and hospital cafes in partnership with Aramark, Compass Group and Sodexo. Consumers can also find Mashgin's technology at several airports, including the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and Los Angeles International Airport, through deployments with restaurateur and airport retailer HMS Host.
In March, bp unveiled Mashgin’s touchless self-checkout technology at ampm stores in the San Francisco Bay Area, connecting the firm to a convenience store chain under by one of the world's largest oil and gas companies.
Mashgin is competing with other frictionless checkout companies at locations where speed and convenience are paramount. Seattle’s T-Mobile Park will add Amazon's Just Walk Out technology and Amazon One palm-scanning identification system this summer, GeekWire reported last month. New York City's Javits Center uses Just Walk Out at the convention center's Fresh and Fast touchless cafe.
Meanwhile, Zippin said last month that its technology powers 50 stores across the U.S. and 10 internationally, including two "Buzz City" Zippin Lanes inside the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, and a 4,000-square-foot West Market convenience store near St. Louis. Bp has also worked with Grabango on automated checkout at Amoco and ampm stores.
The adoption of touchless self-checkout and other checkout innovations in convenience stores, airports, stadiums and other places may help drive customer demand for faster payment solutions when grocery shopping.
Self-checkout, another evolving technology, is expanding inside grocery stores, driven in part by the pandemic spurring consumer demand for contact-free options and speedier trips. Meanwhile, Amazon's growing presence in grocery and willingness to experiment with several technological innovations, including its Amazon One palm-reading tool, Just Walk Out and Dash Cart, are also giving food retailers an added incentive to explore faster and more convenient checkout options.
Late last year, Instacart paid $350 million for Caper AI, which makes smart cart and contact-free self-checkout counter solutions, and last month deployed the Caper Counter at refreshment stands in Boston’s Fenway Park in partnership with hospitality provider Aramark Sports + Entertainment.
Mashgin said it is profitable, and that its total funding to date is now $74.7 million. The company is riding the same wave of interest in speedy checkout tech that has drawn investors to companies like Standard AI, AiFi, Grabango and Zippin. For example, Standard achieved unicorn status in February 2021 with a $150 million Series C round.