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AI Start-Up IMAGR Secures Significant Investment

Published: Fri 17 Nov 2017 12:47 PM
Artificial Intelligence Start-up IMAGR Secures Significant Investment to Begin Rolling Out Its Game-Changing Shopper Experiences
Auckland, New Zealand - Shoppers around the world are one step closer to experiencing artificial intelligence in action when they fill up their supermarket carts following a private investor’s buy-in to a leading AI start-up in the Southern Hemisphere.
IMAGR, an AI company from New Zealand, has today announced it has secured Sage Technologies Ltd as a cornerstone investor. The investment is a significant commitment to accelerate the development of IMAGR’s retail product, SMARTCART.
SMARTCART is an image recognition retrofit solution designed to eliminate the queues at checkouts and is set to revolutionise the shopping experience for consumers and retailers.
IMAGR founder, William Chomley (28), who founded the company in Sydney, Australia in 2015, before returning to his home country to set up the business in Auckland 12 months ago, says the new partnership will fast-track the company’s product developments.
“We’re passionate about delivering the world’s best consumer experiences through image processing and artificial intelligence. Our goal is to give retailers innovative solutions for efficiency, and with the support of Sage Technologies, we are now able to progress much more quickly towards rolling out our product range on an international scale,” says Chomley.
Working in real-time using computer vision technology, SMARTCART recognises products as they enter a supermarket cart – removing the need for traditional barcode scanning and the checkout process.
To activate, a customer downloads the app for the store they visit and sets up their payment method. While in store, shoppers pair their smartphone with the shopping cart and as they add items to the cart the items appear on their phone’s virtual basket.
IMAGR came to the attention of Sage Technologies Ltd, the technology venture of private investment company Quantres founder Harald McPike, just four months ago. IMAGR welcomes fellow New Zealander Michael Boocher, Head of Investment Strategy at Sage Technologies, based out of Dubai, to its board as a director.
“IMAGR’s SMARTCART promises to provide a truly friction-less retail experience, and while our connection to technology is often cited as being responsible for increased isolationism, there are some interactions we can live without,” says Boocher.
“We’re excited to work with William and his team in IMAGR’s next phase of growth, offering product innovation and enhanced in-store user-experiences with the development of the SMARTCART.”
IMAGR is already in talks with top FMCG retailers in New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom, Europe and America about using SMARTCART to enhance everyday experiences and will move into the testing phase (beta) in April 2018.
The goal; to achieve a 100 percent user-adoption at three of the world’s leading retailers by 2022. For retailers, SMARTCART will help with inventory management, cost reduction, analytics and opportunities for direct customer advertising through the app.
“For those looking for inspiration for what to make for dinner, the SMARTCART experience doesn’t just stop there. We’re also developing a helpful app which will recommend recipes in line with what products are being put in the cart and guide shoppers to specific products around the store. It will also identify personalised promotions to in-store customers,” adds Chomley.
“We are excited to lead the way using computer vision technology and artificial intelligence to create new shopper experiences which will become more and more integrated with our everyday lives.”
ENDS
ABOUT IMAGR
IMAGR Limited is a New Zealand company that provides computer vision and artificial intelligence solutions that facilitates secure, fast and reliable identification of products and people in real-time environments. Their mission is to underpin experiences through image processing and artificial intelligence platforms such as their product SMARTCART. IMAGR was started in Sydney in early 2015 with the concept of SMARTCART. Since inception IMAGR has assembled a highly focused and driven team comprising top tier development PhDs to build and maintain a scalable artificial intelligence platform. Today, IMAGR has 10 employees based in Auckland, NZ, and plans to grow to 12 staff by 2018. For more information visit: www.imagr.co

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