Look out Amazon Go — a Lisbon Startup Plans to Offer Autonomous Stores to Other Retailers

Check out Amazon Go. A Lisbon startup plans to provide other retailers with the same autonomous store technology. Lisbon-based Sensei, a computer vision startup that offers convenience stores check-out-free purchases, protected seeds of $6.5 million (€5.4M).

The fund was led by Seaya Ventures and Iberis Capital with the participation of the 200M Fund. The startup will now scale its research and development and launch new stores. Its proprietary platform uses a mix of cameras, sensors and AI to automate both new and existing stores. The platform means retailers can manage inventory in real-time and also gain insight into how stores are used.

Vasco Portugal, CEO and co-founder of Sensei, said: “Sensei’s technology will help level the playing field for retailers to compete against digital giants like Amazon. It aims to enhance our familiar and enjoyable customer shopping experience by making it seamless, convenient and secure.” Sensei is primarily designed to work with grab-and-go stores, forecasts and similar retail formats. Competitors include Trigo which raised $89 million.

The advantages of automated stores in an epidemic are obvious: customers no longer have to queue. Plus retailers can avoid turning stock out and staff into customer support. “We are thrilled to be investing in a business that is part of trade digitalization, a trend that is definitely accelerating,” said Aris Xenofontos, principal of Soya Ventures.

Luis Quaresma, a partner at Iberis Capital, added: “Sensei brings tremendous efficiency and cost-savings to the retail industry, while providing the much-needed non-stop checkout experience for customers.” Sensei founded Vasco Portugal (CEO, former MIT), Jonah Rafael (COO), Nuno Moutinho (CTO) and Paolo Carreira (CSO). 

The advantages of automated stores in an epidemic are obvious: customers no longer have to queue. Plus retailers can avoid turning stock out and staff into customer support. “We are thrilled to be investing in a business that is part of trade digitalization, a trend that is definitely accelerating,” said Aris Xenofontos, principal of Soya Ventures. Luis Quaresma, a partner at Iberis Capital, added: “Sensei brings tremendous efficiency and cost-savings to the retail industry, while providing the much-needed non-stop checkout experience customers.” Sensei founded Vasco Portugal (CEO, former MIT), Jonah Rafael (COO), Nuno Moutinho (CTO) and Paolo Carreira (CSO).