retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• A company called Standard Cognition which has been building checkout-free technology designed to help retailers compete with Amazon Go-style stores, said yesterday that it “has raised a $35M Series B funding round led by the EQT Ventures fund (“EQT Ventures”) with participation from existing investors Initialized Capital, CRV and Y Combinator. This brings Standard’s total funding to date to more than $86M … The funding enables Standard to continue to focus on making its early customers in the U.S. and Japan successful while growing the team and expanding both domestically and internationally.”
KC's View:
I visited the store about a year ago, and wasn’t all that impressed … mostly because it seemed like a very limited test designed to raise money from investors and get retailers to sign up to use it. It was afar cary from Amazon Go, which has fully functioning stores operating on an entirely different level. (It was also possible that the Standard Cognition store underwhelmed because of the stench of urine coming from right outside the door on Mission Street.)

But … there’s no question that there are going to be bunches of companies developing various iterations of checkout-free technology, and that somebody is going to take it for a successful ride, and that the world is going to continue to change. I still believe that checkout-free tech is going to end up being as important to retail as scanning.