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Standard Cognition

AI-Powered Autonomous Checkout

Investment strategy Pre-IPO

Standard Cognition — developer of autonomous cash registers for retail chains.

Standart Cognition
Standart Cognition pre-IPO Raison Asset Management

Standard Cognition technology uses artificial intelligence that reads shoppers’ movements without recognizing their faces. Customers do not need to scan products and waste time paying for them at the checkout. This reduces retailers’ staffing costs, increases their business margins, and improves customer service.

About Standard Cognition

  • The company was founded in 2017 in San Francisco.
  • In February 2021, Standard Cognition raised $150 million from the Soft Bank Vision Fund, making it the largest startup in the autonomous check-out technology segment.
  • The company holds 12 retail-related machine learning and artificial intelligence patents. An additional 8 patents are currently pending.
  • In March 2021, Standard Cognition received the AI Excellence Award from the Business Intelligence Group.
  • Large companies such as Circle K and Compass Group PLC (a British foodservice conglomerate) use Standard Cognition technology.
  • Standard Cognition has chosen a simpler approach than Amazon: The company relies exclusively on cameras and avoids shelf sensors. Stores will be able to install this technology without costly upgrades. This makes small and medium-sized businesses the main target audience for the company.

Competitive analysis

Standart Cognition analysis
Standart Cognition pre-IPO Raison Asset Management

Market overview

According to Statista data for May 2019, the number of stores with offline checkouts in USA will reach 10,000 by 2024.

Standart Cognition analysis
Standart Cognition graphics
Standart Cognition pre-IPO Raison Asset Management

Retailers are adopting self-service systems to redeploy staff and devote more time to supporting other operations and serving customers more efficiently.

Giants such as Amazon, Walmart, and Target are showing interest in cashless systems. Jeff Bezos’ company has already launched nearly 30 Amazon Go stores. With the introduction of the technology in all stores of the corporation, the total sales can reach $4.5 billion per year, according to Bloomberg calculations.

Amazon’s initiative to open 3,000 cashless stores in the US has pushed the largest chains to invest in the technology.

Financial Performance

  • Total funding: $236 million
  • Last funding round: $150 million — Series С
  • Last round valuation: $1 billion
  • Share price on last round: $40.35
  • Last round date: 17 February 2021
  • Lead investors: Y Combinator, Soft Bank, CRV, EQT Ventures, SK Networks
Standart Cognition funding rounds
Standart Cognition pre-IPO Raison Asset Management
  • According to analysts, Standard Cognition’s estimated annual income is $17.3 million per year.
  • After raising $150 million, Standart Cognition set a goal to implement its system in 50,000 stores over the next 5 years.
  • The company has partnered with one of the largest sellers of medicines, cosmetics, and essential products in Japan — Paltac ($9.6 billion in revenue in 2020).
  • The company’s CEO said the takeover of Italian startup Checkout Technologies in May 2020 resulted in partnerships with 150 of the country’s largest retailers.
  • Given the development strategy of Standard Cognition, the company is likely to acquire additional companies to enter additional international markets. 

Founders and Management

The company was founded by 7 entrepreneurs with experience in video game development, machine learning, and 3D modeling. Two of the founders worked for the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the quantitative analysis department.
The board of directors also includes three partners from the funds that have invested in the company: Soft Bank, CRV, and EQT ventures.

Risks

  • The e-commerce trend fueled by the pandemic could slow the growth of physical stores around the world.
  • Competition with big players like Amazon and Walmart could prevent the company from expanding its network of partners.
  • Reducing costs of alternative technologies for cashless payments: shelf sensors, recognition using radio waves, etc.

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