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Cathay Innovation Invests in China’s AI-based Smart Retail Startup Cloudpick

Cathay Innovation leads the new financing round of Cloudpick, to fully digitalize in-store retail distribution through AI

The global venture capital fund Cathay Innovation has led this funding round (Series A+) as a sole new investor in the Chinese startup specialized in the digital transformation of the retail industry. This investment of around 10 million euros will enable Cloudpick to accelerate its development to respond to global demand and to pursue its R&D for new AI-based products.

Founded in July 2017, Cloudpick provides smart store solutions combining AI technology with retail sales. Thanks to computer vision, machine learning and multi-sensor integration technologies, the Cloudpick++ patented algorithmic behavior recognition and learning engine, developed in-house, is capable of precisely identifying product information and customer behaviors, and thus delivers a seamless “Grab & Go” (with contactless payment) shopping experience to customers worldwide. In short, Cloudpick enables the transformation of traditional stores into highly digitized, cashless smart stores.

Cloudpick has already equipped around 100 stores worldwide, notably in the United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and China. It has also built up many high-quality partnerships with companies and organizations such as NTT Data and NEC in Japan, or emart24 in South Korea.

In practical terms, shoppers enter the store by scanning a QR code. Then throughout their visit, the smart system will gather data on product choices and customer behaviors. Once customers finished shopping, they simply walk out, with no need to checkout. This 100% contactless payment system not only allows stores to stay open 24/7 but serves also as an efficient tool to reduce transmission rates in times of pandemic.

In addition to a simplified, secure, enriched and personalized user experience, Cloudpick’s solutions enable stores to access a real-time data portal to optimize performance through automated payment systems, intelligent inventory management and personalized marketing tools.

By leveraging Cloudpick’s advanced technologies, stores can digitalize all product, spatial and behavioral data to create a digital copy of their operations, accurately modeling a variety of complex scenarios. For example, they can recognize incorrect handling or location, with an accuracy rate of up to 99.9% in just 5 to 10 seconds.

Furthermore, the systematic use of data in decision making will ultimately result in the full integration of the value chain, from downstream warehouse supply to upstream services (order picking, home deliveries, etc.), and replace empiricism as the driver of operational efficiencies.

Rosie Zhang, co-founder of Cloudpick Technology, said: “This round of financing marks a new starting point. Whereas traditional operating methods are still focusing on price competition, new digital platforms focus on customers’ needs and improving user experience. Cloudpick increases the interaction between retailers and their customers through a complete AI transformation.”

Lijun DING, Investment Director of Cathay Innovation, concluded: “The retail sector has been strongly impacted by the consequences of the pandemic, but this crisis has acted as a catalyst for the digital transformation of the sector and has increased consumer acceptance of new, easy-to-use and personalized services. We are convinced of the potential and value of this investment theme and that Cloudpick will be at the forefront of this AI-led consumer revolution given the full range of digital innovations that Cloudpick offers.”

About Cloudpick

Cloudpick was founded in 2017 with the aim of providing AI-based smart store solutions to the retail industry. Built on computer vision, machine learning and multi-sensor integration technologies, the self-developed patented behavior recognition and product learning algorithm engine Cloudpick++, is able to accurately identify product information and customer shopping behaviors, and provide “Grab & Go, senseless payment” smart retail experience to global customers. This enables traditional “Brick and Mortar” stores to turn into highly digitized and intelligent cashierless smart stores.

The core technical team comes from a versatile background, including senior scientists and engineers from Silicon Valley, Alibaba, Tencent, Intel, etc. By 2019, Cloudpick had already established close to 100 stores in countries such as the United States, Canada, Japan, Korea, or Singapore.

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About Cathay Innovation

Cathay Innovation is a global venture capital partnership, created in affiliation with Cathay Capital. It was founded around the shared conviction that supporting innovation entrepreneurs by providing them with a platform bridging 3 continents – North America, Europe and China – constitutes a particularly powerful value-creation strategy. As a multi-stage fund, Cathay Innovation partners with visionary entrepreneurs committed to the sustainable transformation of the world through innovation and technology. Such transformation is accelerated by leveraging Cathay Capital extensive network with corporates and solid experience in operational excellence. Cathay Innovation has offices in San Francisco, Paris, Beiging, Shanghai and Singapore.

To learn more, please visit or follow us on Twitter @Cathayinnov.