- Artificial intelligence company Trigo has entered a partnership agreement with Google Cloud under which the companies will collaborate to help retailers employ artificial intelligence to manage the checkout process in their stores, the Israeli tech startup announced in a press release.
- Trigo, which already uses Google Cloud infrastructure to support the computer vision-based autonomous checkout technology it markets to retailers, said it will work with Google to "help retail businesses accelerate their digital transformations with AI-powered autonomous stores," but did not provide further details about the arrangement.
- Trigo has been stepping up its efforts to stand out in the frictionless retail space as rivals also direct resources toward technology that lets shoppers make purchases at stores without stopping at a checkout counter.
Trigo's partnership with Google reflects the Tel Aviv, Israel-based company's drive to build momentum as it looks to grab a share of the fledgling market for systems that let shoppers simply take items from store shelves and walk out.
Earlier this month, Trigo disclosed that it is working with German retailer REWE Group to add grab-and-go checkout technology to a new store in Cologne, Germany. Concurrent with that announcement, Trigo said REWE has become an investor in the tech company along with Viola Growth, an Israeli investment firm.
Trigo said the investments brought the amount it has raised so far to more than $100 million. In December, Trigo announced that it had taken in $60 million in a Series B round that at the time pushed its fundraising total above $94 million.
Notably, the December funding round included British supermarket chain Tesco, which has been testing Trigo's camera-based checkout technology at a Tesco Express convenience store at the retailer's headquarters near London. Trigo said Tesco plans to add its technology to another store in a more heavily populated area.
Trigo is also working with Israeli supermarket chain Shufersal to develop its technology, which uses arrays of ceiling-mounted cameras to track shopper activity in stores and record when people remove items from shelves. Trigo says it does not track shoppers' personal identities.
Trigo faces robust competition from several companies that also offer store operators the ability to let customers avoid checkout aisles or self-checkout stations.Earlier this month, Amazon opened its first Fresh grocery store in the United States equipped with its Just Walk Out technology, which like Trigo's system uses cameras to track shoppers and goods in stores. Amazon also offers the technology at a Fresh-branded convenience store in London and at its Go stores in several U.S. cities.
Other companies angling for attention in the frictionless-checkout category include Standard Cognition, Grabango and Zippin, all of which also use camera vision technology.
Google has also been building its presence in the retail arena. In March, the technology giant said it was working with Albertsons to add a string of consumer-facing services through products like including Google Search, Google Maps and Google Pay. Hy-Vee, meanwhile, announced earlier in June that it had agreed to use Google Cloud to enhance its Aisles Online shopping platform.