Swiss startup Advertima has announced that it has raised €15m in a Series A funding round for its smart retail solutions.

Central to the company’s offering is what it calls the Human Data Layer, which – through a combination of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and computer vision – provides real-time interpretation of human behaviour in physical spaces.

Through this, the company is able to provide a host of solutions to retailers, including smart inventory management and autonomous checkout. It can also serve content tailored to individual shoppers and their point in their shopping journey on screens throughout retail spaces.

The funding round has been led by Fortimo Group, a Swiss real estate company and existing shareholder in Advertima.

Advertima funding highlights digital future for bricks-and-mortar retail

The funding for Advertima comes as bricks-and-mortar retail is increasingly struggling, particularly as the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the growing move to ecommerce.

It is hoped that by introducing smart technologies such as AI into the physical retail environment, brands can lure shoppers back to physical stores.

However, Advertima is also offering increased efficiency, which it says will help retailers boost revenues and produce greater returns per square metre – vital gains at a time when the industry is under particular pressure.

Having developed its technology with grocer SPAR and Swiss retailer Migros, the startup is already netting support for its products, boasting in-store use by 14 companies across eight countries.

“It is clear that the rapid digitalisation of our society is going to have an impact on consumer habits, especially in the retail sector,” said Remo Bienz, founder of Fortimo Group.

“Advertima is at the cutting-edge of technology in the retail space. As a long-standing shareholder, we know how visionary their technology is, but also how it has been successfully adopted by major, global organisations and already generated significant revenues.”

The company now plans to put the investment towards future development of its smart retail technologies, with the ultimate goal of creating retail environments where technology is ubiquitous yet seamless.

“We’ll be investing €25m in the further development of our smart retail solutions over the next two years. €10m of this investment will be financed by our own revenues so this €15 million round is a crucial milestone to help us achieve our vision for how the world will look by 2030,” said Iman Nahvi, founder and CEO of Advertima.

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“We see a world where the physical and digital layers are merged to enhance our daily professional and private lives. Advertima’s Human Data Layer will be one of the irreplaceable components in this whole ecosystem of applications and technologies that will build the foundation of our future lives.”


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