SK Networks said in a statement on February 23 that the company will invest $25 million in Standard Cognition in Series C funding. The American company has entered the billion-dollar Unicorn club with its Ai-based solution allowing stores to be operated fully unmanned. Customers can just walk in, grab what they need, tag their smartphones to check-out posts and leave. The AI system will recognize customers and products and transactions will be made automatically.
An unmanned store solution is an important digital transformation technique as it can help traditional shop owners reduce operating costs while customers save time. Unmanned stores use computer vision, deep learning, and digital payment technologies.
"We will continue to achieve successful results in investment and the establishment of mid and long-term strategic models while we expand our investment portfolio to acquire future technologies such as AI and data analysis through partnerships with promising companies at home and abroad," SK Networks' invest management center head Yoo Bong-woon was quoted as saying.
Ecommerce giant Amazon operates a chain of convenience stores called "Amazon Go" that operates a partially unmanned checkout system. It currently has 27 stores in U.S. cities including Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York City. According to SK Networks, Standard Cognition plans to set up more than 50,000 unmanned stores across the world in five years.
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