Saltagen-backed Startup,, Raises $1.2 Million from Investors

Saltagen Ventures
Oct 3, 2018 · 2 min read

Check out this excerpt for their latest feature in the Financial Review:

“This Melbourne startup can tell if you ring up your expensive knob of ginger as a potato at the self-service checkout has raised $1.2 million from investors [including Joseph Fung of Saltagen Ventures] and the inventor of the artificial intelligence inside Amazon’s “Alexa” virtual assistant. has been trialing its system of connected sensors and cameras at a major supermarket chain — co-founder Keaton Okkonen won’t say which one — with the aim of eventually allowing it to dispense with cashiers and in-store detectives, and allowing it to automate functions like ordering new stock from a distribution centre.

While the technology to run a cashier-less supermarket already exists — Amazon is reportedly planning 3000 of its no-checkout AmazonGO stores by 2021 — Mr Okkonen claimed’s ability to share data between its “seeing computers” would bring down the cost of store automation and further accelerate its deployment.

“If you’ve got a fleet of robots that can all plug into an information layer and share what they’re seeing, you’re able to place cheaper, lower-resolution sensors in each one,” he said. is also pointing its algorithms at a growing problem faced by supermarkets since they replaced many of their human cashiers with self-service checkouts — “stock bleed”, as Mr Okkonen diplomatically called it, which occurs most among unpackaged, non-barcoded items like fruit and vegetables.

“In trials we’ve done, we’ve already successfully identified somebody grabbing an organic avocado, then entering it as a regular avocado at the checkout,” he said.

This was not down to hyper-advanced image recognition, but’s prior tagging of the separate displays for organic and regular avocados, and its system’s ability to detect a hand entering one of those areas and leaving it holding an item.

In such a scenario, would prefer its system to be preventive than punitive, Mr Okkonen said.

“We’re not going to drop a cage on you if you incorrectly ring up the cheaper fruit, we want to give you the benefit of the doubt,” he said.

“If a store we’re in is not fully cashier-less yet, we’ll be able to suggest to customers the item we think they should be entering.”

To read more, visit:

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store