- AI retail startup raises more than €450,000 on CrowdCube.
- Optimus Price adds to Wayra’s retail tech activity.
Optimus Price, a retail technology startup backed by Telefónica investment arm Wayra Spain, has raised more than €500,000 (£425,291) from 318 investors in its latest crowdfunding on the CrowdCube platform, exceeding its initial target of €450,000.
Founded in 2017 and based in Barcelona, the startup has developed an artificial intelligence-equipped platform that helps retailers determine the best prices for their products and manage stock based on demand predictions. The AI-based tools are provided on a software-as-a-service basis.
Optimus Price was started by researchers from the Barcelona Supercomputing Center. The company’s AI algorithms automate retail pricing based on various data, including competitors’ prices, seasonality, stock supplies, and demand. The AI tools also provide catalogue management and help retailers predict demand by analysing stock, product lifecycles, and promotions.
In February 2020, Optimus Price raised €600,000 from Wayra and Spanish angel investors, and it also received a €240,000 loan from government-owned Enisa.
The company’s latest crowdfunding pitch says it has increased monthly recurring revenue by 1,800% in the last 18 months and added more than 30 clients, including Nestlé, SEAT, and Sonae.
The new funds will be used to expand into more markets, develop additional AI models, and integrate with other channels, including SAP and Shopify. Optimus Price’s current channel distribution partners include Accenture, eBay, and Seidor.
Telefónica’s retail innovators
Telefónica and its investment arm have made several recent moves to support technology development in the retail sector.
- In July 2021, Telefónica Tech, the Group’s growth-oriented digital services division, added AI video analytics capabilities from Canadian company C2RO to its IoT and big data portfolio, which incorporates services related to AI, blockchain, big data, and Internet of Things. Telefónica Tech and C2RO will jointly offer enterprises the video analytics solution that can be applied to smart-city, retail, and venue scenarios where understanding customer behavioural patterns can help companies make better use of spaces. Telefónica Tech said C2RO’s solution complements its own in-house-developed Smart Steps platform to provide “space analysis”.
- In June 2021, Wayra UK invested an undisclosed sum in Aura Vision, which provides bricks-and-mortar store traffic monitoring and sales support solutions. Aura Vision was later said to be set to sign a “multimillion-pound deal” with Virgin Media O2 to install its footfall analytics-enabling Aura Processing Units in O2 shops.
- In February 2021, Wayra formalised a deal to collaborate on financial and retail technology startup investments with Zone2boost, an innovation alliance between CaixaBank, Global Payments, Visa, and Worldline. Through the tie-up, the organisations plan to perform “joint business development” and explore common ways to discover and support startups, with an apparent primary focus on Spain.
- Wayra and Zone2boost are joint investors in retail automation startup Proppos and on-demand wage collector Payflow (Telefónicawatch, #149). Proppos is a Catalan startup that has developed an AI-based autonomous self-checkout system for canteens, cafeterias, and fast food restaurants. Wayra Spain participated in a €750,000 funding round for the startup in November 2020.