24 February 2019
With Amazon’s Prime Now, shoppers are filling their need for instant gratification. They see a product they want to purchase, it’s guaranteed to be in stock, and it will be in their hands that day. That’s a different story when it comes to retail stores such as grocery shops.
If you have ever been to the grocery store on a busy Sunday, especially during football season, you are used to seeing gaps within the store shelves. Missing item here, misplaced item there. Success for grocery stores is completely dependent on two things: are the products located in the correct space and is the product stocked? Here swoops in Pensa with their drones.
After raising an additional $5M in funding, Pensa Systems, a RevTech portfolio company, is just revving up. Pensa is a stealth technology venture building autonomous machine perception systems for inventory visibility. Led by a group of industry veterans from Borland, Vignette, Kiva Systems, FreeMarkets and Parc Place, their mission is to bring physical inventory ‘online’ using artificial intelligence to see and interpret the physical world.
Meagan: When did you notice that retailers were experiencing stocking issues?
Richard: Several years ago. The visibility of the on-shelf inventory is the ‘black hole’ of the retail supply chain. It is a painful manual process with an immediate business case for solving.
M: You have just raised $5M in additional funding, what’s next for Pensa?
R: Scaling the sales and marketing activities for the company as we enter the marketplace and come out of stealth mode.
M: How has Texas been for starting and scaling a business? What communities have you found most helpful?
R: Texas has been great. A good talent pool of both technical and business folks and with great leading edge researchers and students from UT Austin for machine learning and robotics. Texas overall is also a hotbed for retailers and CPG brand manufacturers.
If you are interested in hearing more about how Pensa’s autonomous drones are disrupting the Grocery industry and solving inventory problems, grab your ticket to our Spring 2019 Tech Trends in Retail for a Fireside Chat with Richard Schwartz.