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Instacart Acquires Caper AI

Specialty Food Association

Instacart has acquired Caper AI, an artificial intelligence-powered shopping cart and checkout technology platform. With this acquisition, Instacart aims to help retailers unify the in-store and online shopping experience for customers, no matter how they choose to shop.

Caper has developed AI-powered shopping carts and automated checkout counters that bring together online and offline shopping. Its object recognition system lets customers place items into their cart such as fruits and vegetables without having to scan or weigh them, and check out right at the cart. The company also develops smart checkout counters that use cameras and a weight sensor to auto-detect items placed there, creating an easier express checkout flow for customers at grocery and convenience stores.  

Caper’s carts feature touch-enabled screens that let customers navigate brick-and-mortar grocery store aisles more easily, according to Instacart. The screens also make product suggestions based on what’s in a customer’s cart. Over time, Instacart expects to integrate Caper’s technology into the Instacart app and the ecommerce websites and apps of its retail partners, allowing customers to build online shopping lists and browse recipes ahead of time and check off their lists as they go.

“Over the years, Instacart has continued to expand its retailer enablement services, helping brick-and-mortar grocers across North America move their businesses online, grow and meet the evolving needs of their customers. As we look ahead, we’re focused on creating even more ways for retailers to develop unified commerce offerings that help address consumer needs across both online and in-store shopping,” said Fidji Simo, Instacart’s CEO, in a statement. “That’s why we’re thrilled to welcome the Caper AI team to Instacart."

Bob Hardester, chief information & supply chain officer at Schnuck Markets Inc., said in a statement that he’s excited for Instacart and Caper AI to join forces.

“Caper AI’s smart carts are the most technologically advanced carts out there,” he said. “We believe the ability to place items in the cart naturally – without having to scan barcodes or weigh items – will be a game-changer, especially for Instacart shoppers who shop on behalf of customers. We’re proud to continue working with Caper AI and Instacart to unlock even more innovative solutions that reimagine the in-store grocery shopping experience at Schnucks stores.”

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Image: Instacart