Takeoff Technologies, a Cambridge-based startup that aims to upend the grocery market with robots, has raised a $12.5 million financing round from investors.
The funding was disclosed in a Wednesday filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The filing indicates 13 investors participated in the round and lists Annette Franqui, a founding partner at family office Forrestal Capital, as one of the directors.
Takeoff declined to comment on the funding Wednesday, but indicated that the company would be sharing news soon.
The disclosure of Takeoff’s round comes shortly after Amazon debuted its cashier-less Amazon Go convenience store in Seattle. Utilizing sensors, computer vision and deep learning algorithms, the Amazon Go store is the most prominent example yet of how automation technology can dramatically change the way retail stores work, leaving plenty of questions for those wondering how it will impact human jobs.
As BostInno first reported in a feature from December 2016, Takeoff is working on an online ordering and automation system that reduces the required footprint of a grocery store to as little as 3,000 square feet. But instead of providing a space for customers to shop, these mini-warehouses are meant to act as pick-up locations for orders made online.
José Vicente Aguerrevere, Takeoff’s CEO who previously founded a Venezuelan grocery store chain, had told BostInno that by cutting down on labor and real estate, Takeoff can enable grocery retailers to “dramatically” lower prices.
“There will be some winners and losers, but the economy as a whole is gonna be better. Because at the end of the day the prices are going to be lower,” he said in 2016.