BBVA leads $12m funding in paytech Grabango
Silicon Valley payments start-up Grabango is one to check out as it has raised $12 million in a Series A financing round.
BBVA’s Propel Venture Partners led the investment with participation from Ridge Ventures, Abstract Ventures, Commerce Ventures, and Founders Fund.
Ryan Gilbert, a general partner at Propel, will join Grabango’s board of directors. This round brings Grabango’s total funding to $18 million.
The company will use the funds to recruit more product development staff and expand client store deployments with checkout-free technology.
Will Glaser, who is also the co-founder and CTO of Pandora Radio, launched Grabango in 2016.
He explains: “Our goal is to forever change the way people interact with things. As Arthur C. Clarke taught us, advanced technology can be implemented so well that it feels like magic.”
You can decide if it’s “magic” as Grabango aims to save people time by eliminating lines at checkout. The service is free to use and doesn’t require a smartphone.
The computer vision and machine learning systems maintain a virtual shopping basket for each person’s store visit. Checking out is automatic, so there is no need for manual barcode scanning as shoppers exit the store.
For BBVA, this follows on from March last year when it said it was developing payment methods based on biometric technologies to make checkout at stores “invisible”.
It was already being used in cafeterias and restaurants at Ciudad BBVA – its complex of seven buildings that houses its headquarters in Madrid.
Also, last week the bank began the year in a bumptious mood as it revealed that 50% of its customers are now using its digital channels.
Grabango can grab the last bit of glory in the story because this new financing builds on some of its other recent activities.
The start-up says it signed to four (unnamed) US store chains and filed 17 patents for its checkout-free technology.