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Retail-tech startup Insite AI raises NZ$2M and collaborates with PwC Australia to deploy AI within large retailers’ operations

20 November 

Insite AI, a startup offering enterprise artificial intelligence (AI) software as a service for retail, today announced its NZ$2M/AUD$1.8M pre-seed funding led by Goat Ventures as it seeks to equip the world’s largest retailers with accessible AI technology to add significant intelligence and foresight in supply chain and operations, ultimately giving large retailers a competitive edge when it comes to understanding their customers.

Insite AI, which has spun out of Goat Ventures, is an easy-to-use machine learning-powered platform that targets the global top 250 retailers by revenue to unlock the complex challenges associated with merchandising and to optimise the art of buying and planning.

The funding round is led by Goat Ventures, an early stage VC firm that invests in technology companies around the world, whose stakeholders are Shaveer Mirpuri, VMG Ventures and the late long-term angel investor Ray Thomson. Other early backers during the pre-seed round include the New Zealand Venture Investment Fund (NZVIF), Sir David Levene's investment company Lewis Holdings, and other undisclosed super angels.

Shaveer Mirpuri, CEO of Goat Ventures and Chairperson of Insite AI, said: “We believe this sophisticated yet easy-to-use AI solution to the world to help large retailers generate seven to ten figures. This capital injection and our collaboration with PwC Australia will help make that vision a reality.”

PwC Australia is working with Insite AI as the exclusive distributor and seller of the startup’s platform across Australia. In addition, the New Zealand-based startup is also announcing that Chemist Warehouse, Australia’s largest pharmacy retailer with over 450 stores, will be piloting the software to intelligently support the buying and planning around the biggest area of its business, vitamins and non-prescription medicines.

With the global retail sector sitting at US$25 trillion revenue, this round of funding will go towards further developing its SaaS AI application led by a team of four artificial intelligence PhDs as well as building out its business operations with a focus on expansion and growth into the US, European and Asian markets where Insite’s solution could fuel the most meaningful impact and economic gains.

Launched in June 2018, the startup is actively hiring additional artificial intelligence PhDs and retail experts at a global level and plans to open an office in the United States by mid-2019.

Additional Spokesperson Quotes:

Sammy Kumar, Managing Partner, Strategy & Transformation and Executive Board, at PwC Australia: "We are pleased to work with Goat Ventures in fueling Insite AI’s growth ambitions and believe that the Insite.AI merchandising AI platform will solve important problems across the retail value chain for our retail clients. We look forward to introducing this solution to our clients in the space.”

Damien Gance, CEO at Chemist Warehouse: “Artificial intelligence is now a crucial ingredient in anticipating customer needs. We’re excited to embed Insite’s AI solution within our business to support the buying and planning activities for our largest categories, vitamins and non-prescription medicines, which could further distinguish us from competitors and offer us new insights that could amount to seven and nine figures.”

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