Published On: 08, Dec 2017 | Source: techcrunch.com
MishiPay, a London startup that has built mobile self-checkout technology that promises to put an end to queuing to pay, has raised £1.65 million in seed funding. The round is led by European VC Nauta Capital and will be used to further grow the burgeoning company as it persuades high street retailers to adopts its wares.
Apparently inspired by co-founder Mustafa Khanwala’s own shopping experience — when in 2015 he had to queue for 20 minutes just to buy a soda — MishiPay’s ‘patent pending’ self-checkout tech lets you simply scan the barcode of an item on your phone, pay on the phone and leave the store with your items. In other words, without ever having to lineup at a checkout.
Furthermore, the startup says its technology enables this ‘scan, pay, leave’ experience while preventing theft via RFID and other means. If you try to leave without paying, sensors will sound an alarm. But once you’ve paid, the security is disabled and you are free to walk out of the door with your purchased items.
“The problem I had set out to solve initially was queuing but right now we realize it is just the tip of the iceberg,” Khanwala tells me. “We are solving the problem of the divide between the in-store and e-commerce experience and aiming to bridge that and bring the best of both worlds together for shoppers and stores. I understand though that this is a humongous task of tackling a $25 Trillion industry and so the aim is to start by first solving one of the biggest problems that have plagued the in-store checkout experience for decades, queuing!”
Of course, self-checkout systems is nothing new, but the innovation here is doing away with a discrete in-store checkout altogether. Instead, the payment process means your mobile, combined with the rest of MishiPay’s tech stack, is the checkout and barcode scanner.
“There are no checkout counters, no security tills and definitely no queuing. It is just: scan, pay and leave. What’s special is that we integrate security against theft that disables automatically and that we integrate into the existing systems of the retailer. This is key,” says the co-founder MishiPay.
The tech itself has been two years in the making and has been successfully trialled in four countries, and Khanwala says the startup is ready to work with major retailers “to prove the clear value in rolling out our technology in their stores”.
Meanwhile, competitors include AmazonGo, QueueHop, and YouBeep, but Khanwala says what makes MishiPay different is the ability to have a ‘scan, pay, leave’ experience with zero friction points or barriers, security against theft with RFID that disables on its own, and deep integration with existing retail tech.
“We also have a patent-pending that protects the way we disable the RFID, the way we do our scanning to identify the item uniquely and the different interconnections of the systems,” he says.