Megatrends, Computer Vision and AR – G2VP’s Ben Kortlang on investing in Scandit
On May 26, 2020, we announced that Scandit had raised $80 million in Series C-related funding led by G2VP, a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm of former Kleiner Perkins partners. We are proud to have the confidence of experienced investors who are aligned with us in our quest to redefine traditional industries with a new approach. G2VP were joined by Atomico, GV, Kreos, NGP Capital, Salesforce Ventures and Swisscom Ventures.
We asked Ben Kortlang, General Partner at G2VP, to tell us from his perspective what made Scandit interesting. Watch to learn more.
What is G2VP’s area of interest and is it different from what you were doing at Kleiner Perkins?
KORTLANG: The G2 team has been working together for 15 years and we’ve been pursuing the same theme, including at Kleiner Perkins, since 2010.
What we do is we see megatrends in industrial spaces. We’ve gone from humans using eyeballs and clipboards to measure, monitor and make decisions, to sensors everywhere, vision everywhere, big data being collected, analyzed, and used to make decisions digitally.
Why did G2VP invest in Scandit?
KORTLANG: We invest in about one in every 200 companies we see. We’re looking for something special. We’re looking for compelling mission-driven entrepreneurs that are pursuing an idea that supports one of these megatrends.
They have a differentiated technology that will have a durable advantage. They have strong business fundamentals demonstrating that they are succeeding in impacting the industrial space.
We found all of those things in Scandit and we’re excited to back the company. When we saw what Scandit was doing to digitize the industrial space and be that bridge between the physical world and the digital world, for industrial companies, we saw that as an exciting opportunity to support a great team with a great technology, pursuing that megatrend.
What are the strongest market opportunities for Scandit?
KORTLANG: The advanced logistics space is one, as the world shifts to online purchasing and delivery, and Scandit plays a key role in that. The digitization of manufacturing is a megatrend that we are excited about and one that we’re pursuing investments in. That’s still a nascent area for Scandit, but we think one of the largest opportunities that’s been largely untapped.
And then cashier-less retail. We’re seeing massive investment in technologies that support cashier-less retail. Millions of dollars in cameras, sensors, and infrastructure to monitor everything about a small space. And allow shoppers to go in, buy and leave without seeing a cashier. That’s a reality today for Scandit.
At Coop Denmark, one of their customers, you can go into a store, take things from the shelf, scan them, and walk out without seeing a cashier. And you can do it without millions of dollars of legacy infrastructure, in a much larger space, with more SKUs and a more dynamic environment than the controlled environments that are being attempted with cashier-less retail.
We’re extremely excited about Scandit’s ability to cause that to happen immediately without large infrastructure investments.
What’s your perspective on Scandit’s technology?
KORTLANG: Certainly, computer vision has been a major theme of investment and we’ve seen it implemented across warehouses and advanced logistics chains and delivery systems and in quality and manufacturing systems.
There’s been less in mobile and the problem has been the performance. When you put a mobile device in someone’s hands and ask them to use that as part of their business workflow, those last few points of the performance in speed and accuracy really make a huge difference. Scandit solved that problem and has unlocked that use case.
The ability to use augmented reality as part of the workflow of industrial employees, we think will be a large trend over the next few years.
You’re going from scanning something to accessing your inventory, accessing your order system, accessing your ERP system – and being able to do all of that in real-time on one device. So that’s seeing an object, making sure it’s the right thing, seeing how many you have and placing an order. Doing all that in real-time on a smart device, we think will add a lot of efficiency to workflows going forward.
How do you see Scandit software being used by the industry?
KORTLANG: We’re just scratching the surface of the applications of mobile computer vision, because it has to be simple, fast, easy and integrated seamlessly into enterprise workflows. Most of the AR applications that people have tried to build have been too clunky, they haven’t integrated seamlessly and quickly into workflows.
But a mobile device does and it can, and Scandit has enabled that with world-class performance and technology.
Contact our team for more information on how Scandit can bring computer vision to your business.