Instacart invests in a smart cart

Leading grocery delivery service Instacart is acquiring Caper AI technology to better help retailers transform their online shopping experience for customers.
Zachary Russell
Associate Editor
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Instacart is acquiring an AI company to better aid retail solutions, which could potentially benefit store brands. The leading online grocery platform has acquired Caper AI, an online shopping cart and checkout technology platform.

The acquisition of Caper would expand Instacart’s retailer enablement platform, aiming to help retailers unify the in-store and online shopping experience for customers, which could lead to greater purchases of private label products. Caper's object recognition system lets customers place items into their cart such as fruits, vegetables, and other items without having to scan or weigh them, and check out right at the cart.

The company also develops smart checkout counters that use cameras and a weight sensor to auto-detect items placed on its counter, creating an easier and faster express checkout flow for customers at grocery and convenience stores.  

"Over the years, Instacart has continued to expand its retailer enablement services, helping brick-and-mortar grocers across North America move their businesses online, grow and meet the evolving needs of their customers,” said Fidji Simo, Instacart's CEO. “ As we look ahead, we're focused on creating even more ways for retailers to develop unified commerce offerings that help address consumer needs across both online and in-store shopping. That's why we're thrilled to welcome the Caper AI team to Instacart. We share the same goal of equipping retailers with new and innovative technologies that help them succeed in an increasingly competitive industry, while also providing customers with the best possible experience. We're excited to bring Caper's leading smart carts and smart checkout platform to more retailers around the world, as we all reimagine the future of grocery together."

For retailers, Caper's smart cart technology provides them with a plug-and-play solution, requiring little capital expenditure. Caper's technology enables brick-and-mortar retailers of all sizes to deploy this technology in their stores with ease, creating compelling experiences for customers and driving growth for their business by increasing average basket sizes relative to traditional shopping carts. Caper's smart carts are currently deployed at some of the leading North American retailers, including Instacart partners Kroger and Wakefern, as well as Sobeys in Canada. 

"I'm incredibly proud of the business we've built and the technological leap forward our products represent for the entire grocery industry,” said Lindon Gao, co-founder and CEO of Caper. “The powerful technology we've created is intuitive for customers, easy to deploy for retailers of all sizes, and creates a physical retail ecosystem that never existed before. We share Instacart's vision of enabling grocery retailers with new innovations that create step changes for their businesses, and we're proud to now be joining forces with Instacart to develop even more solutions that help bring the online and offline together for retailers."