Chinese VC Funding in Cashierless Stores Demonstrates a Diverging Approach to Retail Innovation

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3Q 2018 | IN-5231


Chinese Investors Bet Billions on “Smart Retail”


Various market estimates suggest that between 20 to 50 Chinese startups have raised a total of over US$1.5 billion in Venture Capital (VC) within the cashierless retail sector. Since 2016, startups such as BingoBox, Bianlifeng, Xing Bian Li, Gump Come, Guoxiamei, Xiao Weidian, and more have each raised tens of millions of dollars’ worth of investment over several funding rounds. Venture capitalists are seemingly eager to throw money at this latest retail trend that is taking China by storm.

This money is flowing internationally, with (mainly) Asian, European, and American venture capitalists funding projects in China, with cash also returning to the West for other smart retail projects and technologies. VC firms and corporate investors supporting this new wave of smart retail in China include Google, Tencent,, Baidu Ventures, Ant Financial (Alibaba Group), China Walden, ZhongAn Online, Deutsche Telekom Ca...

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