Investors bet big on company bringing scanning robots to Wal-Mart

The days of shop clerks with scanning guns are officially numbered


Bossa Nova, which makes autonomous shelf-scanning service robots for retail customers, just closed a $17.5 million Series B round.

That brings Bossa Nova's total funding to $41.7 million.

The funding announcement comes on the heels of a recently-announced partnership with Wal-Mart, which is testing Bossa Nova's autonomous inventory-scanning robots at 50 stores.

The days of the shop clerk with the scanner gun could be numbered.

Bossa Nova is positioning itself well. It's a robotics company, but the secret sauce is in its multi-disciplinary approach. The team also includes experts on computer vision, artificial intelligence, and big data scientists.

The information collected by the robots helps companies keep items in stock, but it also gives retailers cumulative data on how various types of products are performing store- and company-wide.

"Bossa Nova is solving a hard inventory problem that costs retailers billions of dollars every year," said Michael Marks, Bossa Nova board member and general partner at Paxion, which led the latest round. "The company has developed a unique set of algorithms and proprietary technologies that give them a strong lead in autonomous robotics and retail data analytics."

The company's robotics IP alone is impressive. Its completely autonomous platforms can be deployed in busy and crowded environments, safely navigating busy shop floors.

A representative told me the new funding will support growth in the company's engineering and commercial teams.