Convenience stores

Autonomous store startup Boxy raises $28 million

Autonomous convenience store startup Boxy has raised $28.4m (€25m), fueling its expansion plans in its home country of France.

As EU Startups reported on Thursday, February 17, the Series A funding round was led by new investor Serena, along with incumbent investors CapHorn and LocalGlobe as well as angel investors.

The company says it will use the money to help meet its goal of opening one new store per week this year, hoping to have 1,000 stores online by 2025. Although it is currently working As she expands her network in the Paris region, Boxy says she’s looking at other parts of France, including the Rhône-Alpes and Hauts de France regions.

Founded in 2019, Boxy aims to help French consumers who cannot access the retail services enjoyed by residents of larger cities.

“With every other shopping experience, there’s a trade-off,” said David Gabai and Tom Hayatthe founders of the company.

“Big supermarkets are cheap, but often long and time-consuming,” they said. “Small convenience stores are nearby, but expensive. Delivery services are convenient, but there’s a wait time, a fee, and they’re not available everywhere. Very few are open 24/7. Our mission is to deliver uncompromising convenience to every experience.

Boxy says it has selected 250 everyday products for its stores, which are made from recycled shipping containers.

After downloading an application, entering their identity and registering a payment method, the customer can access the store 24 hours a day using a QR code. Once inside, they can select their items and leave the store, receiving an invoice moments later.

Read more: Poland’s Żabka leads the race for stand-alone stores in Europe

The news comes a month after Żabka, Poland’s largest convenience store chain, announced the opening of Europe’s largest chain of stand-alone stores.

The company said it launched 25 artificial intelligence (AI)-powered stores under the Żabka Nano brand, 10 more than the 15 “Just Walk Out”-style stores that Amazon opened in the UK.

If Boxy sticks to his weekly store goal, he’ll have them beat soon. Its website features 20 stores in France, with the 21st due to open soon.

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