India’s largest online grocery firm, BigBasket (A TATA Enterprise), has acquired the enterprise business unit of deep tech startup Agrima Infotech as part of their vision to revolutionize offline retail in India. bigbasket recently opened its first technology-driven self-service ‘Fresho’ retail store in Bangalore. Agrima Infotech’s unique computer vision technology platform named Psyight will power the self checkout counters at these stores.
Psyight technology platform, founded by Anoop Balakrishnan, Arun Ravi and Nikhil Dharman under their startup Agrima Infotech in Kochi, helps identify all Indian fruits and vegetables uniquely from an image without using barcodes. “We are super happy to join forces with BigBasket to redefine the offline shopping experience for Bharat,” said Anoop Balakrishnan, Cofounder- CEO of Agrima Infotech.
“Detecting raw food items like fruits and vegetables uniquely from an image is a complex machine vision problem since the appearance of those items may change drastically according to the location of its origin and seasons, we have captured thousands of images of each SKU’s across the seasons and from different locations to achieve cent per cent accuracy,” said Arun Ravi, Co-founder and COO of Agrima.
Hari Menon, CEO of Bigbasket officially announced the acquisition at the Huddle Global event conducted by Kerala Startup Mission.
“ I'm happy to announce our acquisition of this great company called Agrima Infotech, which we've done a little while ago. We are really excited about this whole process fundamentally because I think they bring a lot of value to our business. They've already done so because we've launched a set of physical stores. Now we are moving from online to becoming a physical line. And they've actually enabled the entire process of checkouts that we do today, which are actually completely people-free. So it's a store that doesn't have any people. So the customer comes and does the entire process, including checkout and paying, without anyone around. And that this is the computer vision technology that the team has built and which we have actually adopted there. You also got multiple other applications we believe that we can use what Agrima has built as a team. We're already starting to use it in our quick commerce application. we will work closely to use this expertise on AI and ML which they bring to the table to enrich and enhance a whole lot of technological innovation that you will see from BigBasket in the days to come. So we are very happy about this and looking forward to working together with Agrima Team to achieving build real solid innovation going forward in the grocery space. “
Hari Menon said at the event happened this Saturday in the Presence of the Honorable Chief Minister of Kerala State Shri Pinarayi Vijayan.
Retail concepts like self-checkout stores are quite popular globally, and a lot of attempts have been made to create these self-checkout stores in the West. However, unlike the Western world, India needed a different approach since Indians tend to buy groceries in loose.
The self-service stores launched by BigBasket in Bangalore, under the brand of Fresho, have been receiving good responses from consumers. This strategic acquisition by BigBasket will definitely help strengthen their foothold in the Indian retail ecosystem.