AUSTIN, Texas, May 22, 2018 — Pensa Systems, a leading innovator in building autonomous perception systems for inventory visibility, today announced a $2.2 million seed round bringing together technology venture capital, strategic corporate investment and angel participation from industry leaders.
Pensa’s solution for retailers and manufacturers bridges the software gap between seeing and understanding. It provides an automated view of what’s on retail shelves using autonomous vision capture on the front-end, and predicting out-of-stock products using a novel artificial intelligence (AI) approach on the back-end. Currently in customer field trials, further product details will be released at a later date.
Led by ATX Seed Ventures, this round also brings ZX Ventures, the global growth and innovation group within AB InBev, and industry luminaries such as Mick Mountz and Yechiam Yemini. Mountz was Founder and CEO of Kiva Systems, which pioneered the use of mobile robots for warehouse automation within retail supply chain, later acquired by Amazon. Yemini is a well-known entrepreneur who co-founded multiple successful start-ups including Comverse, SMARTS (acquired by EMC), and Turbonomic which was named by Forbes as one of its 100 most promising companies. He is a Professor Emeritus of Computer Science at Columbia University. Pensa will use the funds to accelerate product development efforts and support market demand.
The market for retail consumer goods is an $8 trillion industry under disruption as the lines blur between online and offline commerce. With potential applications of its solution across the entire supply chain, Pensa’s first application automates on-shelf visibility, which is a multi-billion dollar activity worldwide performed today via eyeballs and manual visual inspection. Industry studies report nearly one in 10 items as missing on the shelf, leading to lost revenue, dissatisfied customers or excess inventory.
Pensa is founded and led by seasoned industry experts with a consistent track record of building successful global companies. They have driven multiple start-ups through highly successful IPOs and exits.
Richard Schwartz, President and CEO of Pensa, has repeatedly created and led new organizations to innovate and develop software that has made significant market impact. He has previously founded and successfully exited four technology venture-backed companies. Jason Reneau heads commercial operations with significant management experience in robotics and supply chain ventures including Kiva Systems, FreeMarkets and uShip. Jim Dutton heads the engineering and product teams. Earlier, he led global teams to deliver disruptive technologies in companies such as ParcPlace, Activerse and Caringo. Pinar Kaprali Gorsev heads product-planning efforts for Pensa with previous technology leadership at Borland International as well as founding and exiting several European start-ups.
“Having out-of-stock products is a significant challenge for CPG companies and their retail partners, with hundreds of millions of dollars in potential impact to retail CPG sales,” said Patrick O’Riordan, Vice President of Explore at ZX Ventures. “While we’ve explored various solutions to the problem, Pensa’s approach is truly novel. Its unique combination of expertise and technology tools — including scalable AI — provides an opportunity to make both timely and significant impacts to out-of-stock throughout the industry.”
About Pensa Systems
Pensa Systems is a leading innovator in autonomous perception systems. Its solution automates inventory visibility for the 8 trillion dollar retail consumer goods industry. Pensa has formed strategic partnerships globally and works with some of the largest retailers and manufacturers. It is a privately held company headquartered in Austin, Texas. For more information please visit www.pensasystems.com.
About ATX Seed Ventures
ATX Seed Ventures specializes in early stage technology investments looking to empower or disrupt legacy industries, or pioneering new markets. For more information, please visit www.atxseedventures.com.
About ZX Ventures
ZX Ventures is the global accelerated growth and business model innovation group within AB InBev, the largest global beverage and brewing company. Launched in 2015, it exists to discover, accelerate and scale innovative ideas that are shaping the beverage industry and beyond. ZX Ventures helps cultivate fresh concepts and support entrepreneurs who are hungry for success by providing them with access to capital, resources and industry veterans who help make concepts a reality. For more information, please visit ZX- Ventures.com.
Pensa Systems Contact:
Tel: + 1-650-468-3263
ZX Ventures Contact
Mobile: +1 (212) 453-2015