Seeking a firm foothold in the United States, Turkish startups are revving up their investments in the world’s most prominent market.
Following in the footsteps of gaming ventures that have placed themselves on top among most downloaded games, Turkey’s ultrafast grocery delivery company Getir just recently launched operations in the U.S. only a few months after expanding into Europe.
On the other hand, Vispera, which offers tech solutions in the field of machine vision and machine learning for the fast consumption and retail sectors across 25 countries, has decided to develop and strengthen its subsidiary in the U.S., Vispera Corp.
The company also plans to further develop the strong business partnerships and product developments it has established in 2021.
Offering a range of image recognition tools that can solve common issues in retail spaces like stocking inventory levels and more effective displays of current promotions, Vispera has announced it would complete a new investment round in the first months of 2022.
The Istanbul-based company seeks to boost its activities in the U.S. through its subsidiary Vispera Corp. It also aims to continue with strategic business partnerships it initiated in 2021 with several prominent companies such as NVIDIA, Zebra, HP, Crossmark and Cap Gemini.
Vispera’s products are used across dozens of countries. Its Storesense, an intuitive data collection tool for the field teams to execute perfect stores and perform audits in real-time, is being used in 25 countries, including Israel, Germany, India, Brazil, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kazakhstan and the U.S.
Its Shelfsight, a tool that can analyze retail shelves for out-of-stock detection, planogram compliance and empty space detection using deep learning technology, is being trialed in stores in Germany and Chile outside Turkey.
Vispera’s latest product, Vispera Core, which completed its trial processes in 2020, has started to be used in the field this year. The company also aims for growth with Smollan, a prominent retail solutions company and leading customer of Vispera Core, in Asia-Pacific and Indian markets in particular.
Vispera has been listed among the top 250 companies with the largest research and development (R&D) spending in Turkey for the last three years, said its co-CEO, Aytül Erçil.
Erçil says the successes they have achieved have helped them take firm steps abroad as well.
“The most important points in our 2022 plans are getting new investments and opening up in the U.S. We have included a very experienced country manager in our team for the U.S. opening, and we are developing our business partnership with companies such as Zebra Retail, HP Retail, Crossmark and Cap Gemini, which provide very common services in the retail sector,” she noted.
Hereafter, she says, the aim is to carry these partnerships even further.
“We started our activities in South America with a very good business partner. Thanks to the references based on our current projects, we have started negotiations with some companies to work on a global scale. In the coming years, we aim to increase our activities in the United States, especially with our Shelfsight product, and expand our business partner network in Europe, MEA and CIS regions. With the completion of the investment, we want to quickly move forward in the American market by establishing sales, after-sales support and customer satisfaction teams in the U.S.,” Erçil said.
Vispera is eager to provide the retail sector with much faster, reliable and cost-effective solutions through its artificial intelligence-based image recognition technology, according to its co-CEO Ceyhun Burak Akgül.
The company continues its R&D efforts to attach more importance to big data produced from pictures, to predict the future of its customers’ operations with artificial intelligence models it will build using this data and to eventually provide them with strategic insight, Akgül explained.
“Our goal is to make Vispera one of the most important technological solution providers in the world in the coming years. We are bringing this goal closer to reality with each year,” he noted.
Vispera’s most important goal in 2022 will be to scale its services “reliably and sustainably,” according to Akgül.
“We aim to establish and operate our Shelfsight product, the best solution in its field in the context of product recognition performance and response time, in hundreds of stores, and to deliver our mobile application-based Storesense product to many more corporate customers around the world,” he said.
“Parallel with this scaling goal, we always keep our innovation agenda active. For instance, next year we will introduce packaged product recognition as well as fresh food recognition features to our Shelfsight solution. In addition, we will add the image recognition via a device prototype we developed in 2021 to our Storesense product.”
Vispera offers fast, reliable and cost-effective retail application and audit solutions that are much faster than the human-based and error-prone traditional methods currently used in the industry.
Founded by Erçil and Akgül in 2014 as a fully Turkish company, it recognizes the products on the shelf together with their positions and quantities based on the photos taken in the store through to the Vispera Image Recognition Service.
It thus produces detailed and actionable reports at the Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) level by checking the availability of products on the shelf, frontend number, the shelf share compared to competitors and the planogram compliance.
The service is said to be able to recognize each product that the human eye can distinguish with more than 96% certainty. Vispera offers much faster, therefore feasible and much more economical solutions compared to the reporting period of manual applications that can take up to a month.
Turkish fast grocery-delivery company Getir just last week debuted its operations in Boston, its third city in the U.S. in over a month.
It follows its rollouts in Chicago on Nov. 11 and New York on Dec. 9, and its under-10-minute drop-off service for groceries and essentials is after a larger footprint in the world’s largest retail market. It aims to launch in many more U.S. cities in 2022.
Founded six years ago in Istanbul, the pioneer of ultrafast grocery delivery service is a trailblazer among startups that have prospered during the pandemic. It attracted around $1 billion in three back-to-back funding rounds this year, as its valuation ballooned from $850 million to more than $7.5 billion.
It invented the category of 10-minute delivery for customers who order by smartphone app, with riders fanning out from neighborhood warehouses that stock essential groceries.
With investor interest in the nascent industry at a peak, the company ventured out of Turkey in January to launch its rapid “last mile” goods delivery service in Britain.
Over the past nine months it has expanded to seven European countries including France, Germany and Spain. It has thus rolled out its services in nine countries across three continents.