Investment

Brothers galore in Swiss tech investment collaboration

Two sets of brothers based in Switzerland have joined forces to fund tech-driven platforms for retailers in the post-Covid-19 world.

Computer vision platform provider, Advertima – co-founded by brothers Iman and Amir Nahvi in 2016 – announced the close of a €15 million Series A funding round led by long-term shareholder Fortimo, a property development company founded by brothers Philipp and Remo Bienz in 2000.

Advertima’s main backer, Fortimo Group, has invested in more than thirty Swiss tech startups to date

Through a combination of AI, machine learning and computer vision technology, Advertima “visually interprets human behaviour in physical spaces,” which will be applied to the grocery sector first in order to “to create smart spaces that offer consumer-centric, frictionless and relevant in-store shopping experiences.”

Developed with Switzerland’s biggest supermarket chain, Migros and global grocery firm SPAR, Advertima’s technology includes smart inventory management, and autonomous check-out services as well as the use of smart digital screens to enhance customer experience, which its co-founders believe will boost revenues for grocers and generate greater returns.

Advertima’s main backer, Fortimo Group, has invested in more than thirty Swiss tech startups to date. Advertima’s technology and its mission to create “smart spaces” are likely to make an impact on the property industry in the near future, making Fortimo’s investment “a strategic move,” according to a spokesperson for the group.

After floating the company on the Swiss stock exchange in 2010, Fortimo delisted and brought back into family hands in 2013 in order to exert more control over projects, which include building and managing their own property portfolio and residential development projects aimed at senior citizens – a growing market in Switzerland like in many other advanced economies.

Landlords are increasingly keen to find ways to help their tenants develop bricks and mortar businesses, at a time when online sales are surging. Speaking about the company’s investment in Advertima, Fortimo Group founder Remo Bienz said: “As a long-standing shareholder, we know how visionary their technology is, but also how it has been successfully adopted by major, global organisations and has already generated significant revenues.”

Advertima co-founder and CEO Iman Nahvi explained how the secured funds will enable further product innovation down the line: “We’ll be investing €25 million in the development of our smart retail solutions over the next two years.

He added: “€10 million of this investment will be financed by our own revenues so this €15 million round is a crucial milestone to help us achieve our vision.”

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