Portuguese retail tech startup Sensei has secured €500,000 in pre-seed funding from German retail giant Metro and Portugal’s Sonae with participation from Techstars and angel investors.

Founded last year, Sensei develops AI-powered algorithms for cameras gathering and analysing data on people and product performance in stores. It’s chiefly aimed at the retail sector.

“Our mission is to digitize physical stores; we want to create smart stores that intuitively understand the needs of every customer and employee to deliver a shopping experience that is more convenient and personalized than ever before,” said cofounder Vasco Portugal.

The company states that the data is anonymous and GDPR compliant.

The product helps physical stores keep up with the edge that ecommerce companies have when it comes to data and insights, according Olaf Koch, CEO of Metro.

“Sensei now offers analytics that help the brick-and-mortar retailers to better understand the customers, to see what drives their shopping and to implement tools that make the store’s sales grow,” he said. Sensei previously participated in Metro and Techstar’s retail accelerator last year.

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