YI Tunnel Secures Series B Funding and Boosts Global Growth With Name Change to SandStar

BEIJING, Sept. 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — YI Tunnel, the AI startup which is constantly exploring the edge of new retail, announced today that it has secured Series B funding led by Guopeng Capital and Mobai Capital. It was backed by Baidu Ventures, Kinzon Capital and Fengshion Capital in the previous rounds. This brings its total funding to $25M.

The Founder and CEO Yili Wu shared the evolution of the brand from “YI Tunnel” to “SandStar”. SandStar, begins from sand and dust, reaching for the stars using the technology gateway. The new name reflects its ambitions of eying the global market.  

SandStar Product Offerings

Founded in 2017, SandStar (formerly known as YI Tunnel) uses Computer Vision and AI-powered big data analysis to digitize offline data in retail scenes. As one of the most fast-growing companies in AI retail, SandStar has developed 4 product lines: AI Vending Machine, AI Check-out Machine, Pure Computer Vision Unmanned Store and Smart Store Analysis. Its business launched in 11 countries, serving over 20 Fortune 500 companies globally to build the AI retail ecosystem. The team has over 220 tech experts now.

“SandStar will be a future unicorn in AI retail,” Kun He, Partner at Guopeng Capital, said in a statement. “It truly provides cutting-edge technology with huge potential, besides, the founder and team have extensive experience in retail and artificial intelligence.” Peng Ren, Partner at Mobai Capital also said, “We are amazed by the technology and the team’s capability to commercialize internationally.”

Using pure computer vision, SandStar can recognize over 30,000 SKUs and the number keeps growing, with an accuracy rate of 99.7%. It costs significantly lower, for example the unmanned store only costs 5% of Amazon Go, and AI vending machine costs 40% of the traditional one. With fast installation, any vending machine or shops can complete smart transformation by just adding cameras and processor. “It provides real ‘grab-and-go’ experience to customers,” Yili said.

Further to that, SandStar also provides AI-powered analytics to digitize offline data and help retailers make intelligent decisions, including product selection, pricing, promotion strategy, etc.

“Our biggest advantage is we focus on how to utilize technology to solve real problems,” Yili said. The company intends to use the funds to further accelerate global expansion. “We are seeking talents to join us, together transform global retail using the power of artificial intelligence, and provide long-term value for clients.”

About SandStar

SandStar, begins from sand and dust, reaching for the stars using the technology gateway. Founded in 2017, SandStar focuses on AI computer vision in the retail scene, using AI technology to constantly explore the edge of new retail. Bred and grown in Tsinghua University, one of the top schools in China, SandStar now has a team of over 220 tech experts. Products include AI Vending Machine, AI Checkout Machine, Pure Computer Vision Unmanned Store and Smart Store Analysis. As one of the most fast-growing companies in AI retail, SandStar’s business launched in 11 countries, serving 20+ Fortune 500 companies globally, building the AI retail ecosystem. The team is backed by several top investors with 3 rounds of fundings. Learn more at www.sandstar.com

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SOURCE SandStar

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