Andrew Ng’s Netail offers AI for retailers to ease change from physical to digital

Retail is big business. But like many other sectors it’s undergoing a transformation, largely affected by the shift of consumer behavior from physical to digital. Many retailers are looking to analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) to help them cope with the challenges. Andrew Ng, among the most prominent figures in AI, is now turning his sights to doing precisely that with his new venture Netail.

The global retail market reached a value of nearly $20.3 trillion in 2020, having increased at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.4% since 2015 according to Research and Markets. The market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.7% from 2020 to reach $29.4 trillion in 2025. The global retail market is expected to reach $39.9 trillion in 2030, at a CAGR of 6.3%. At the same time, global annual retail spending in AI is expected to reach $12 billion by 2023 according to Juniper Research.

Andrew Ng is founder of Landing AI and DeepLearning AI, co-chairman and cofounder of Coursera, and adjunct professor at Stanford University. He was also chief scientist at Baidu and a founder of the Google Brain Project. Yet, his current priority has shifted, from “bits to things,” as he puts it. As retailers are going in the opposite direction, Ng seems to be making an effort to meet them somewhere in the middle.

Netail, founded in 2022 as part of Landing AI, is a technology that enables retailers to auto-identify competitors across the internet and track their assortments and availability and optimize prices in real time. Today, Netail announced the closing of $5 million in seed funding.

VentureBeat connected with Ng, who serves as Netail’s chairman, as well as with retail veteran Mark Chrystal, who is Netail’s CEO, to discuss the changing landscape in retail and Netail’s offering.

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