AI Startup, Focal Systems, Receives Strategic Investment from Zebra Ventures to Scale Globally

SAN FRANCISCO – Nov. 19, 2019 – Focal Systems, Inc., the industry leader in retail automation solutions, announced today that it has received a strategic investment from Zebra Ventures, the investment arm of Zebra Technologies, to scale the business of AI-powered retail technology products. Focal Systems works with leading retailers on four continents to provide AI-powered cameras and an advanced analytics stack that functions as a retail store operating system.

"The future of retail is powered by real-time, accurate data and AI algorithms that leverage that data to automate and optimize all functions of a retailer's business. We know that some retailers and consumer packaged goods companies would like to receive shelf inventory data multiple times per day, and our shelf edge cameras enable this," said Francois Chaubard, CEO, Focal Systems. “As experts in deep learning computer vision, we’ve proven with our retailers that fixed shelf cameras are the right answer to the out-of-stock problem and beyond, unlocking unparalleled possibilities in how retailers and brands can implement actionable intelligence that drive huge efficiencies and lift.”

Focal uses shelf cameras to monitor shelves to increase on-shelf availability. It also leverages the same algorithms to eliminate friction at the checkout. These solutions feed into Focal’s AI engine to automate decision making in order to optimize planograms, labor schedules, on-shelf availability and associate productivity while streamlining the supply chain and enhancing the customer experience.

“Zebra is investing in companies that accelerate our Enterprise Asset Intelligence vision to deliver exceptional value to our customers,” said Tony Palcheck, Managing Director of Zebra Ventures, Zebra Technologies. “As a technology solutions provider to many of the world’s leading retailers, we have heard our customers tout the benefits of Focal as an effective solution for solving out-of-stocks. We believe Focal has superb talent and a deep understanding of the challenges retailers face, positioning them to be successful in this market. As with all Zebra Ventures portfolio companies, we see opportunities to collaborate with Focal to help support our customers.”

“We are building automation solutions that empower the next generation of retail stores and this investment allows us to accelerate our product roadmap and scale globally.” said Chaubard. “The synergies created by our integrated product portfolio have the ability to truly digitize and transform retailers.”

“Zebra is a marquee brand that our customers trust, and we look forward to the launch of joint go-to-market efforts that will put our mutual customers at the forefront of retail,” said Jeremy Pugh, VP Sales, Focal Systems.

About Focal Systems

Focal Systems provides retail automation solutions and process improvement to retailers around the world. A Focal retailer operates smarter stores through AI enabled decision making that drive optimized tasks and actionable alerts to streamline operations and deliver an improved customer experience. For more information please visit

About Zebra

Zebra (NASDAQ: ZBRA) empowers the front line of business in retail/ecommerce, manufacturing, transportation and logistics, healthcare and other industries to achieve a performance edge. With more than 10,000 partners across 100 countries, Zebra delivers industry-tailored, end-to-end solutions that intelligently connect people, assets and data to help customers make business-critical decisions. Zebra's market-leading solutions elevate the shopping experience, track and manage inventory as well as improve supply chain efficiency and patient care. Ranked on Forbes' list of America's Best Employers for the last four years, Zebra helps customers capture their edge. For more information, visit


Jeremy Pugh
Focal Systems
Vice President, Sales
Phone: +1 715 299 5373

Michael Steele, CFA, IRC
Zebra Technologies
Vice President, Investor Relations
Phone: + 1 847 793 6707

Therese Van Ryne
Zebra Technologies
Director, Global Public Relations
Phone: + 1 847 370 2317