Originally published on Vending Times by Emily Jed
SAN FRANCISCO — Swyft Inc. has acquired Utique Inc., a high-tech U.S. automated retail technology company. The cash and equity transaction reportedly enables Swyft to deploy new technology into its platform and build a higher-end consumer presentation on its software and hardware platforms.
“Utique is a synergistic technology company that further adds functionality and efficiency into our automated retail product,” said Swyft vice-president of product and marketing Lincoln Smith. “With the acquisition comes an exceptional user experience in high-end consumer retailing.”
The acquisition also strengthens Swyft’s growing portfolio of patented inventions by adding 10 granted U.S. patents. Utique’s technology includes mechanical, back-end management systems, user experience and lighting patents. One patent builds on Swyft’s own filings for the use of vending machines as distributed micro-warehouses for e-commerce delivery.
The Utique Shop was built as owner-operated retail, which is not a solution that Swyft has previously offered. The acquisition also includes know-how on “Rules-based Retail,” a feature that Utique was first to bring to market that facilitates pre-programming contextual rules to provide greater control in messaging and merchandising to consumers.
Swyft also acquired ZoomSystems in November 2017, a company that received an estimated $137 million of investment to build its automated retail platform. In addition to the patents already owned by ZoomSystems, Swyft acquired patents from Vigix including a “no moving parts” dispensing patent and a cartridge-based replenishment system patent. Zoom Systems acquired Vigix in 2013.
“Swyft is investing heavily in an effort to establish our technology platform as the standard for brands and retailers wishing to implement automated retail and retail automation solutions,” said Swyft chief executive Gower Smith, who filed his first automated retail patent in 1992.
Utique founders Mara Segal and Darrell Mockus have joined the Swyft strategic advisory board.
Swyft Inc. offers hardware, software and services to deploy large-scale networks of automated retail stores. Its growing portfolio of global brands and retailers includes Benefit Cosmetics, Best Buy, CVS, Dixons, Kusmi Tea, Nespresso, Proactiv Co. and Uniqulo.