F5 currently operates 6 stores, and Bingobox has launched two pilot locations.
VCs have backed two unmanned, autonomous convenience stores in China over the past two weeks. Presumably, this represents the future of robotics in retail and distribution. The F5 Future Store (F5未来商店), based in Guangzhou, raised $4.4M from Sinovation Ventures, and Bingobox (缤果盒子) raised $14M from GGV Capital and Qiming Venture Partners.
Both companies are in the early stages of growth.
- Bingobox aims to set up “boxes” with roughly 800 unique products (SKUs) each, which will let customers use WeChat and Alipay to enter, pay, and exit. Since its boxes somewhat resemble shipping containers, Bingobox mentions they could become mobile.
- F5 is also fully automated, offering hot food options via vending machines along with packaged products. According to the companies’ websites,