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Sodexo Ventures Announces New Investment in AEYE-GO

  • First investment in innovative Chinese start-up ecosystem
  • Food and facial recognition technology speeds up queues, offers personalized nutrition information for consumers and drives efficiencies for clients

/EIN News/ --                                                                            
Paris, November 8, 2018 - Sodexo, world leader in Quality of Life services, announces its strategic venture capital vehicle, Sodexo Ventures, has invested in AEYE-GO, a Chinese technology company focused on smart visual checkout systems.

Launched in 2016, Sodexo Ventures seeks new sources of future growth by investing in and partnering with innovative startups, and creating new offers for clients and consumers. The investment in AEYE-GO is the first in China, facilitated by the partnership with Shanghai-based incubator X-Node signed in May 2018.  

AEYE-GO is a cutting-edge self-checkout system based on AI image recognition technology, offering both tray and facial recognition options for fast and personalized check-outs. Using sophisticated high-definition cameras, AEYE-GO integrates machine learning software for food recognition, automatically providing price and nutritional information with a quick glimpse of a consumer's tray.

Currently piloted at several Sodexo sites in Shanghai, AEYE-GO plans to expand operations in China and internationally, leveraging Sodexo's geographic reach to rapidly scale up.

Belen Moscoso Del Prado, Chief Digital and Innovation Officer, Sodexo, said: "The partnership between Sodexo Ventures and AEYE-GO in China is an exciting development in our digital journey, and demonstrates our commitment to working with start-ups in local markets with potential to transform the industry.  The AEYE-GO solution promotes healthy eating choices, enhances the consumer experience - no need to wait in a check-out line or carry cash, badge or mobile in the restaurant - and helps clients optimize sourcing and reduce food waste.  China is an epicenter of innovation, and we are proud to partner with the creative team behind AEYE-GO to bring artificial intelligence and the power of data to our industry."

LE Jinwei, Founder and CEO of AEYE-GO, said: "The idea for AEYE originated from long lines at the Jiao Tong University canteen. Backed by scientific research and talent, we teamed up on campus and focused on food recognition technology. It took two years to build our database after collecting and tagging almost 100 million food items. Our vision was to build intelligence into collective dining, saving time and creating a more enjoyable experience for users. We hope our partnership with Sodexo will help us expand in China and internationally and contribute to creating a new dimension for the traditional collective meal."

 

About Sodexo

Founded in Marseille in 1966 by Pierre Bellon, Sodexo is the global leader in services that improve Quality of Life, an essential factor in individual and organizational performance. Operating in 80 countries, Sodexo serves 100 million consumers each day through its unique combination of On-site Services, Benefits and Rewards Services and Personal and Home Services. Sodexo provides clients an integrated offering developed over more than 50 years of experience: from foodservices, reception, maintenance and cleaning, to facilities and equipment management; from services and programs fostering employees' engagement to solutions that simplify and optimize their mobility and expenses management, to in-home assistance, child care centers and concierge services. Sodexo's success and performance are founded on its independence, its sustainable business model and its ability to continuously develop and engage its 460,000 employees throughout the world.

Sodexo is included in the CAC 40, FTSE 4 Good and DJSI indices.

Key figures (as of August 31, 2018)

20.4 billion euro in consolidated revenues
460,000 employees
19th largest employer worldwide
72 countries
100 million consumers served daily
13 billion euro in market capitalization (as of November 7, 2018)

About AEYE-GO

AEYE-GO is a startup focusing on computer vision and artificial intelligence technology for the collective catering industry. At present the company has realized technological resolution R&D and commercial availability, such as first generation tableware recognition system, second generation tableware + food recognition system, third generation food recognition system, and calorie healthy management system. Core technical members of the company are AI doctoral candidates from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, who have published papers at op AI academic summits, and well-known contests such as "Global AI startups challenge" and "Google Cup National mobile application competition". The vision of AEYE-GO is to build intelligent collective dining, making group meals more delicious, healthier and more efficient.

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