Axios Pro Exclusive Content

Fetch upgrades receipt-scanning tech

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

Fetch is unveiling updated receipt-scanning technology for its rewards app Tuesday. The next-generation tech is designed to better decipher printed receipts, the company's group president of product and technology David Berk tells Axios.

Why it matters: While consumer packaged goods companies can track online purchases easily, they're less adept at tracking in-store purchases with no unifying standard for what retailers put on a receipt.

Details: Berk says the update was a two-year project, code-named Theia (the Greek Titan goddess of sight), involving roughly 100 people across multiple teams. He declined to comment on the amount of money invested.

What they're saying: The app is a "next-generation computer vision and product intelligence engine that enhances all aspects of receipt understanding, product identification and app performance," per the company.

  • While companies can track online purchases easily, they're less adept at tracking in-store purchases at local groceries or convenience stores, Berk says.
  • Retailers, for example, use different codes (some of which go back decades) on their receipts to refer to the same product.

Between the lines: Using Fetch's rewards app, consumer packaged goods companies can gain insight into shopping behavior in legacy brick-and-mortar retailers such as Kroger, Walmart and Walgreens.

How it works: Users scan and upload their receipts via the app. In exchange, the customers receive rewards such as discounts or free products.

  • The data collected is sent to Fetch's corporate partners such as General Mills, which use it to better understand customer behavior.
  • Those insights inform brand campaigns and special offers to maintain market share.

Catch up fast: Fetch's $240 million Series E raised last year, which was led by Hamilton Lane, valued the business at more than $2.5 billion, according to Crunchbase.

The bottom line: This more accurate receipt-scanning technology "translates to better targeting and greater efficiency for partner brands,” said David Sommer, Fetch's chief customer officer, in a statement.

This story has been updated with the correct title of David Berk, who is now the company’s group president of product and technology (not its CTO).

Go deeper