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Entrepreneurship & Startups Updated: 08 Jan 2019

BBVA’s Propel invests into new invisible payments technology business in the U.S.

BBVA’s investment arm, Propel Venture Partners, has led the latest funding round into class leading invisible payments business Grabango.


Grabango has launched the first and only big business-ready checkout free technology able to be used in existing stores and which streamlines the payment process for customers, eliminating queues.

The Grabango platform includes a fault tolerant, edge, or decentralized, computing network that accurately processes millions of simultaneous transactions. This means the business is able to handle the demands of enterprise scale customers looking to adopt its technology.

This latest series A round of funding saw the Silicon Valley startup announce that it has raised $12 million in an oversubscribed round, with Propel leading the way. It brings the businesses total funding so far to $18 million, which Grabango says it will use to grow its product development team and expand client store deployments with checkout-free technology.

Will Glaser, the co-founder and CTO of Pandora Radio, launched Grabango in 2016 in order to save people time by eliminating lines at checkout.

Will Glaser-Grabango-BBVA

Will Glaser, Grabango’s founder & CEO.

The service is free to use and benefits all shoppers. The computer vision and machine learning systems maintain a virtual shopping basket for each person’s store visit. Checking out is automatic. The shopper can pay the traditional way at the cashier or by smartphone. In either case, there’s no more scanner or conveyer belt and the lines are virtually eliminated.

“Our goal is to forever change the way people interact with things. As Arthur C. Clarke taught us, advanced technology can be implemented so well that it feels like magic,” said Glaser, Grabango’s founder & CEO. “We don't want to be the center of attention, but rather for our systems to work so smoothly in the background they are completely taken for granted.”

Grabango says it assembled an all-star team of technologists from the best universities and tech companies to achieve this goal. Their quest is to develop systems for large enterprise class retailers to serve consumers where they already shop.

"Checking out is automatic, so there is no need for manual barcode scanning."

Grabango has also amassed a broad patent application portfolio, filing well ahead of other providers.

This new financing builds on an already exciting list of Grabango accomplishments:

  • Signed four major U.S. store chains that generate billions of dollars in revenue, serve more than 600 million shopper visits per year, and cover a combined 29 million square feet of floor space.
  • Initiated store deployments ranging from 2,500 to 50,000 square feet per location.
  • Filed 17 patents securing Grabango’s ownership of critical checkout-free technology and processes.
  • Grew a hand-picked team to 37 employees and contractors.

Ryan Gilbert, general partner at Propel, and who will be joining the Grabango Board of Directors, said: “Grabango hits the target for brick and mortar retailers aiming to deliver a smoother shopper experience and a better bottom line. We’ve looked at all the checkout-free technology providers and Grabango is the only true enterprise scale provider in the market today.”