BotsAndUs, robots, and the demise of the high street

When one thinks of robots, it’s hard not to envision the likes of C3P0, HAL-9000, or even Wall-E. Whilst these robots may be science-fiction, BotsAndUs is turning fiction into reality by bringing customer-facing robots to storefronts and airports.

The year 3000 is already upon us.

BotsAndUs is a London based company who develop state of the art robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) solutions by combining social sciences with human-centred design and cutting edge engineering. BotsAndUs engages with retailers and airports, providing data-driven, AI robots to work in public spaces; driving efficiency across customer service, operations and analytics.

Since the launch of ‘Bo’, BotsAndUs’ fully-autonomous service robot, in 2017, the company has been on a path of continuous development and improvement, adding new capabilities to its stack – expect to come face to face with Bo in a store, airport or bank near you very soon.

Co-founded by Adrian Negoita, Andrei Danescu, and Oana Jinga in 2015, the team have a passion for robotic integration into day to day scenarios, with Andrei stating: “We strongly believe in the symbiosis of humans and robots, in shaping a world in which they collaborate towards building memorable experiences and efficiency across public and private environments.”

How Newable Helped

Andrei was introduced to Newable around three years ago, at a Business Funding Show. Initially utilising only Newable’s business advisory service, BotsAndUs have been able to gain insight and analysis into various parts of the business, with Newable providing feedback and guidance on crucial areas such as financial modelling and value proposition building. Recently, BotsAndUs have begun taking advantage of Newable’s specialist financial offering, hoping to progress discussions by the end of the year. Ciara Fitzgerald, Newable’s Innovation Team Leader said: “It’s fantastic to see a company like BotsAndUs go from strength to strength, since our Innovation team have supported them to become investment ready. The work of BotsAndUs is truly next-generational, and this was something we found out immediately from our chats with the team. Their passion was clear from the outset and we’re excited to be helping them on this journey.

Robots and artificial intelligence are playing an ever-increasing role in our day to day lives; it’s definitely a market we see potential in and BotsAndUs have seen the gap in the market for robots in retail – a sector undergoing significant change in itself. It would be great to see BotsAndUs continue to avail of the wider support we offer at Newable, such as through Newable Private Investing.”

Using Newable’s advice, BotsAndUs have been able to continue developing with another pair of experienced and watchful eyes, assessing key elements of the business, rain checking as the company grows. When asked about BotsAndUs’ relationship with Newable, Andrei highlighted: “We have an extremely robust working relationship with Newable, it’s totally seamless, natural and friendly. They’re very knowledgeable, which gave us reassurance when going into meetings with investors. Having the extra confidence that a trusted partner brings to the table, it really gives you a boost when you’re out of your comfort zone already.

Working with someone like Newable is a huge advantage, almost an unfair advantage. It really opens a lot of doors for your business.”

The Demise of the High Street

When asked BotsAndUs’ view on the widely documented death of the high street, and the future of retail, Andrei stated: “Retail is at an inflection point and things are already changing significantly, but death is definitely an overstatement. The fact that well over 80% of retail sales are still happening in bricks and mortar and that even Amazon is expanding its physical presence, show that the role of the store will not disappear – it just has to evolve.

Now more than ever though, there is a huge need for real-time, high quality data from the shop floor to not only serve impatient and highly demanding customers better, but also be able to anticipate their needs and inform the entire retail life-cycle – from stocking, merchandising, promotions and compliance, even production etc. Being able to truly have an online to offline journey, being able to customise promotions real-time, being able to optimise journeys in store, stock layouts and drive overall staff productivity are all essential for the new retail era.

And that’s why we’re here – to give our clients real time access to their customers across their entire store estates at the click of a button.”


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