This Smart Vending Platform Is Solving A Multibillion Dollar Problem


If you haven’t heard the news already, the global vending machine industry is experiencing explosive growth as businesses and consumers in a post-pandemic world, opt for the time saving and cost-cutting convenience of 24/7 self-service technology. Solving the likes of loss prevention and staff shortages in the traditional retail sector, improving sustainability and service delivery in the food and beverage industry, and now transforming the landscape of healthcare with its telehealth and remote drug dispensing capabilities. Smart vending machines are the next disruptive innovation set to transform how consumers access products and services. Combine all this innovation with real-time data collection and on-demand consumer reporting to streamline supply and demand, it’s no surprise that the industry is projected to reach a value of $37.2 billion by 2032, growing at a CAGR of 7.5% from 2023 to 2032.

Smart vending technology is fast becoming the #1 solution for a myriad of socio-economic challenges affecting multiple industry sectors and SMRT1 Technologies, with its retrofit technology, its revolutionary cloud-based software, and unparalleled customer service, emerges as an industry leader. Not to mention SMRT1 being the first of its kind to save lives and collect critical data with a fleet of its harm reduction vending machines, the SMRT1 Health POD, standing on the front lines of the opioid epidemic. Furthermore, with strategic partnerships already in place within the healthcare industry, this trusted brand is scaling up for mass adoption as global healthcare turns digital.

In the dynamic world of vending machines, the ‘SMRT1’ solution is the buzzword that evokes leadership and innovation. SMRT1 Technologies, founded in 2017, is the company that identified the shortcomings of the traditional ‘chips and chocolate’ vending machine, and developed a revolutionary smart vending platform that diversified the use case of an automated product dispensing unit, which it calls the SMRT1 Pod by upgrading the hardware with a 4-foot interactive touchscreen.

The revolutionary technology that SMRT1 developed was the ability to turn a regular vending machine dispensing products, into a smart vending machine that can interact with consumers, collect consumer data, and be monitored and managed from any remote location, with its customizable cloud based software. All that’s required is a 4k interactive touchscreen display and a handful of smart peripherals  that can be retrofitted onto the front of your everyday vending machine. This sustainable innovation transformed the traditional vending machine into an online and engaging , intelligent product dispensing unit, capable of delivering products and online services that require complex operations such as ID verification and digital payments. What started out as a simple solution to support an afterschool tech program, as a way to monitor inventory so that youth could help themselves to the equipment they needed for projects, has now become a scalable force with the ability to solve a multi billion dollar healthcare problem, that contributes to a more interconnected world with equal access to essential products and services.

SMRT1 Technologies evolved into a solution for the retail sector as a way to combat theft, staff shortages and cost of labor, but the team quickly realized the incredible healthcare solutions of its software service during the COVID-19 pandemic. With restricted access to essential products and services, the ability to track inventory across a fleet of machines, remotely dispense life-saving products, and technology to connect patients in remote locations to inaccessible health services, SMRT1 developed its mission to create safe, secure, and easy access to essential healthcare services by reducing stigmas and barriers to access.

SMRT1’s relentless pursuit of innovation and agility has allowed it to stay ahead in a rapidly evolving market. The company’s R&D team continually explores new technologies, ensuring that its smart vending platform remains at the forefront of industry advancements. By staying agile and adaptable, SMRT1 has remained responsive to changing consumer behaviors and market demands.

One of SMRT1’s notable innovations is its Cerebrum hardware controller, a communication tool that bridges the gap between vending machine controllers and computer hardware. The Cerebrum controller interprets and  relays signals from vending machine  sensors and other peripheral devices, and acts as the backbone of the smart vending hardware . This innovation enables seamless communication and data exchange between the vending machine and the cloud-based command and control coordination on the touchscreen.

The integration of the Cerebrum hardware controller with existing vending machine hardware has been a game-changer, allowing retailers to transform their traditional vending machines into smart vending machines. This flexibility and ease of integration make SMRT1’s platform an attractive option for retailers looking to upgrade their vending operations.

SMRT1’s unit economics are driven by two primary factors: initial setup/integration development and platform licensing/support. The company offers multiyear terms  to build lasting relationships with clients, establish pilot locations, and develop scalable models. This approach ensures that SMRT1 can achieve revenue growth while delivering value-driven solutions to its clients.

For an M&A partner, the scalability of SMRT1’s unit economics offers a compelling case for investment. By integrating SMRT1’s platform with its existing operations, the partner can tap into new revenue streams and expand its customer base. The partner can also leverage SMRT1’s successful pilot locations as a launchpad for further expansion.

Furthermore, SMRT1’s focus on high-margin products in high-traffic locations drives incremental sales growth. By targeting clients with high disposable income, the company ensures the success of its retail transactions. This  capitalizes on this strategy and further expands its market presence in strategic locations.

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