Online grocery ordering platform Instacart wants to continue its pandemic run. To do that, it needs to physically move into more stores.

On Tuesday, Instacart said it was buying Caper AI, a maker of artificial-intelligence-powered shopping cart and checkout technology. The $350 million deal is Instacart’s largest, underscoring the central role in-store grocery shopping will continue to have in the industry, even despite the growth in online delivery platforms.

Instacart says the acquisition will allow it to offer smart checkout counters to retailers that can automatically detect items placed on them. The company says it can provide retailers with a “plug and play” cart solution that can recognize items, so customers no longer have to weigh or scan them. Instacart says customers can even check out right at the cart.


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