A Chinese operator of unmanned convenience stores has secured 30 million yuan ($4.4 million) in its latest fundraising round. The stores, which serve customers without shop assistants, have become an emerging business model that many insiders see as the future of retail, according to Caixin. F5 Future Store, which has one store in the southern city of Guangzhou, will use the new funds from Sinovation Ventures to upgrade its supply chain and accelerate its expansion. It will open 30 to 50 stores in up to six months, according to a post by Sinovation. The 35-square-meter F5 shop in Guangzhou consists of two counters for food and goods, a beverage-maker and a self-cleaning dining table. Customers can order and pay for products at a special terminal or wirelessly with their smartphones. The retrieval of goods and cleaning of tables is done solely by robotic arms attached to the appliances.
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