Scandit, which replaces barcode scanners with phones, closes $7.5M from Atomico

For some reason Swiss startups have gained a good reputation in enterprise, SAAS, fintech and logistics — and nowhere is this better represented than in Scandit which emerged from Zurich a few years ago. Their idea was simple enough. Use a smartphone camera to capture barcodes instead of an expensive proprietary scanner, and wrap a suite of hardware and software around it. Here they are demoing it to us in 2012. But now, as you can see from this video, the tech has reached incredible levels of accuracy.

It’s not much of a surprise then that they’ve closed a $7.5m Series A funding round with London-based VC Atomico.

Scandit is offering a software platform and semi-ruggedized cases for smartphones that allows them to hugely undercut companies like Motorola, Honeywell and Zebra which make dedicated scanners with expensive lifetime support packages.

Scandit CEO and co-founder Samuel Mueller says “a handful of incumbents hold three-quarters of the market share” so it’s ripe for disruption.

Their customer list of HomeDepot, Macy’s, GE Healthcare, Coop group, PostNL, Shell and Verizon* shows that these huge companies like where they’re going with this idea.

And the scanning technology is so advanced that it can scan a barcode from over two meters away and even in low light. Try doing that with a normal bar scanner. They also have a barcode scanner SDK that developers use to build it into third party apps, and the Flow platform which includes user and device management, update push, and analytics.

The company now plans to expand its international footprint with new sales offices across the US and Europe.

Scandit was founded in 2009, by a group of PhD graduates and former researchers from ETH Zurich, MIT and IBM Research.

*Editor’s note: Verizon owns AOL, which in turn owns TechCrunch.