Dawn Dickson Raises Capital to Solve Retail Hardships Amid COVID-19 - Black Enterprise

Dawn Dickson Raises Capital to Solve Retail Hardships Amid COVID-19

Dawn Dickson
Dawn Dickson, founder and CEO of PopCom

Dawn Dickson is always finding a way to make life easier for others through technology. As retail stores have closed their doors, Dickson is leading PopCom, an automated retail company that leverages facial detection, machine learning, and blockchain technology to help retailers collect valuable customer insights. Dickson leads its second equity crowdfunding campaign to respond to and meet the need for more automated retail machines in the wake of COVID-19.

Dickson is known for driving innovation within retail and technology. She’s also known for raising capital to take her business to the next level. PopCom recently announced the campaign on Start Engine, an equity crowdfunding platform for underrepresented startups and micro angel investors to invest alongside venture capitalists. To date, PopCom has raised over $239,000.

With the funding, the company aims to grow its operations, build its sales team, reach more customers, and meet the demand for more automated retail machines in the wake of COVID-19, with its proprietary vending machine, the PopShop Kiosk.

In a statement released by PopCom, Dickson said “Although the timing is sensitive due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we must continue to look towards the future and build products for our customers. While some industries are hurting, the requirement for social distancing validates the need for vending and retail automation. We believe that the market will continue to move towards self-service and contactless retail. Vending machines and convenience services are becoming more essential, and retailers are looking for more ways to deliver their products direct to customer with less human friction. We are excited about what is to come.”

With social distancing and the shift in the economy, PopShop Kiosks can serve as a solution for retailers whose businesses have been and could be impacted by COVID-19 and other crises in the future.

“The global community is calling for self-service retail to become more easily accessible, considering the shifts in our climate and technological advancements,” said Dickson.

For those reasons, Dickson’s goal is to have PopCom service the entire regulated retail market and power all machine-driven transactions in the retail space with their operating system that integrates facial detection to understand the customer demographic profile including age, gender, and emotion.  And she is diligently working towards that goal. In fact, the company has secured technology pilots and rollouts starting with cannabis and alcohol in 2020.

With over 2,000 investors in PopCom, Dickson is among the few black women entrepreneurs to secure $1 million or more in funding. And she is adamant about making sure that others are able to successfully raise capital as well. “I aim to bridge the gap between venture capital and everyday people.”

Related: Dawn Dickson’s Road to $1 Million Started at the Entrepreneurs Summit 

As an entrepreneur who is dedicated to the advancement of black business owners, Dickson is confident that PopShop Kiosks will revolutionize the retail industry and create opportunities for others as investors in the company.  “With investment becoming more inclusive and open to forward-thinkers, my family, friends, community, and supporters, I believe we will reach the next milestones to success.”

To learn more about PopCom’s equity crowdfunding campaign, click here.

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