Selfly Store history

The 1000-year-old vending industry stands on the verge of disruption

The vending machine industry dates back to the first century in Egypt, when coin-based machines were introduced to dispense holy water at temples. Later, in the 19th century, vending machines were used to sell newspapers, stamps, cigarettes and chewing gums.

In recent years, increasingly intelligent vending solutions are being introduced around the world. While a majority of the machines on the market still operate with traditional vending dispense technology, the entry of intelligent machines is predicted to disrupt the vending industry over the next 10 years. The new technology and availability to data enable completely new product assortments and business models. As a forerunner in the intelligent vending space, Selfly Store aims to lead the imminent market disruption. We do this by combining best practices of brick-and-mortar retail and e-commerce – merging the physical shopping experience with a digitally enhanced grab-and-go service.

Selfly Store springs out of an 800-year-old corporate

Year 1288

Stora Enso is one of the world’s oldest companies, and with its roots in copper mining, the company has evolved into a leading renewable materials company. The company’s survival has depended on innovation of new products as well as new business models – one of them being Selfly Store.

Year 1288
Year 2016

It all began in 2016, when two Stora Enso employees were given funds to innovate a paper-based RFID (radio frequency identification) tag. These tags are used to identify and detect items via remote scanning and can include information about the items they are attached upon. Read more about RFID technology here.

Year 2016
Year 2017

In 2017 a customer suggested a new use case for the paper-based RFID tags – a novel type of vending machine which would carry almost any type of products and identify them with RFID tags. In addition to the hardware, a cloud solution would provide real-time data of the items in the cabinet. The first prototype of an intelligent fridge hit the market a few months later.

Year 2017
Year 2019

In 2019 the next generation of the intelligent fridge and cloud solution was rolled out. Some of the improvements comprised for example a screen on top of the cabinet to showcase items and to do on-screen advertising.

Year 2019
Year 2021

In 2021 Selfly Store became its own company. Selfly Store is still owned by Stora Enso, which gives us all the benefits that come with a strong corporate owner and at the same time the freedom to operate as a quick and agile startup.

Year 2021
Year 2022

2022 was the year of the next big steps for Selfly Store. The 3rd generation cabinet design was developed significantly, and the product line was extended to three variants – a room temperature cabinet, a fridge, and a freezer. Moreover, the cloud solution was developed with new features, for example expiry-date management. Another substantial step was to offer all Selfly Store customers consultancy services for successful operations. The learnings and data from operating in almost 20 countries certainly provide new and interesting opportunities for vending machine operators.

Year 2022