SG Digest: Trax raises $40m Series C, Vanitee acquires Mefitted, Smartkarma secures $4.7m

Cityscape of Singapore. Credit:Flickr/Michaela Loheit

Israel-Singapore based startup Trax has secured $40 million in Series C round. Smartkarma, insight investment research provider, closed $4.7 million in its second strategic funding round. Beauty online booking site Vanitee acquired beauty salon e-directory Mefitted in May.

Israel-Singapore startup Trax raises $40m Series C

Israeli retail image recognition platform Trax has secured $40 million in Series C from existing shareholders including Temasek-backed Broad Peak Investment Advisers, according to geektime’s report.

Including the latest round of investment, the company has raised a total of $78 million to date.

The proceeds will be used to expand its global operations with a focus in North America and add a new product line for top tier retailers, the company cited.

“This round of funding will allow us to advance our technology, our solutions and services and ultimately allow our clients to make better business decisions and drive incremental sales and market share,” Trax cofounder and CEO Joel Bar-El said.

Trax turns shelf images into real-time actionable insights by delivering a unique image recognition platform for the retail industry.

Trax provides data, intelligence, insights and recommendations to consumer good companies and retailers in over 40 countries. It claims that it recognizes over 8 million images with more than 1 million store visits every month.

Headquartered in Singapore with offices in every continent, Trax has more than 220 employees in its offices across every continent. Of that, 130 employees work in the company’s R&D and Computer Vision Centre of Excellence in Tel Aviv.

Vanitee acquires beauty salon site Mefitted

Singapore’s online booking platform for beauty services Vanitee has acquired beauty salon e-directory Mefitted last month for less than $500,000, The Strait Times reported.

Vanitee CEO and Co-Founder Douglas Gan said that Mefitted has strength in mobile features and the B2B web solutions, which Vanitee does need to improve for its business.

Despite being Singapore’s largest beauty provider with over 1,700 beauty artists on the platform, Vanitee does not cover beauty salon. Meanwhile, Mefitted provides an interactive e-directory listing of more than 8,200 beauty salons by location and service type.

He said the company also plans to build end-to-end system that processes payments-to-service-guarantee of beauty services rendered in a reliable and scalable way.

Launched in the mid of 2015, Vanitee raised $3.5 million funding round in December last year. as it aims to expand its business across Asia.

To date, Rocket Internet-backed Vaniday, the main competitor, featured about 800 salons on its platform by the end of the first quarter and has operated in Australia, Brazil, UAE and Italy.

Investment research provider Smartkarma secures $4.7m

Singapore-based Smartkarma, the marketplace for Asian investment research and analysis, has raised $4.7 million in its second strategic funding round, which will be used for further expansion in overseas markets.

The latest round brings the total capital raised to $7.5million, with investments from five institutions including Wavemaker Partners, Jungle Ventures, an arm of the Singapore government, an investment group led by Koh Boon Hwee, former Chairman of Singapore Telecommunications, as well as several prominent industry leaders such as Tan Chin Hwee.

“We are thrilled to be driving industry change by providing a radically different approach for the creation and consumption of investment insight. The success of this funding round is testament to our model,” Raghav Kapoor, CEO and Co-Founder of Smartkarma, said in the statement.

Smartkarma, which was founded in 2014, intends to build on its global momentum by further growing its ecosystem of Insight Providers and expanding platform offerings. These would include the addition of research applications, complementary data services and engagement tools.

It spent two years on developing its technology. So far, it has signed on 140 global professional institutions.

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.