Trax focused on traditional listing in US market after raising $640m in pre-IPO round

From left: Joel Bar-El, executive chairman and co-founder of Trax; Justin Behar, CEO of Trax; and Dror Feldheim, president and co-founder of Trax

Singapore-based Trax, which offers image recognition solutions for the retail industry, has announced securing $640 million in a Series E round, as it carves out its growth expansion plans in markets such as Asia and Europe, Trax co-founder and executive chairman Joel Bar-El told DealStreetAsia.

So far, the company’s biggest market – the US – accounts for more than 50% of its revenue.

The current funding round, led by new investor SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and funds managed by return backer BlackRock, will be a combination of primary and secondary transactions. New investors namely OMERS, a Canadian pension fund, and Sony Innovation Fund by IGV, as well as existing backer Warburg Pincus have also participated.

Founded in 2010, Trax offers computer vision solutions for shelf monitoring, in-store execution, market measurement and analytics to retailers and consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies to better manage on-shelf availability and optimise merchandising. It operates in over 90 countries globally and counts brands such as Coca-Cola, Nestle, Unilever, P&G and Heineken among its clients.

Including the latest funding, the Singapore-headquartered company has raised $1.03 billion to date and is understood to be valued at over $2 billion.

The Series E round makes Vision Fund 2, the smaller successor to SoftBank’s $100-billion Vision Fund 1, the largest shareholder in Trax. The fund managed by SoftBank Investment Advisers displaces Warburg Pincus, which previously owned a 20% stake in the technology company.

“Through its innovative AI platform and image recognition technologies, we believe Trax is optimising retail stores by enabling CPG brands and retailers to execute better inventory strategies using data and analytics,” said Chris Lee, a director at SoftBank Investment Advisers. “We are excited to partner with the Trax team to help expand their product offerings and enter new markets.”

Trax declined to disclose its shareholding structure. Its other investors include Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte, Boyu Capital, Investec and Broad Peak Investment.

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