Singapore’s Trax acquires US-based retail rewards app Shopkick

Trax co-founder and CEO Joel Bar-El speaks at the Asia PE-VC Summit 2018 organised by DealStreetAsia.

Trax, a Singapore-headquartered computer vision solutions and analytics firm focused on the retail industry, announced that it has acquired Shopkick, a shopping rewards app in the US, from South Korea’s SK Telecom Co for an undisclosed amount.

The acquisition adds a consumer engagement feature to Trax’s retail technologies and solutions and forms part of the company’s vision of “bridging the mobile and physical retail worlds” for global and regional retailers.

While the announcement did not include financial details, a Wall Street Journal report said SK Telecom Co acquired Shopkick in 2014 for $200 million.

Based in Redwood City, California, Shopkick allows brands and retailers to engage with consumers before they shop and continues with them in the store and on their phone.

Consumers who use the Shopkick app earn rewards for shopping activities, such as browsing content and online offers, watching videos, walking into stores, engaging with products online and at the shelf, and making purchases, both online and offline.

Some of its leading brand and retail partners include Auntie Anne’s, Barilla, Brighton, Coty, eBay, GE, Georgia-Pacific, Kellogg’s, LEGO, TJ Maxx, and Unilever.

“Bringing together shelf and shopper data will deliver new and powerful insights to consumer-packaged-goods brands and retailers,” Trax Chief Executive Officer Joel Bar-El said in a statement.

Shopkick CEO Adam Sand said the acquisition will “accelerate and further expand” Shopkick’s innovative consumer experiences.

“The combination of Trax’s unparalleled computer vision technology and Shopkick’s engaging omnichannel approach will offer our current and future customers the most powerful set of tools on the market,” Sand said.

Early this month, Trax signed a deal to buy LenzTech Co, a Beijing-based computer vision technology service provider.

The acquisition will combine Trax’s expertise in merchandising strategies and LenzTech’s crowdsourcing market competitiveness and AI technology to help digitize China’s offline retail market, according to a statement.

LenzTech leverages its 800,000 userbase to perform tasks like taking images of a store shelf. With 50,000 monthly active users, LenzTech covers over 1000 cities including all counties and most townships across the China.

The deal includes building a research and development center in China with an investment of $20 million to $30 million.

The acquisitions come as Trax is finalizing a deal to raise $100 million at a pre-money valuation of about $1.1 billion.

Speaking at DEALSTREETASIA‘s Asia PE-VC Summit 2018 in September, Bar-El revealed that Trax is looking at reaching a valuation of $3 billion in three years after hitting the unicorn status last year.

He said the valuation target is “not far-fetched” as the company has already reached a valuation of $1 billion a year after it raised $64 million in a funding round led by private equity firm Warburg Pincus.

As of September 2018, Trax has raised $286.7 million in eight rounds since June 2011. Broad Peak Investment led a $40-million investment in June 2016 while Warburg Pincus backed Trax by leading a $64-million Series D in June 2017. In July last year, Trax raised $125 million in a funding round led by Chinese private equity firm Boyu Capital.

Trax, an Israeli-developed company but headquartered in Singapore, provides in-store execution, market intelligence, and data science solutions for consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies and retailers through its computer vision-to-platform, in order to process photos taken in store and deliver granular store-level insights within minutes. It builds a proprietary retail database and analytics products.