Trax, the Singapore startup focused on the retail industry, raised $125 million in a new round of venture funding amid plans to go public via an initial public offering (IPO).
According to a report in Bloomberg, the round of funding was led by Boyu Capital. Joel Bar-El, chief executive at Trax, told Bloomberg in an interview that the company has a valuation of close to $1 billion, with an eye toward an IPO in the next 18 to 24 months.
Large brands, including Coca-Cola and Nestle, use Trax’s technology to track their products on retail shelves. The company has 175 clients in 50 countries. Warburg Pincus, the largest shareholder in the company, became aware of Trax when team members kept hearing the company’s name. It was a similar experience for shareholder Boyu.
“We were impressed by the wide recognition of Trax’s cloud-based, one-stop-shop solutions,” Boyu Managing Director Joey Chen told Bloomberg. “We believe that Trax is best positioned to help clients in China navigate the digital transformation.”
Trax originally began not as a way for brick-and-mortar retailers to fight back against eCommerce’s rapid gains, but rather as a way to balance the precise data of online shopping with the familiarity and convenience of browsing an actual shelf. However, the scales are tipped in that fight — online retailers don’t need to contend with limited floor and shelf space when displaying products on a site.
With Trax’s SaaS-driven solution to in-store displays, retailers can start designing product layouts based on factors most likely to induce sales, simply by snapping a picture of a shelf and waiting for Trax to crunch the numbers on how it could be improved.
What does Trax look for when suggesting improvements? A host of factors, including duplicate products in the same area, missing or low-stock top-selling items that competitors are carrying and empty spaces that could be good candidates for other items. While Trax’s solutions help to create more efficient product displays, the long tail of the technology can improve much more.