- Retail computer vision and analytics provider Trax has raised $640 million from investors in a Series E financing round, the company announced on Wednesday.
- SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and technology-centered funds managed by BlackRock, an existing investor in Trax, led the investment round. New investors including OMERS, a defined benefit pension plan for municipal workers in Ontario, Canada, and Sony Innovation Fund by IGV.
- Trax is bringing in new capital as it prepares to step up its efforts to help retailers use data to track inventory and consumer behavior in brick-and-mortar stores.
With its latest package of financing, Trax is bringing in almost twice as much money in a single funding round than it has raised over the past decade, CEO Justin Behar wrote in a blog post.
Trax, which was founded in 2010, plans to harness the funds to help it expand its role in developing technology that allows retailers to gain insight into activities by people in physical stores in a way similar to how they track shoppers online, Behar said. The company, which already works with retailers in more than 90 countries, also intends to use the money to expand to parts of the world where it does not already have a presence and for potential acquisitions, he added.
Like other companies in the retail computer vision space, including Standard Cognition and Grabango, Trax develops technology based on artificial intelligence that enables retailers to use images gathered by cameras in their stores to track products and glean insights about people's shopping patterns.
Beyond simply recording footage, computer vision systems can analyze images and identify objects, such as products on shelves. This makes it possible for the equipment to determine when customers take items from shelves and automatically charge people's accounts as they exit a store, providing visibility akin to what e-commerce technology offers.
Trax is the latest company in the retail sector to strike a funding deal with SoftBank, a Japanese technology investment firm that has put money into more than 160 companies and brought in billions of dollars in profits in the last quarter of 2020, The Wall Street Journal reported.
On Monday, the shareholders of AutoStore, a maker of automated fulfillment equipment based in Norway, said they had agreed to sell a 40% stake in the company to SoftBank for $2.8 billion. That investment follows SoftBank's participation over the past six months in fundraising rounds involving delivery service goPuff, Standard Cognition and Nuro, a maker of autonomous delivery vehicles.