Trax announced on Wednesday that it scored a $40 million Series C funding round, bringing their total financing raised to date to $78 million. They did not disclose the names of investors, but a spokesman told Geektime that it includes many private investors and Broad Peak Investment Advisers, a hedge fund originally backed by Temasek upon its founding.
What makes Trax legitimately groundbreaking is that it uses image recognition to give back data feeds quickly on brands and recommendations for promotion. You use the Trax app to take photos of a given manufacturer or retailer’s product on a store shelf. The app then spits back sales data and recommends how to improve sales even by changing the placement of products relative to its environment in the store.
“We are incredibly excited to expand our footprint in North America, particularly with retailers in the United States. We have found the market extremely enthusiastic and eager to leverage our advanced machine learning technology and retail data science solutions,” said Co-Founder and Trax CCO Dror Feldheim in a press release. “Retailers turn our data and insights into broader market intelligence and highly accurate trend predictions that shine a light on new ways to improve their customer experiences in-store.”
The product is mainly for supermarkets, with special settings for shelves and coolers/refrigerators. But it pools selling data from a number of sources. Its so-called “real-time shelf analysis” is justifiably labeled a “corrective actions” tool. If your product is too low on the shelf or blends too much with the color scheme of another (an example I just made up), it’s worth moving it.
Some major brands have already signed on, including Coca-Cola, Nestle and Heineken. The money will also reportedly support development of new products like in-store roaming bots, smart coolers and cameras to track individual products.
“Trax is very much a part of the thriving hi-tech scene in Israel,” says Trax Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Joel Bar-El. “We have pioneered a proprietary deep learning platform, which is a form of Artificial Intelligence, to power our image recognition process.”
The company is also another prime example of startups setting up in tandem branches in Israel and Singapore. The two ecosystems have been growing closer, highlighted by a $10 million investment from UOB (United Overseas Bank) in Israeli fund OurCrowd.
“Singapore is a special partner of Israel,” OurCrowd’s Jon Medved told Geektime earlier in 2015. “If you look anywhere in the East then you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better ally than Singapore.”
Founded in 2010, the company has 220 employees, 130 at its R&D center in Tel Aviv and 90 in Singapore.