Trax, a startup that develops computer vision technology for retailers, said Wednesday it has secured $640 million in funding from investors including SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and technology-focused funds managed by existing investor BlackRock, Inc.
Existing investors OMERS, one of Canada’s largest pension plans, and Sony Innovation Fund by IGV also participated in the Series E financing round, the company said in a statement.
Trax has developed robots that use advanced hardware, computer vision and artificial intelligence to scan what is on the shelves and identify out of stock products for faster replenishment. The tech also allows users to find products in the store using their phone apps or special purpose machines on site.
The robots navigate the stores’ aisles, monitoring products and producing images of different product categories several times per day. The data they collect is uploaded to a cloud and the images are analyzed. The store receives real-time information about consumer purchases in the store and storerooms are alerted about missing products. At the companies’ headquarters, managers can observe operations in real time and get insights into what products are selling best.
“We are witnessing the retail industry adopt digital technologies at an unprecedented pace and scale,” said Joel Bar-El, executive chairman and co-founder of Trax. “Despite the turbulence of 2020, we made tremendous strides in our business.”
Justin Behar, CEO of Trax, said that the firm will use the funds to expand its workforce, increase its marketing efforts to grow its business.
The Tel Aviv-based firm was founded in 2010 by Dror Feldheim and Bar-El.
Customers include Coca Cola, Nestle and Heineken, which use the technology to get shelf insights about their products in stores, and make sure that the shop shelves and the promotional displays match the agreements they have with retailers.
Supermarket chain Shufersal in Israel and Best Buy are among the retailers that use the technology to keep inventory and shelf availability at optimal levels, the company website says.
Trax has offices in the United States, Singapore and Israel, and serves customers in more than 90 countries.