Deals | S’pore retail tech firm Trax seals $125m led by Boyu Capital

Physical stores still make up for over 80 per cent of all retail sales in China albeit the e-tailing feat.

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Deals | S’pore retail tech firm Trax seals $125m led by Boyu Capital

  • With Boyu Capital’s partnership, Trax is looking to continue growing its presence in China
  • The firm’s flagship product aims to maximise productivity and sales for physical retailers
  • Physical stores still make up for over 80 per cent of all retail sales in China albeit the e-tailing feat

Headquartered in Singapore, retail tech solutions company Trax today announced that it has closed $125 million in a round of funding led by Chinese private equity firm Boyu Capital to support its global expansion plans and an upcoming IPO.

According to a Bloomberg interview, Joel Bar-El, CEO, Trax said that the IPO is scheduled to take place in the “next 18 to 24 months” with the company currently valued at close to $1 billion. He also shared that the firm is currently in discussions with Nasdaq and the NYSE.

Other investors involved in the latest round include UK-based media organisation DC Thomson.

Founded in 2010, the firm was previously backed by American private equity investment firm Warburg Pincus, and asset management company Investec.

According to a statement by the company, Trax has raised around $235 million in total funding and now operates in more than 50 countries with multinational conglomerates like Heineken, Nestle and Kimberly-Clark.

Its solutions are mostly targeted towards consumer packaged goods companies and retailers, which can use its image recognition software to monitor its shelves and optimise sales.

It has also developed the Trax Smart Cooler, a “hands-free, real-time monitoring solution for coolers”, which it said would “maximise sales by leveraging real-time automated alerts on in-store issues sent to sales reps, merchandisers, telesales reps and store owners”, and track power consumption among other uses.

Joel Bar-El, CEO, Trax

The company will be continuing its expansion to Greater China, with the help of Boyu Capital, where it claims to have established a strong market presence. The firm will also explore opening an additional engineering centre in China.

“[Boyu Capital’s] experience and insights into the scale and pace of China’s retail technology environment will be incredibly valuable,” said Bar-El in a statement.

Joey Chen, Managing Director, Boyu Capital also shared that the China-focused fund sees a “promising future for Trax’s development” in the country.

While e-commerce might be thought of as leap-frogging brick and mortar retail in China, the offline sector is still considered a massive goldmine. According to Quartz, physical stores still make up for over 80 per cent of all retail sales in China, and retailers are looking to incorporate technology and a seamless experience into buying things at a store.

“Compared to developed markets such as Europe and the United States, the use of digital retail solutions by Chinese consumer goods companies and retailers is still in its early stages,” noted Chen.

 

Editor: Ben Jiang