Retail-targeted image recognition startup Trax close to being next Singapore unicorn

Trax, a that provides technology for the retail and consumer goods industry, announced that it is in the final stage of raising US$100 million at a pre-money valuation of about $1.1 billion, as reported by Bloomberg.

The company said that the new capital will be used to finance acquisitions it recently completed and negotiated. The companies are LenzTech Co., a Beijing computer vision technology service provider and direct competitor, and two other competitors based in Europe and the US.

With LenzTech Co., Trax will integrate LenzTech's 110 employees, including 60 research and development staff, with its subsidiary there.

The acquisitions come at the heels of the company's plan to go public in the next 18 to 24 months. Trax has long planned for the listing on Nasdaq or the New York Stock Exchange but is keeping the door open for the SGX.

“We are having a discussion with SGX for a potential dual listing,” said Bar-El, highlighting that SGX has proposed doing a listing in first and then in New York, which Trax is reviewing. “New York, for sure, we are going eventually. Now we have grown to a substantial size, both in terms of revenues and the number of people, global spread, we feel that the company is ready for an IPO.”

Currently, the company is in talks with a few private equity firms to close the round by the end of June, as confirmed by its Chief Executive Officer Joel Bar-El.

Last year, Trax raised US$125 million in a round led by Chinese private equity firm Boyu Capital, with Singapore's GIC Pte came on board as a shareholder later. It also raised US$64 million in 2017.

Bar-El founded Trax in 2010 with its current Chief Commercial Officer Dror Feldheim.

Trax claimed that its image recognition technology is used by global consumer packaged goods companies such as Coca-Cola Co. and Nestle SA, to track their products on retail shelves. The company now has 175 clients in 50 countries and counts private equity firm Warburg Pincus as its biggest shareholder.

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