Trax, a computer vision company that helps physical retailers and CPG companies with inventory management, announced today that it has raised a $640 million Series E round of funding. The round was led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and funds management by existing investor BlackRock. Other investors include OMERS and Sony Innovation Fund by IGV. This brings the total amount of funding raised by Trax to more than $1 billion.
The Trax system uses a combination of camera installations, shelf-scanning robots and computer vision to monitor products on store shelves. Product Images are sent to Trax’s cloud-based machine learning system to analyze and identify when inventory is low on store shelves, or when items are misplaced.
Trax is also used by CPG companies to help them audit store shelves to ensure they are getting the placement they paid for.
Trax, which launched its Retail Watch service in the U.S. back in October of 2020, isn’t the only company using computer vision to help stores manage inventory. Cashierless checkout systems like Grabango and Trigo promise similar, constant shelf monitoring and visibility through camera installations and advanced computer vision. And robots from Simbe and Bossa Nova offer less installation-intensive solutions.
Trax is certainly striking while the funding iron is hot. Grocery related startups have raised a bunch of money in 2021. In addition to the raft of grocery delivery startups that have secured big raises, companies that are helping physical grocery retailers are also raking in cash. Stor.AI, which helps grocers deploy online shopping services, and Shelf Engine, which helps grocers with inventory forecasting, both raised significant rounds last month.