Israeli-Singaporian company Trax secured a $640 million Series E funding round. The primary investors during this round were led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2, along with tech-oriented funds under BlackRock. More prominent investors included OMERS, one of Canada’s largest defined benefit pension plans, and Sony Innovation Fund. The company focuses on helping retailers improve the shopping experience by applying digital technologies, accelerating thus these businesses’ digital transformation. Trax is a pioneer in AI-driven, autonomous shelf-monitoring solutions that provide merchandising services at an enterprise level. The tech is used to help retailers keep products stocked by using an on-demand crowd marketplace. Trex technology effectively digitalizes department stores by using AI and collected data to automate inventory management. In the words of the company’s CEO, Justin Behar, “Trax has been building its sophisticated, AI-powered, retail cloud platform for more than a decade. We began our journey by creating novel computer vision solutions for retail and have since broadened our capabilities to serve the evolving needs of the modern retail ecosystem.” Despite the potential IPO (initial public offering) and substantial funding, the company fired dozens of employees in 2020 and is supposedly planning more layoffs this year. According to local sources, the company already fired about 120 of its workers in Israel shortly after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Trax currently employs around 1,000 workers, operates in more than 50 countries, and has about 175 clients. “We are witnessing the retail industry adopt digital technologies at an unprecedented pace and scale. Despite the turbulence of 2020, we made tremendous strides in our business because of the hard work, dedication, and team spirit at Trax,” stated Joel Bar-El, Trax co-founder and executive chairman. In preparation for the IPO at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the company hopes for a $2 billion valuation and going public in the first half of 2021.