S'pore-based start-up Trax buying US rewards app Shopkick

Singapore-based start-up Trax is acquiring US rewards app Shopkick, adding a customer-tracking service to its growing stable of retail technology.

California-based Shopkick lets shoppers earn rewards and gift cards by browsing online offers, watching videos, walking into stores or scanning product barcodes on shelves. Trax did not disclose how much it is paying, but seller SK Telecom acquired the outfit for US$200 million (S$271 million) in 2014, The Wall Street Journal has reported.

Shopkick's programmes help provide data and insights into customer behaviour and loyalty for clients ranging from eBay and General Electric to Lego and Unilever. Trax chief executive Joel Bar-El said: "Bringing together shelf and shopper data will deliver new and powerful insights to consumer-packaged-goods brands and retailers."

The transaction comes as Trax finalises a deal to raise US$100 million at a pre-money valuation of about US$1.1 billion, which could make it the second-most valuable start-up in Singapore, behind only Grab. The round was aimed at financing acquisitions, including of LenzTech, a Beijing computer vision start-up that Trax recently purchased. Trax is also in advanced talks to buy a European competitor, Mr Bar-El has said.

Trax is planning an initial public offering in 18 to 24 months and it is in talks with the Singapore Exchange for a potential dual listing after the bourse approached the firm, Mr Bar-El said last month.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 26, 2019, with the headline 'S'pore-based start-up Trax buying US rewards app Shopkick'. Print Edition | Subscribe