The augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) worlds have come of age. Thanks to these technologies, many online shoppers now prefer to preview products to see what they look like in real life before they make the purchase. Now one San Francisco and Bengaluru-based startup is using AR and 3D models to help online stores provide their customers with a deeper and more realistic shopping experience.
Enter Avataar, an AI and computer vision tech startup that is shaping consumers’ online buying and browsing behavior by creating immersive, interactive shopping experiences and reimagining the visual discovery journey.Avataar bridges the gap between offline-online experiences by replacing the current 2D visuals with life-size and hyper-realistic 3D XR/AR experiences.
Its platform currently powers the largest global eCommerce marketplaces and leading D2C brands, shaping consumer journeys with life-sized 3D product evaluation coupled with interactive feature discovery.
Today, Avataar announced it has raised $45 million in Series B funding, making it one of the largest fundraising rounds in the Applied 3D/AR space. The round was led by Tiger Global, with co-participation from existing investor Sequoia Capital India.
The company’s patented rendering platform offers plug and play integration into the websites and mobile apps of its client partners, and brings to life the power of spatial depth to consumers’ visual discovery via highly contextual user journeys. Avataar’s proprietary platform acts as an ‘Inside Engine’ powering multiple user experience shifts to interactive life-size Web 3.0, also known as the Metaverse.
Avataar was founded in 2016 by CEO Sravanth Aluru, Prashanth Aluru, Gaurav Baid, and Mayank Tiwari, with a vision of creating a virtual life-size embodiment of our physical world that can co-exist within our physical spaces and drive a paradigm shift in visual discovery experiences globally.
Today, Avataar’s platform is being used by the largest eCommerce marketplaces around the world to transform the consumer experience. The company provides AR and VR services used to convert 2D design assets into 3D campaigns on social media. Avataar platform enables a consumer looking to purchase a refrigerator to drop a virtual version in their own kitchen and walk around to evaluate the look and feel in true life-size.
Consumers are also able to toggle between available colors, open and close the doors, and easily compare multiple refrigerator types side-by-side. Additionally, deep behavioral insights and consumer analytics are leveraged by eCommerce marketplaces that use Avataar’s platform to achieve more than 3.5x sales conversion uplift along with a significant increase in consumer average engagement time.
In a statement, Aluru said, “More than 60 percent of human sensory neural processing is visual in nature, and the lack of spatial depth on flat screens today drives a big experience gap between the digital (static 2D images and videos) and the physical world experiences. The digital world is undergoing a fundamental shift from static 2D content to a life-size virtual 3D world that is dynamic and superimposable onto our shared physical reality. Avataar aims to be the ‘Inside Engine’ powering many new consumer journeys in this shift.”
Aluru continues, “For the first time in history, we are now able to detect, understand, augment and manipulate consumers’ physical reality using a live camera feed. While our patented AI/CV capabilities are applicable to the overall Metaverse evolution, we have started with an upfront focus on redefining consumers’ shopping experiences. The platform will transform the consumer shopping experience at home on their mobile devices, through AR glasses/wearables, or even in a physical store exploring an infinite aisle of a digitally enabled catalog.”
Avataar’s backend SuperNova platform seamlessly ingests existing 2D product images/videos across categories like furniture, electronics, large appliances, fashion, and more, and offers a plug and play front-end integration for consumer visualization of life-size 3D avataars of products at scale. The digital and digitally influenced marketplace is projected to grow to $18 trillion by 2025, offering a monetization opportunity of more than $50 billion over the next decade for the underlying platforms driving the 2D to 3D commerce shift.
“Consumers continue to look for a better eCommerce experience, and the innovative technology created by Avataar provides a powerful plug and play solution for its customers to meet this demand. As the digital world shifts from 2D to 3D, Avataar and its talented management team are well-positioned in this fast-growing market,” said Evan Feinberg, Partner at Tiger Global.