AR Platform Avataar.me snags $7m funding from Sequoia Capital India

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Augmented Reality (AR) platform, Avataar.me that helps large enterprise customers create immersive shopping experiences, has raised $7 million as a part of its Series A funding round from Sequoia Capital India, it said Thursday.

The funds raised in this round will be deployed towards increasing the research and development (R&D) efforts undertaken by the startup, which already holds over 10 US patents for its plug and play platform.

The four-year old startup looks to bridge the gap between offline-online experiences by replacing the current 2D visuals with life-size and hyper-realistic 3D AR experiences.

Avataar’s sector-agnostic platform enables scalable product discovery, giving brands and stores the opportunity to change the way consumers discover and engage with their products online.

The platform currently works with e-commerce, consumer electronics, automotive manufacturers and FMCG majors across the US, India and Southeast Asia – with more than 20 brands across these sectors leveraging it’s solutions across – social, web and in-app touchpoints.

“To put the opportunity into perspective – by the end of 2019, there were about 1.65 billion handsets with built-in AR capabilities in consumer’s hands. AR/VR (virtual reality) has shown strong emotional connect with younger millennial consumers, a segment that brands have struggled to engage with in recent years and a segment that has far more spending power today than they did five years ago. Avataar stands uniquely positioned in the AR/VR industry to capture this opportunity,” Sravanth Aluru, founder & CEO, Avataar.me.

Through its AR and VR capabilities, Avataar allows consumers of e-commerce firms to get a real-time look of furniture inside their homes, during the buying process, or even trying fashion merchandise on their AR ‘Avataar’.

From a purchase intent perspective, Avataar’s platform is almost helping partners double conversion rates compared to the 2D videos of the same product, said the company.

“In 2019, more than 300 million users were actively using AR. Spends on AR tools for creating social engagement for brands along with ‘try-before-you-buy’ experiences was $1.5 billion – this is expected to grow 10X by 2023. Using their patented AI-based algorithms, the team at Avataar.me has developed the most comprehensive platform for enterprises to showcase their physical products and services digitally, driving better business outcomes,” Shailesh Lakhani, Managing Director, Sequoia Capital India LLP.

With footfalls at shopping complexes muted amid covid-19 pandemic, Avataar has seen accelerated demand with industries investing more in contact-less buying experiences.

The startup claims that its business has grown by over 3X and has already empowered over 150 million end-user impressions for enterprise customers in the last 7 months.

It also has a global AR partnership with Instagram and Facebook to collaborate on AR/VR integrations. In 2021, Avataar is looking to enter other major AR markets such as the UK, Germany, Japan, etc.

This article was first published on livemint.com

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.