ByondXR raises $7M in funding to create 3D virtual shopping environments
Digital showroom and virtual shopping startup ByondXR said today it has raised $7 million in seed financing led by Firstime and OurCrowd.
Using web-based extended reality, ByondXR provides retailers the ability to create their own immersive virtual showrooms that customers can walk around and explore without leaving their own living rooms. These virtual stores simulate actual spaces where shoppers can feel like they’re strolling around aisles and amid countertops.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a reduction in the amount of foot traffic to stores and an increase in the number of users looking to the web and e-commerce. Many younger users are also much more used to experiencing their shopping on devices and are accustomed to getting their information through a screen.
“Because of the lack of in-store visits, brands have lost touch with their customers which have been increasingly transitioning to online shopping, and this is precisely what ByondXR is looking to remedy,” said Noam Levavi, co-founder and chief executive of ByondXR.
Although retail e-commerce sites worldwide were already popular well before the pandemic, according to Statista then they really took off over the past year, exceeding $4.3 trillion in 2020. The market is projected to grow to $5.4 trillion in 2022.
One of the brands that ByondXR has worked with is Lancôme, a French luxury perfume and cosmetics outlet. Its stores can be experienced as 3D pop-up venues that can be explored as fully immersive shopping environments with countertops, products set up on shelves waiting to be handled, dialogues that appear with purchase options and even advertisements on the walls.
“Virtual experience technology bridges the gap between brands and customers, bringing online shopping to life while creating a personalized and memorable interactive experience for users, which we believe is critical in helping brands connect with their customer base, increase loyalty, and engage younger audiences,” Levavi said.
The company has also worked with other major international brands such as Target Corp., Coca-Cola Co., L’Oreal S.A., Procter & Gamble Co. and Caesarstone Ltd.
In addition to virtual showrooms, ByondXR also enables augmented reality experiences for customers that can allow them to see how products would look in their own living rooms. Using the camera on a mobile device, users can place a couch or a chair and see how it will look in their room or change their own wallpaper or the tiles on their countertops.
For retailers, the system also tracks which products users look at and how they interact with them. That helps owners create insights in order to understand customer behavior and market to them better in order to increase sales and change their virtual environments to suit their customers.
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