Augmented Reality (AR) can help customers preview products online before making a purchase, and is a growing area of investment for e-commerce businesses. According to a recent survey of 16,000 Snapchat users across 16 markets, 92% of Generation Z want to use AR and VR for online shopping.
Now a South Korean augmented reality (AR) startup called RECON Laboratories, which allows e-commerce customers to create 3D models within hours by capturing a short product video through its PlicAR platform, has raised $4.4 million. The company will use Series A funding to increase headcount and improve its PlicAR platform, which helps to automatically turn a 2D image into a 3D representation of its products without requiring any special 3D modeling skills.
RECON Labs CEO Song Hoon Bang told TechCrunch that the firm is working with a number of e-commerce marketplaces and retailers, including furniture companies, who want to help their customers visualize products in life-size 3D models in augmented reality.
The company currently offers its services to more than 22 small and medium-sized companies in South Korea and is in talks with potential customers in the fashion, toys and food industries, Bang said. He added that retailers can save time and money by using PlicAR without having to build their own 3D modeling platform.
RECON Labs claims to have over 10,000 products that convert from 2D to 3D content. In the future, the platform will allow users to upload, upload, view, sell and buy 3D assets through its web service like Sketchfab, which was acquired by Epic Games in 2021, according to Ban.
The startup also recently partnered with The Sandbox, a San Francisco gaming company, to develop a tool that will allow users to create 3D characters and items. RECON Labs says it plans to release a 3D graphics app next year.
It also plans to open an office in Silicon Valley for US expansion in the fourth quarter of 2022.
Its previous sponsors, including Kakao Ventures, Shinhan Capital, Lotte Ventures, and Naver D2SF, entered the latest round, bringing its total to $4.8 million since its inception in 2019. New investors Korea Investment Partners, Hanwha Techwin and Kakao Brain have also joined the project. round.
“We will create a service that can easily and conveniently create and use 3D content as easily as anyone who creates images or video content. Our vision is to provide any type of 3D assets for AR and Metaverse environments,” said Ban.
Credit: techcrunch.com /