A popular 3D and Augmented Reality (AR) platform – Avataar.me raised USD 7 million (51 crores) in its Series A cash from Sequoia Capital India. The funding will give a boost to Avataar’s AR technology leading to a rise in on-screen browsing/buying experience.
The money will be spent conducting further R&D. It is anticipated that there will be investments in strategic growth acceleration across digital and digitally-influenced commerce industries.
“To put the opportunity into perspective — by the end of 2019, there were about 1.65 billion handsets with built-in AR capabilities in consumers’ hands. This is creating an opportunity for AR/VR that didn’t exist 12 to 18 months ago,” said Sravanth Aluru, Co-founder, Avataar.me. “AR/VR has shown strong emotional connect with GenZ and 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.”
“The spend on AR tools for creating social engagement for brands along with try-before-you-buy experiences was USD 1.5 billion – this is expected to grow 10x by 2023,” said Shailesh Lakhani, MD at Sequoia Capital India.
In the past, Sequoia Capital has invested in several start-ups (about 130), which includes Ola, MuSigma, and Zomato. The company raised a record corpus of USD 1.35 million for India and Southeast Asia investments in July.
List of investments
1. Cusmat Technologies Pvt Ltd., a company that works in operating training systems focused on augmented and virtual reality, raised seed fundingin a round led by start-up incubator and accelerator Venture Catalysts.
2. In November 2019, Flipspaces Technology Labs Pvt. Ltd, a virtual reality interior design and contracting company, raised USD 1.15 from Alex Group of Companies and UC Inclusive Credit Pvt Ltd.
3. In May 2019, Dalmia International, a branch of the Dalmia Group, and a group of international investors invested in the growth of an AR education company.
It is a combined concept, started in 2016 by Aluru, Gaurav Baid, and Mayank Tiwari. It was started by Aluru, an alumnus of IIT-Bombay who was previously working with Deutsche Bank. The other two, Tiwari and Baid, were associated with KKR & Co. and Deutsche Bank, respectively. The company is currently working with consumer electronics, the e-commerce industry, auto original equipment makers, and FMCG giants across the US and Southeast Asia besides India.
The platform claims to have already empowered over 150 million end-user impressions for customers in the past seven months. Avataar.me has a global AR partnership with Instagram and Facebook to collaborate on AR/VR integrations. In the future, the company aims to enter other major AR markets such as the UK, Japan, and Germany.