When you buy online, you don’t get the chance to pick up items and look at them, but nfinite is working to change the way products are visualized online to make them seem more real.
The company, headquartered in France, has developed a SaaS-based visual e-merchandising platform with tools for creating 3D graphics for e-commerce. Based on nfinite’s performance over the past year, this is an area ripe for e-commerce and venture capital investors alike.
Here’s why: The company grew 10 times in annual recurring sales in the past year and was adopted by three of the world’s top five global retailers, Alexandre de Vigan, founder and CEO of nfinite, told Vidak For Congress. And the company announced $100 million in Series B financing on Tuesday, coming quickly after a $15 million Series A round announced in February.
The new round was led by Insight Partners and included participation from existing investor US Venture Partners and gives nfinite a total of $130 million in venture backed funding since the company was founded in 2017.
De Vigan and his team then started the company to provide better online real estate visual experiences, creating computer-based images to sell apartments. A year later, they realized there was a bigger market for e-commerce and shifted their focus there to drive more traffic and more sales. So instead of presenting an apartment, its images were used for furniture. Over the next few years, nfinite has scaled its platform across various industries, officially launching the version it is today in 2021.
De Vigan explained that as e-commerce is expected to grow by 50% to reach $7.4 trillion in revenue over the next four years, product visualization is the single point of contact.
“Consumers want more and more, but e-commerce customers struggle with old static photos,” he added. “We wanted to build a SaaS e-merchandising platform to create unlimited images via a desktop so you can showcase your products. Our mission is to help shoppers understand the product better and have more confidence to shop online.”
He went on to say that a photo is “frozen in time”, it cannot be updated or modified, but by using computer generated images it can be converted into 3D so that it can be a living image that both customizable and updateable.
For example, you can take a sofa, display it in a living room, and then change the wallpaper for the season or focus it on trends. The effect is better images to generate more stats from the product, which means more conversion and less return, and save money for customers. De Vigan estimates double-digit savings on average and an improvement in metrics for its ecommerce customers.
In addition, nfinite also provides visual assets that are compatible with both web2 and web3 applications, so e-commerce customers will already have that capability as the future potential of the metaverse is realized.
Now that the company has laid the groundwork for automating 3D imaging at scale, de Vigan plans to use the new funding to scale nfinite’s sales and marketing teams. The company started in Europe with half of its R&D and marketplace in France and now its customer-facing operations are in the US. In 2021, the company had no customers in the US and now the region accounts for 80% of the company’s sales and 40% of its logos.
The company’s workforce grew to 100 from 40 a year ago, and the Vigan plans to have 250 employees over the next 12 months. It also yields hundreds of thousands of images that will run into the millions in the coming years.
“E-merchandising is the next revolution of e-commerce for us, so the next stage is to scale within that category in the US, Europe and Asia so that we become the standard,” he added.
Meanwhile, other companies have also found some venture capital for their approach to merchandising. For example, Lucky raised $3 million for its plug-in-play API for Shopify businesses, while Singapore-based Trax raised $640 million in Series E funding for its technology to manage store shelves.
As part of the investment, Rebecca Liu-Doyle, managing director at Insight Partners, has now joined nfinite’s board.
“nfinite is redefining the e-merchandising space with a platform that enables high-quality visual content to be produced at scale — and the largest, most innovative online retailers are already taking note,” she said in a statement. “The company has incredible growth potential and we couldn’t be more excited to partner with Alex and the nfinite team to help them see it through.”