3D Photography Startup ThreeKit Raises $20 Million for 3D Product Renderings
Majority of ecommerce shoppers prefer to visualize the products they wish to purchase before they pull the trigger and make their orders. The ecommerce industry has innovative product visualization solutions that are based on 2D and 360-degree images. According to a survey by Yellow Duck Marketing, up to 90% of consumers regard the product visuals as the most important factor when making a purchase while 62% report that they judge ecommerce products based solely on the product colors. Images sell the products and the more superb the delivery, the higher the product conversion rates.
When it comes to ecommerce purchase, a picture is still clearly worth more than a thousand words. 3D product visualizations elevate the product visualizations even further. The Chicago-based 3D photography startup ThreeKit creates 3D renderings of products for various companies including Steelcase, Crate and Barrel and CIROC. ThreeKit’s technology offering allows brands to create interactive 3D “experiences” like comparison tools and product tours. Judging by the success of the startup’s fundraising rounds, it appears the company is already doing roaring business.
This week, the company announced that it raised $20 million in its series A funding from Shasta Ventures. Also participating in the funding round were Salesforce Ventures as well as the individual investor Godard Abel. This funding round brings the company’s total fundraising so far to $30 million after it raised $10 million in a seed round in January. According to ThreeKit president Joachim Klein, the company will use the new funding to accelerate its hiring and R&D.
Interactive product visuals are essential to ecommerce as online purchase takes away the customer’s ability to touch and feel products. The customer therefore has to rely more on the visual images when making purchase decisions. It is particularly essential for the highly configurable and sophisticated products.
Online purchases have relied on commercial photography but in spite of their efficacy in ecommerce over the past three decades, they can still fall short of the buyer’s expectations, especially in product categories where a buyer needs a more detailed product visualization. Additionally, the current ecommerce experiences are not capturing how the consumers interact with the product listings before they make a purchase. The ThreeKit technology surmounts these challenges through impressive virtual product experiences.
The ThreeKit platform takes the workload out of the need to perform computer modeling. Users can simply load their products into the platform and then tap to open up a dashboard of options for creating, editing and optimizing the display content for use in sales aids, product configurators or in AR and VR apps.
Three Kit has particularly touted the use of its platform in photorealistic images. With just the 3D model of a product, brands will be able to add textures, colors and lighting; set camera angles and also to generate the images and thumbnails for all kinds of product permutations.
The ThreeKit platform has a toolset that integrates seamlessly with the digital image creation software via a frontend known as Virtual Photographer. The company says that this can scale to catalogs with hundreds to thousands of different products. This also complements the platform’s recently launched 3D configuration tool which collates various insights such as what SKUs are performing best or which ones ship with a rules engine (named Instant Assortment Change and which sends visuals to stores as soon as they are generated).
ThreeKit claims its platform is already delivering great ROI for its clients: they have recorded a 40% increase in conversions as well as an 80% reduction in returns. Additionally, they are seeing a 20% higher order value when they replace the static product images with ThreeKit’s 3D visuals.
The ThreeKit platform is poised to fundamentally how retailers and brands create and manage their visual content. The company has a technology innovation center in Ottawa in addition to its Chicago HQs.