“We are looking at markets like the United Arab Emirates, where several of our clients already have a presence as well the United States” StyleDotMe co-founder and chief executive Meghna Saraogi told ET.
Gurugram-headquartered StyleDotMe started off as a fashion and lifestyle platform where users could get instant advice from their friends on their fashion purchases. In mid-2018, it pivoted to a business-to-business model by launching an augmented reality platform for jewellers called mirrAR.
“We started with an in-store solution, but today, we have an omnichannel presence where the technology can be integrated to any website or app,” Saraogi said.
The offline in-store solution allows shoppers to virtually try-on jewelry like earrings, necklaces, jewelry sets, rings, and bracelets to make better purchase decisions while the webAR solution facilitates try-on for customers across the world. mirrAR currently counts more than 150 jewelers like Tanishq, Kalyan Jewellers, Senco, and HazooriLal Legacy among its clients.
Earlier this week, StyleDotMe raised Rs 3.5 crore financing led by Survam Partners, the family office of Hero MotoCorp’s Suman Kant Munjal with participation from Jewelex India director Bobby Kothari as a strategic investor. Existing investor Indian Angel Network also participated in this funding round.
“We are delighted to partner with StyleDotMe as a lead investor, in their mission of transforming shopping experiences for customers and helping retailers drive their business in these tough times through their powerful AR technology. Meghna and the team have an in-depth understanding of the challenges that the retailer community faces today and the need-gap that exists from a shopper’s lens” said Akshay Munjal of Survam Partners in a statement.
The startup plans to use the funds raised to also foray into new categories like eyewear and watches. Saraogi said they are now working on rolling out this technology to makeup category, at a time when brands are increasingly looking to offer contactless virtual trials to its customers amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We are also creating a self-service dashboard that will allow businesses to sign up and start using augmented reality for their brands,” Saraogi said “We are looking forward to capturing almost 50% of the market share across the biggest jewelry hubs: India, Middle-East, and the United States by 2025”
Augmented Reality and Virtual reality are emerging as key enablers for retailers in a Covid-19-ravaged world that has reset the strategy for several businesses. About 100 Million users will shop in augmented reality online and in-store by the end of this year, as per a Gartner report last year.
In India, the augmented reality market is estimated to grow to $5.9 billion while virtual reality is expected to grow to $0.5 billion by 2022, as per a Nasscom report last year.
“We are happy to see such a powerful technology aimed at enhancing the traditional workings of the retail sector come out of India. We’re thrilled to contribute to the brand’s future growth and expansion in the vast, underpenetrated segment and are absolutely excited to be a part of their journey, which has worldwide potential” said Kothari.