We are getting closer to a time when nearly any store we wander into will utilize virtual or augmented reality in one way or another. Perhaps that kitchen remodel that you were planning on doing could be visualized within the store to your exact dimensions without the cabinets or appliances having to physically be in stock. Even better maybe you wouldn’t even need to leave your home to see exactly what the perfect remodel would look like as you stand in your kitchen with a VR/AR headset strapped to your face. This is where technology is headed next, and a St. Petersburg, FL software company called Marxent is leading the way.
Marxent’s software, called VisualCommerce has been under development for some time, but today got a much needed boost thanks to a Series B round of funding worth $10 million. The round, which was led by Detroit Venture Partners (DVP) and Stage 1 Ventures, has brought the total funding of the company and their virtual product platform to $14 million thus far, and will provide the company with the resources to develop the software further, while also expanding their marketing reach.
“We’re not creating new demand. Retailers and manufacturers have been investing in visualization, visual merchandising and customer experience since the beginning of time,” said Beck Besecker, Marxent’s co-founder and CEO. “High quality product visualization and remarkable customer experiences have always been a core tenet of retail and direct sales models. We saw an opportunity to enhance, and in some cases, replace, classic visual merchandising tactics such as photography, paint samples, store windows and catalogs with an exciting 3D high-tech experience that is waste-free, portable, device agnostic and has a limited footprint.”
The future of shopping looks incredible bright and immersive. While it will take time before you stroll into a virtual Walmart, or enter an Apple store wearing just your underwear while still remaining in your basement, Marxent’s VisualCommerce could be the software which will eventually enable such a shopping experience. As brick and mortal retail stores begin losing market share to the Amazons and AliExpresses of the world, they will also need to present customers with an argument to actually enter their physical storefronts. This incentive could be high-end, immersive VR and AR experiences like none other.
“We are looking forward to the next chapter in Marxent’s development. The team’s innovative thinking and execution puts it at the center of the AR/VR space at a pivotal turning point for these technologies. We see the potential for this business to scale quickly and are optimistic about the future of the company,” David Baum, managing director of Stage 1 Ventures stated.
It will be interesting to watch as the company expands. Let us know your thoughts on Maxent’s technology in the VisualCommerce forum on VRTalk.com. Check out the video below to get an idea about the software that Marxent is working on.