When buying online, you don’t get the opportunity to pick up items and look at them, but nfinite is working to change the way products are visualized online so they seem more real.
The company, headquartered in France, has developed a SaaS-based visual e-merchandising platform with tools for creating 3D images for e-commerce. Based on nfinite’s performance in the past year, this is an area ripe for both e-commerce and venture capital investors.
Here’s why: The company grew 10 times in annual recurring revenue in the last year and was adopted by three of the world’s top five global retailers, Alexandre de Vigan, nfinite founder and CEO, told TechCrunch. And, the company announced $100 million in Series B funding Tuesday, which quickly follows 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.
Back then, de Vigan and his team started the company to provide better online visual experiences for real estate, creating computer-based imagery to sell apartments. A year later, they realized there was a bigger market in e-commerce and shifted focus there to increase traffic and sales. So instead of showcasing an apartment, its imagery was used for pieces of furniture. Over the next couple of years, nfinite scaled its platform through different industries and officially launched the version it is today in 2021.
De Vigan explained that with e-commerce forecasted to grow 50% to reach sales of $7.4 trillion in the next four years, the only touch point is product visualization.
“Consumers want more and more, yet e-commerce customers struggle with legacy static photos,” he added. “We set out to build a SaaS e-merchandising platform to create unlimited visuals via a desktop so you can showcase your products. Our mission is for shoppers to have a better understanding of the product and more assurance to shop online.”
He went on to say that a photo is “frozen in time,” it can’t be updated or customized, but through the use of computer-generated imagery, it can be made into 3D so that it can be a living visual that is both customizable and updatable.
For example, you can take a sofa, showcase it in a living room and then change the background for the season or target it toward trends. The impact is better imagery to drive more metrics of the product, meaning more conversion and less rate of return, and saving money for customers. De Vigan estimates, on average, double-digit savings and an improvement in metrics for its e-commerce customers.
In addition, nfinite is also providing visual assets that are compatible with both Web 2.0 and web3 applications so as the future potential of the metaverse is realized, e-commerce customers will already have that capability.
Now that the company has laid the foundation on how to automate 3D imagery on scale, de Vigan intends to deploy the new funding into scaling 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 U.S. In 2021, the company didn’t have any customers in the U.S. and now the region accounts for 80% of the company’s revenue and 40% of the logos.
The company’s employee base grew to 100 from 40 a year ago, and de Vigan is planning to have 250 employees over the next 12 months. It also is delivering hundreds of thousands of images that will be in the millions in the next few years.
“E-merchandising is the next revolution of e-commerce for us, and therefore, the next phase is to scale within that category in the U.S., Europe and Asia so we become the standard,” he added.
Meanwhile, other companies have also found some venture capital love for their approaches to merchandising. For example, Lucky raised $3 million for its plug-in-play API for Shopify businesses while Singapore-based Trax took in $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 the nfinite 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 bring it to fruition."