Augmented reality startup Avataar has raised $45 Mn in a Series B funding round led by Tiger Global with participation from existing investor Sequoia Capital India.
Founded in 2014 by Prashanth Aluru, Sravanth Aluru, Gaurav Baid and Mayank Tiwari, Avatar builds immersive and interactive augmented reality shopping experiences for large enterprise customers.
The startup works with ecommerce, consumer electronics, automobile OEMs (original equipment manufacturer) and FMCG companies across the United States, India and Southeast Asia.
It offers plug-and-play integration with existing ecommerce websites and mobile apps. It aims to offer spatial depth experience with life-like photorealism, mobile responsiveness, interactivity and personalisation to shoppers’ buying experience.
“More than 60% of human sensory neural processing is visual in nature, and the lack of spatial depth on flat screens today drives a big experience gap between the digital and physical world experiences. The digital world is undergoing a fundamental shift from static 2D content to a life-size virtual 3D world which is dynamic and superimposable onto our shared physical reality,” said Sravanth Aluru, founder and CEO of Avataar.
“Avataar aims to be the ‘Inside Engine’ powering many new consumer journeys in this shift. we are now able to detect, understand, augment and manipulate consumers’ physical reality using a live camera feed. While our patented AI/CV capabilities are applicable to the overall Metaverse evolution, we have started with an upfront focus on redefining consumers’ shopping experiences,” added Aluru.
The global augmented reality systems market was valued at $14.7 Bn in 2020 and is projected to reach $88.4 Bn in 2026, growing at a CAGR of 31.5% from 2021 to 2026. The surging demand for AR/VR devices in various fields including retail, ecommerce and healthcare was already driving demand.
With Facebook’s rebranding to Meta and the increased mainstream attention for the concept of “the metaverse”, this demand has multiplied.
In fact, the race for the metaverse has already gotten so competitive already that companies have been forced to offer unannounced raises to fend off other companies trying to poach talent from their augmented reality, artificial intelligence, software and hardware engineering divisions.
“The Metaverse is already here, just not evenly distributed. Avataar.me is leading the way in bringing scale creation capabilities to the largest brands to enable commerce – an application with tremendous promise in AR/VR environments,” said Shailesh Lakhani, MD at Sequoia India.
Earlier last year, Delhi-based blockchain startup OneRare, which is building a “food metaverse” had raised $2 Mn in seed funding from angel investors and investment funds.
Last month, Metaverse and augmented reality builder platform Adloid had raised $4 Mn from Chiratae Ventures and Lenskart Vision Fund.