Startup incubator Venture Catalysts has made a pre-Series A round of funding worth $1 Mn in Gurugram-based Try & Buy Fashions.
Founded in 2017 by Nitin Vats, Try & Buy Fashions aims to bring online shopping as close to the offline experience as possible by allowing trying and buying of apparel through virtual stylists and virtual trial rooms.
The platform envisions becoming the world’s biggest human face/body data and intelligence data library, which can create ‘selfie models’ of every online user.
Nikki, Innovation Head, Try & Buy said, “This Pre-Series A funding will further propel our growth as we move ahead in our mission to team up with 200 top fashion brands and make online shopping as real as the offline experience for customers.”
The startup has been earlier backed by prominent influencers from the industry including Muralikrishnan B. (COO, Xiaomi/ Ex-COO, Jabong & Senior VP Myntra), Vinod Sood (MD Hughes),Bhaskar Raju, CoFounder Redbus.
Why Try & Buy Fashions’ Virtual Trial Rooms Are Unique?
Many online commerce companies are in the lookout to create perfect virtual trial rooms such as Amazon, Lenskart, and abof to name a few. Amazon even bought Manhattan-based 3D body model startup Body Labs for $70 Mn and Alibaba invested half a billion in Sense-Time.
However, Try & Buy Fashions founder believes that 3D dress making method is manual and costly and it’s difficult to get good results. “Try & Buy have thus made 3D SKU making completely automated. It can take load of any big aggregator for example; 100,000 SKU per month/aggregator,” said Nitin.
Try & Buy has solved this problem by making an advanced simulation model using Artificial Intelligence.
An IP protected virtual trial room with an AI-based personalised stylist, Try & Buy creates lifelike animated 3D models of users, customised through their body type, body parts, height, weight, skin tone, hairs etc.
It differentiates with two product categories:
Tryandbuy.com: a global web portal that allows brands to keep their SKUs free of cost with virtual trial & stylist facility. Users can then buy SKUs at the best price by getting diverted to different e-commerce portals’/brands’ native sites or apps.
License for the software to aggregators: The software can be integrated with any brand’s ecommerce web portal/app on a licensing model.
As Muralikrishnan B. said, “Virtual Trial Room is a concept whose time has come and Try & Buy with their capabilities in 3D Virtualisation, Image recognition, Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence is well poised to play a path-breaking role in this space. The opportunity is global in scale and Try & Buy’s innovative approach places them in the driver’s seat to play a crucial role in redefining Fashion shopping globally.”
It has already started office in London and San Francisco to make it a global company. While the software is already operational with top apparel brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Monte Carlo & Calvin Klein, Try & Buy is in now in talks with the country’s major online fashion marketplaces for integrating the same.
“Next we are launching full video version where user’s video with dress will be generated instantly. Technology is made and IP protected and already showcased at Decode Fashion, London 2017,” the company said in a media statement.
Global Fashion Ecommerce Is A Market With $1500 Bn Potential
As stated by Try & Buy Fashions in a media statement, generally fashion ecommerce companies spend upto 60% on marketing and returns. Try & Buy will try to minimise this expense as much as possible.
“Presently just 8% of global fashion ecommerce is $633 Bn while such technology can help in making it upto 20% of total fashion commerce by increasing it to $1500 Bn in next five years,”the spokesperson added.
Dr. Apoorv Ranjan Sharma, Co-founder & President – Venture Catalysts, further believes that the ecommerce boom across the globe has certainly changed the way consumers are shopping.
However, despite the efforts made by fashion ecommerce companies to enhance the experience, size and fitting are huge loopholes driving unprofitable customer returns.
“The companies like Try & Buy thus comes as a breath of fresh air in the ecommerce segment with its capability to truly transform the product experience for online shoppers,” he added.
Recently, Southeast Asian fashion marketplace Zilingo had raised $54 Mn in Series C funding round to grow further and expand internationally to new markets.
As the Indian ecommerce segment bolsters its growth propositions, the Indian online fashion market was pegged at $3.7 Bn in 2017, wherein Flipkart, with its subsidiaries Myntra and Jabong, claims to hold a 70% share.