Cappasity — Interactive 3D and AR solutions for e-commerce
French Tech Moscow met with Kosta Popov, the CEO of Cappasity, and discussed the present and the future of 3D images in e-commerce.
The pandemic situation changed our everyday life and turned ourselves more into online shoppers. Some startups brought new technologies to e-commerce, let’s get to know Cappasity, a startup from the United States that brings the art of immersive shopping. Cappasity has subsidiaries in Russia and in France.
Kosta, tell us your background, what led you to the creation of Cappasity?
My working professional experience is related to the creation of video games, so I always worked with 3D technologies. In 2013, me and my partner, who is very into 3D imaging, came up with a completely new idea. That year, Apple acquired Israeli 3D sensor company PrimeSense. We suggested that the tech giant counted on the development of 3D and AR technologies. From our experience in the gaming industry, we understood that it wasn’t enough to release a device, you need to create content for it.
So we decided to develop a solution that would allow users to mass produce immersive content easily and quickly. At the same time, I was exploring several markets, including e-commerce. I decided that in the future most people will shop online, so the products offered by online stores should be represented closer to reality, like in video games. This is how we founded Cappasity with focus on interactive 3D and AR content for e-commerce.
How did you attract the investment to your startup?
At first, I’ve invested in this project from my own funds and after two years we raised $750K from angel investors. So far, we have raised $7.4M from VC and business angels.
What is the main advantage of Cappasity for e-commerce stores?
In a few words, Cappasity provides everything you need to mass produce immersive content and embed it into websites and mobile apps. Our turnkey solution includes content production software, a cloud-based platform and integration tools. Brands don’t need to use any additional software and equipment to create interactive 3D/AR content. The 3D shooting process takes place in a usual photo studio. Our solution doesn’t require manual 3D modeling, so it takes you only 3 minutes to digitize one SKU in 3D View (proprietary format).
On top of that, Cappasity offers a mobile application for SMB — 3DShot. The app allows sellers to create interactive 3D content within a matter of minutes using only a smartphone camera. The resulting 3D Views can be easily embedded into online stores and marketplaces. As a result, potential buyers have the opportunity to examine items like they would offline: rotate them, zoom in, and notice all tiny details. This improves online user experience, reduces returns and boosts online conversion.
Tell us please about your professional experience in France?
As our product is very related to fashion and luxury business, we were invited to participate in 2 programs of acceleration in France — with Lafayette Plug and Play accelerator, and LVMH’s program La Maison des Startups. It was very useful in terms of understanding French culture, connection with potential clients. I noticed that the French are more focused on the visual design of the presentation than Americans when preparing the materials. Visual presentation is essential to make the right first impression and convey the message so sometimes it gets even more important than written content. At this point, our solution perfectly fits the fashion industry in France.
Our long-term partnership with IFA Paris proves this idea. In 2020, the IFA Paris Graduation Fashion Show was transformed into an immersive experience with the help of the Cappasity solution. Despite social distancing due to the pandemic outbreak, the graduates managed to demonstrate their fashion designs remotely like they would offline. Interactive 3D and AR content allowed the audience to examine the pieces in detail, zoom in to see the quality of materials, and understand the designers’ vision. IFA Paris’s students and mentors appreciated the benefits of immersive technology for fashion, and now they keep using Cappasity for remote demonstration of fashion designs.
For instance, our solution was used to digitize the students’ designs for the 2021 Unthreadings Program aimed at creating inclusive apparel for disabled people. Thanks to the interactive format, the jury managed to examine all tiny details of the designs, which is beneficial for inclusive fashion. Now IFA Paris students can create interactive design portfolios with the 3DShot app to stand out in the highly-competitive fashion market. Our partnership with IFA Paris is an excellent example of how French fashion designers and brands can showcase their collections online to connect with their audience and grow their business. We opened the subsidiary and office in Paris at Station F but, unfortunately, the pandemic broke out. Now we’re waiting for the right time to start building a local business team there.
What are Cappasity’s next steps?
We are going to raise $7M round next year to attract more users to our platform. In 2022, we will launch the first-ever metaverse for e-commerce that will change the way we consume content and demonstrate products. It will be the first immersive platform for businesses and consumers — all the content will be demonstrated exclusively in 3D and AR formats. The users of the platform will be provided with all necessary tools to create interactive content. Brands will be able to digitize their items in 3D and AR formats and create virtual showrooms with the whole range of their products. On top of that, the metaverse will offer an online fitting room where consumers will try on real and virtual items.
Are you related to French Tech? What do you think of it?
I support the idea to be connected with like-minded people, to share their experiences. I’d like to be more involved in the French Tech initiative.