London-based software startup Emperia has raised more than £10 million in funding to ‘reimagine the eCommerce space.’ By providing retailers with the tools to create virtual stores, the company aims to bring retail into the metaverse.
Emperia has formed partnerships with Bloomingdales, Dior, Sunglass Hut, and Lacoste through its London and New York teams.
In 2019, Olga Dogadkina, a professional in fashion and retail, and Simonas Holcmann, a specialist in VR innovation, started up the platform to enable the development of immersive virtual experiences for brands across various retail sectors. By providing merchants with the technical and visual infrastructure they require to create and manage virtual stores, their goal is to combine the mobility of eCommerce with the impact of in-person retail.
These digital environments improve the omnichannel retail strategy by adding new digital touchpoints that boost interaction and sales. Importantly, Emperia’s virtual worlds are significant revenue generators. Since its launch in 2019, the platform has raised conversion rates for its brand partners by an average of 73% (compared to traditional eCommerce websites), with an average ROI of 750%. In the first five months of 2022, more than $120 billion was invested globally in metaverse technologies, and 79% of consumers engaged in the metaverse made purchases while there.
“While working in fashion, it became clear to me that e-commerce was the future, but 2D websites were merely a tool that enabled an online purchase, but were lacking the customer journey and story-telling that brands are after. The solution was to bridge that gap, to make virtual experiences into the future of brands’ long-term e-commerce strategy,” said Dogadkina, CEO at Emperia.
Emperia wants to bring the power of the metaverse to retail, revolutionizing how the next generation of digital natives will shop. This power is luring customers of all sizes and markets.
The additional funding will be used to expand the team, build out the SaaS platform for the virtual store, and enhance the data suite’s capabilities.
Base10 Partners, Daphni, Sony Innovation Fund, Background Capital, Stanford Capital Partners, Concept Ventures, and business angel Jay Radia were among the investors in the round.
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