Metail try-on tech firm gets growth funding, targets US and menswear
UK-based Metail, a technology firm that specialises in ‘virtual’ try-on services, has raised £10 million from existing investors as it seeks to expand, to add men’s avatars to its service and to become profitable.
The new cash round was led by Hong Kong manufacturer TAL, which also invested in the firm back in 2014, with the company having raised £22.5 million in total since it began in 2008.
The company said it wants to become the “Google of size and shape” as it offers female consumers an avatar of themselves (the Memodel). This allows them to virtually try on clothing, and to hopefully reduce the number of returns retailers have to process from online shoppers. Metail also aims to enhance the overall e-shopping experience for consumers.
Retailer clients so far include Evans, House of Holland, Australia’s princess Polly and pureplay Indian e-tailer Abof. Princess Polly said this spring that its visitors were spending up to 3.5 times longer on the site when engaging with the technology.
This year the firm also announced a partnership with Benit, the tech unit of giant South Korean conglomerate Kolon that also has major fashion and retail operations.
The company currently has 7.7 million individual users (mostly in Asia) and wants to expand this over the next 18 months, as well as adding new features to its technology such as men’s Memodels, and forging new business partnerships.
Founder Tom Adeyoola is particularly hoping the enhanced TAL connection will help it in the US where the firm is a major supplier and is one of the biggest names globally in higher-end dress shirts.
Metail has digitised 80,000 garments in almost a decade and while that requires photography for each one and the need to turn each into a 3D model, the process is speeding up. The company can digitise up to 200 garments a day compared to less than half that for rivals.
Adeyoola also said the tech can be empowering, particularly for the plus size market where customers can ‘see’ a garment on themselves rather than on an idealised-and-relatively-slim plus-size model.
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