Hexa raises $20.5 million to turn images into 3D objects for VR, AR and more

Posted on

Hexa, a 3D asset visualization and management platform, announced today that it has closed a $20.5 million Series A round from Point72 Ventures, Samurai Incubate, Sarona Partners and HTC. CEO and co-founder Yehiel Atias said the money will be spent well into 2023 on product development and extensive customer acquisition efforts.

HTC’s participation in the round may seem curious. After all, the company was once one of the world’s largest smartphone manufacturers – not exactly entrenched in the 3D modeling space. But HTC’s focus has shifted more and more from mobile to VR over the years, and it clearly sees Hexa aligning itself with its current – and perhaps even future – business.

“The new funding will be used to support our existing customer expansion and keep up with the flow of new customers coming on board. We ran an early round due to tripling our customer base by 2023,” Atias told AapkaDost in an email interview.

Hexa’s roots date back to 2015, when Atias worked in retail for brands such as Walmart and H&M. He – like most people – quickly came to realize that the locker room experience translated poorly to e-commerce. Atias, together with Ran Buchnik and Jonathan Clark, launched Hexa, first as a virtual locker room platform to bridge the huge disconnect. But he later turned the company into a general tech stack for VR, AR, and 3D model rendering experiences.

“With a combination of AI-powered technology and human artistry, Hexa can help brands and retailers create, manage and distribute 3D models that can be used for a variety of use cases, including 3D models, AR experiences, lifestyle and photos, 360-degree views and promotional videos,” Atias said. “The great value for our customer is that they can scale up high-quality 3D projects in a short time. Through our platform, they can also manage and assess the impact of their 3D content.”


Image Credits: Hexa

Unless you think it’s a new idea, there’s a whole cohort of companies developing platforms for 3D asset management. Mark Cuban and former Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe recently endorsed VNTANA, whose product allows users to view shoppables in AR and try on items virtually. RECON Labs in South Korea helps customers visualize products by creating 3D models in AR. Emperia helps brands like Bloomingdale’s build shopping experiences in VR. Even Snap has recently come into play, launching an AR toolkit to convert photos into 3D assets.

So what sets Hexa apart? Atias says it’s the expertise in — and robustness of — its service. Hexa customers can upload an image or have Hexa’s API automatically fetch images from a website. Then, using AI-assisted tools, the company’s engineers create 3D assets and models from the images.

Throughout the process, customers can provide direct feedback on the models, ask Hexa engineers questions and prepare the models for use on the web or in AR and VR experiences. Hexa also offers a range of 3D viewer apps for customers to use, including apps for the web and AR, plus code that can be used to insert models into social media posts and video games.

“Given that we need to meet customer server requirements and verify that our 3D assets are identical to the source images we’ve been provided with, there is a significant manpower investment required to answer the scale of Hexa’s production,” Clark said via e-mail. email . “A lot of effort has gone into resolving this aspect as well, and today Hexa is able to match the 3D asset to the source images, ensuring that the asset is compliant at the pixel and voxel level.”

AR and VR shopping experiences may not have reached most people (at least according to one study), but Atias believes there is a big market to be won. He says the 60-employee Hexa has already managed to bring in more than 40 brands, including Amazon, Macy’s, Logitech and Crate & Barrel – and raise $27.2 million in total capital.

Indeed, there could be a growing interest in virtual retail locations, especially those of the AR variety. Some 48% of respondents to a McKinsey survey said they are interested in using “metaverse” technology (i.e., AR and VR) for shopping over the next five years. In turn, 38% of marketers’ respondents said they will be using AR in 2022, up 15 percentage points from 23% in 2017.

“Our main competition is animation and graphics studios that use a manual and outdated tech stack,” said Atias. “Like the gaming industry, the 3D and e-commerce space enjoyed a strong tailwind and became a must-have for any organization… Hundreds of millions of users use our technology and engage with our content every day .”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *