Central regions | Retail, FMCG | Finance, business

Government fund invests in 3D models of e-commerce customers

3 Aug '18
Russias Internet Initiatives Development Fund (IIDF, aka FRII) is investing $820,000 in Texel, a Russian start-up that is developing 3D models of the human body, the Russian business daily Kommersant reported.

The young company has developed a 3D scanner that is said to be able to create a model of a person or large-sized item within 90 seconds. Its products, focused on retail, are already present in 11 countries. The start-up is currently working on artificial intelligence technology enabling the generating of a 3D model of a person without any scanner, when all the user needs to do so is his smartphone.

Texel hopes its parametric model development technology will help e-commerce operators reduce the percentage of refunds customers expect upon returning the items of clothes bought online. According to Hewlett Packard Enterprise estimates, reducing the returns of purchased clothes by 10% would help e-commerce operators save about $36bn globally.

The start-up is reported to have received an initial tranche of the investment already; FRII currently owns 3.3% in the young company. There will be a few more tranches; how much the government-run fund will own in the start-up upon the closing of the deal has yet to be announced. Texel wants to use the FRII investment to support patenting procedures, the fine-tuning of the technology, and expansion into the U.S. and EU markets.
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