• Tue. Apr 20th, 2021

Marxent raises $15 million to expand an enterprise 3D home design platform

The technology required to digitally recreate and furnish real rooms in 3D is considerably more complicated under the hood than it appears to end users, and it’s even trickier to import an enterprise’s real world objects — furniture, flooring, wallpaper, and the like —  so customers can preview and buy them. Having developed a robust 3D Cloud commerce platform that enables enterprises to digitize and sell everything from individual furnishings to fully designed rooms, Marxent announced that it will expand its service following an investment from Connectwise founder Arnie Bellini, who will also join the Florida-based company’s board.

“With the base business operating as a going concern, this $15 million Series C puts us in a position to attack targeted growth initiatives,” Marxent CEO and co-founder Beck Besecker told VentureBeat today. “One of the most important in our minds is to connect the design, visualization, and purchase experience to the rest of the customer journey. For instance, Pinterest is now the place customers start a project by getting inspired. A great solution should allow shoppers to design with what inspired them. Our proprietary ‘design from photo’ [feature] makes that consumer journey possible.”

Marxent’s expansion is significant for technical decision makers because it demonstrates growing enterprise interest in turnkey solutions that can transform 2D photos and real world objects into commercially viable 3D content. Once digital twins of real objects and rooms have been created in 3D, they can be viewed on anything from a computer monitor or mobile device to mixed reality headsets — varied options embraced by retailers such as Macy’s, which originally adopted Marxent’s 3D Room Planner to sell furniture using in-store VR goggles. Display versatility is critical; over the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has increased user interest for 3D furnishing and design solutions that can be used from home with whatever visualization hardware is readily available.

In this case, the data story is deliberately behind the scenes, quietly collating color and texture information to make a retailer’s vast catalog of offerings easier for users to navigate. For instance, a Bloomingdale’s demonstration of Marxent’s “design from photo” technology shows a 2D image serving as the basis for a “3D Shop the Look” feature, enabling a user to quickly import the colors, objects, and flooring from a photo to create the same or similar look in a home. Customers can preview the entire room in 3D, then purchase the furnishings directly from the retailer.

Currently, Marxent’s 3D Cloud can visualize full bedrooms, offices, kitchens, baths, and outdoor settings, and the platform is being used by major retailers including Lowe’s, La-Z-Boy, and Ashley Homestores, as well as custom component vendors such as kitchen cabinet maker American Woodmark. Thanks to customers’ ability to fully preview new furnishings for their real world spaces in 3D, Marxent claims that enterprises using the platform are seeing a 50% increase in average transaction size, 80% reduction in returns, and 30% faster average sale cycle.

“3D-enabled selling was already an emerging growth category,” explained Arnie Bellini, whose firm Bellini Capital led the Series C round. “COVID has further accelerated the demand for virtual selling of home goods and Marxent is the recognized technology leader in the space enabling the experience.”

Marxent says it will use the Bellini investment to expand to adjacent home categories, add highly requested features from existing customers, and forge additional strategic partnerships beyond Pinterest to integrate with the sources of room design inspiration. Beyond its offices in St. Petersburg, Florida, and Dayton, Ohio, the company will also expand its London and Paris operations to support European clients, such as John Lewis and Kingfisher, with plans to grow further across Europe and other markets.

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