Most of the customers want to try high-value items like gold and diamond jewellery before buying. However, brands usually do not keep all their designs on display in stores. Graphic designer Meghna Saraogi noticed this problem when she went to buy jewellery in Indore with her mother.
He told YourStory,
“Indian jewellery stores have a tendency to show more designs through pamphlets and paintings.”
Meghna realized this effect and in 2015 launched augmented reality-based Fashiontech startup StyleDotomy.
In November 2017, the startup launched its cutting-edge AR product Mirror 2017. The Realtime product allows clients to access a larger inventory for their customers. This allows shoppers to try jewellery on digital platforms in a virtual way.
The mirror is currently in use by jewellery retailers, including PC Jewelers, Tanishq, Kalyan Jewelers, Amrapali and Senco.
Meghna loves shopping but never alone. She says, “I’m always confused about what feels good on me.” Earlier I used to ask salesgirls or send photos to my friends through social media. ”
In 2014 this personal pain point inspired Meghna to work on a solution.
Meghna, who then worked as a graphic designer, did some freelancing projects to start her own venture. With an initial investment of Rs 10 lakh, Meghna established Gurugram-based StyleDotam. The B2C product was simple — it served as a quick advice platform.
However, Meghna says,
“The product was ahead of its time. However much capital investment was required in expanding the B2C business.”
This was when they decided to launch the B2B SaaS product: Mirror. “I always wanted to revolutionize the shopping experience,” she says.
In 2018, AR, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and crypto expert Akhil Tollani joined StyleDotomy as co-founders and CTOs. He was a former UI / UX designer at WedMeGood. The team currently has about 30 employees.
how does it work?
The mirror works in a plug-and-play manner. The SaaS product is available in two models: online and offline.
In the online model, mirrors can be integrated with any platform, app, or website. The fee for this model is 50 per month or $ 0.75 per SKU. Initial set-up costs vary with customer requirements and can range between Rs 15,000 to Rs 5,00,000.
In offline or in-store models, mirrors are plugged into any device. It does not allow the customers visiting the store to try on the jewellery available in a particular store. The offline model is available on license and costs Rs 1 lakh per device per year.
“Once onboard the brand needs to digitize its inventory, which is then available on the web and in-store for customers to use and try. The onboarding process only takes 30 minutes. “
The co-founder says the initial challenge to introduce mirrors in the market was that traditional jewellers were hesitant to take their family business digital. Meghna says, “Mirror’s product development is strongly driven by the feedback of our partner clients and their customers.”
In-store models, mirrors can be plugged into any device.
A report by Gartner Inc. states that by the end of this year 100 million users will be shopping in AR, online and in-store, giving startups the chance to venture and succeed in the space. According to MarketsAndMarkets, India’s AR market is projected to grow from $ 10.7 billion in 2019 to $ 72.7 billion by 2024, growing at a CAGR of 46.6 percent.
Over the past few years, players like YouCam and ModiFace have been focusing on AR in the beauty and makeup space. One of the first players to bring AR to the Indian jewelery sector was CaratLane. It was later acquired by the jewelery brand Tanishq. Other players working in AR space include Holition, Modiface and Ditto.
However, StyleDotomy claims to be USP. “Mirror works automatically on digitized versions of jewelery in real time, while other products in the market require consumers to manually position jewelery,” says Meghna.
Mirrors have been exhibited in five national and international exhibitions including JCK Las Vegas and Inhorgenta. Its first customer was PC Jewelers and it currently serves more than 150 customers in over 28 Indian cities, New York, Singapore and Dubai.
This product enabled Tanishq to launch its first Zero inventory experience area at New Delhi and Bangalore airports.
Meghna says, “We have increased our B2B customer base by 200 per cent year after year.” Styldot has increased its product revenue by almost 300 percent compared to FY19.
The team is now targeting eCommerce platforms, jewellery brands and stores.
The AR-based startup recently raised Rs 3.5 crore in investment in its pre-Series A round. The round was led by Survive Partners, with participation from Bobby Kothari, Director of Julex India and Indian Angel Network (IAN).
Earlier, in May 2019, StyleDotty raised funding from IAN investors Ambareesh Raghuvanshi, Ajay Gupta, Deval Tibirewala, Hari Balasubramanian, Rajan Anandan, Saurabh Srivastava and Raman Roy. Innovation 8’s angel investor Ritesh Malik, former Hero corporate president (strategy and finance) Rohit Charan and Josh Talks founders Supriya Paul and Shobhit Banga also attended the round.
Going forward, Meghna says that StyleDotM aims to capture 50 percent of the market by 2025. The startup has also entered the eyewear and watches industry and plans to launch an official one soon.