Virtual fitting room specialist Metail has received a further $12m (£7.5m) in funding to launch a mobile platform, expand the team and grow its overseas presence.
The London-based company, which has received a total of $20m (£12.4m) since it was founded in 2008 including the new investment, provides online fitting technology that allows a user to create a 3D model of themselves, known as a MeModel, to virtually try on fashion garments.
“Our technology has shown to have a positive impact on conversion rates, basket size and returns,” said founder and chief executive Tom Adeyoola. “We are currently working with Warehouse and House of Holland in the UK.”
The funds will be used to develop Metail’s mobile platform, which is scheduled for release early next year.
“It is going to be a breakthrough browsing experience that takes the core strengths of Metail – the ability to see clothing in context, create outfits and see trends – in a faster and more relevant way,” said Adeyoola.
“We have access to datasets that retailers don’t have, like the specific details on fit and sizing from actual customers, which can be used to optimise how clothing is made and create a more efficient supply chain.”
The funds will also be used to build on existing operations in Singapore and partnerships in South America, Asia and Europe. Around three-quarters of revenues came from outside of the UK last year and Adeyoola expects this to continue this year, although he does note growing interest in this kind of technology from UK retailers.
The company is currently recruiting for 10 new positions, which will take the total headcount to 50. The roles span web development, product development, operations, marketing, research and development and data processing.
The lead investor in this round is TAL Apparel of the TAL Group, a Hong Kong-based apparel manufacturer which makes shirts for a multitude of leading brands including Burberry and Brooks Brothers. The group’s chief technology officer Delman Lee joined the board of Metail in August.
“TAL shares our vision to become the Google of sizing and shape and this investment also gives us strategic value in terms of knowledge of manufacturing and marketing, particularly to men, which is a new area for us,” said Adeyoola. He initially developed the Metail concept to improve the experience of online shopping for his partner, so the company has mainly focused on the womenswear market until now.
The company has also received additional funding from existing investor John Gleasure, commercial director of sports media specialist Perform Group, who also joined the board in May.