Ottawa-founded Threekit raises $20 million USD for product visualization platform

An example of Threekit's product visualization platform.

Threekit, an Ottawa-founded product visualization software platform company that targets e-commerce brands, has closed a $20 million USD Series A round.

The Series A was led by Shasta Ventures, and saw participation from Salesforce Ventures, San Francisco 49ers’ Hall of Famer Steve Young, and Threekit’s executive chairman and former GM of SteelBrick (acquired by Salesforce) Godard Abel.

Threekit, which targets retailers looking to create and manage interactive e-commerce experiences, will split the funds between product development, which is based out of the innovation lab in Ottawa, and marketing and sales team expansion, which will primarily focus on Threekit’s Chicago office.

“Threekit’s product is poised to fundamentally change the way retailers and brands create and manage visual content.”

“Buying online takes away the ability to touch and feel a product, so interactive product visuals are critical, especially for highly configurable and sophisticated products,” said Joachim Klein, president of Threekit. “Commercial photography falls far short of online buyer expectations, and current e-commerce experiences don’t capture how consumers engage with product listing before buying. Threekit overcomes these challenges by enabling incredible virtual product experiences.”

Threekit was founded in 2014 by Ottawa-based CTO Ben Houston, a visual effects software developer whose technology has been widely used in Hollywood films. The company is now headquartered in Chicago, but still has a technology innovation centre in Ottawa. A representative for the company told BetaKit at the time that the move was designed to create close proximity to Ottawa’s visualization tech pool, including from the University of Ottawa and Carleton University.

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Abel came on as chairman of the company after he invested $10 million USD into the company earlier this year. The company later announced plans to open offices in Paris and London to tackle markets in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

Using the Threekit platform, businesses can upload product information and design files to instantly create unlimited numbers of interactive, augmented reality, and photorealistic 3D visuals for any product’s material, colour, and configuration options. For example, Crate and Barrel used Threekit to render more than a million images, covering every possible configuration of its sofas. The company also offers features such as custom product designs, product tours, augmented reality, and virtual photography capabilities.

According to Threekit, its customers have increased conversion by as much as 40 percent, decreased product returns by as much as 80 percent, and saved nearly 90 percent on marketing costs compared to traditional photography. Threekit customers include Ciroc, Tailored Brands, and Modarri.

“We look for passionate, entrepreneurial teams who understand what it takes to bring their vision to life, and that describes Threekit perfectly,” said Jacob Mullins, partner of Shasta Ventures. “Beyond that, Threekit’s product is poised to fundamentally change the way retailers and brands create and manage visual content.”

Image courtesy Threekit

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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