Women in virtual reality (VR) technology are carving out an impactful presence within an industry traditionally dominated by men. And one of them leading the way is Inga Petryaevskaya, the CEO and founder of ShapesXR, a VR design and collaboration platform based in California.
San Francisco-based ShapesXR wants to make it easy for people who aren’t experts in technology to create 3D designs, prototype immersive apps such as VR and AR games, training and real-world design. Many companies are already using ShapesXR, including Meta, Logitech, Qualcomm Technologies, Accenture, Trigger XR, and even the band Duran Duran.
Now the female-founded VR startup has announced a major milestone in its journey by securing $8.6 million in its seed round funding, led by Supernode Global. Triptyq VC, Boost VC, Hartmann Capital, and Geek Ventures also participated in the round. This investment reflects the growing demand and potential of VR as a tool for creativity and innovation. In this article, we will explore how ShapesXR is shaping the future of VR design and collaboration.
A vote of confidence from VR visionaries
Mark Zuckerberg, the visionary founder of Meta (formerly Facebook), has lauded ShapesXR as a sterling exemplar of VR’s unmatched potential for fostering creativity and collaboration. In an era where the metaverse is gaining traction as a transformative digital space, this recognition by Zuckerberg further highlights the pivotal role startups like ShapesXR will have in reshaping how we interact and engage within virtual realms. This is even more important because Meta is also trying to use the metaverse’s power.
Pioneering democratisation of 3D content creation
ShapesXR wants to make it easy for everyone to create 3D things and special designs. They want to break down the hard technical stuff so that even people who don’t know much about it can try making 3D designs can develop cool things like games and designs that feel real.
An exclusive glimpse into ShapesXR’s vision
Inga Petryaevskaya is also the CEO and Co-Founder of Tvori, a company that also provides VR design and collaboration services. She has a demonstrated history of working in the computer software industry and is known for her solid technical background and strong business development skills. Petryaevskaya holds a Master of Science in Information Technologies from Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH) and has several US patents to her name. In an exclusive TFN Q&A session with Inga Petryaevskaya, we gained deeper insights into the platform’s unique value proposition and its ambitions to transform the way we interact with VR:
TFN: Can you provide an overview of ShapesXR and its role in the VR design and collaboration space?
IP: “ShapesXR enables product owners, designers, and developers to collaboratively think and create spatially, develop interactive prototypes, and engage in user testing, all without the need for coding. Since its inception in 2021, ShapesXR has garnered the adoption of numerous XR teams, spanning indie game developers, VR/AR studios, and Fortune 500 companies such as Logitech, Accenture, ByteDance, and Meta. Impressively, the platform has facilitated the creation of over 350,000 projects. Unlike traditional design tools, ShapesXR enables direct engagement with dimension, immersion, and ergonomics within the medium itself. This approach revolutionises the design process, enabling real-time critique and accelerated iteration.”
TFN: ShapesXR’s pivotal role in transforming collaboration and storytelling within the VR domain is a testament to its power. Can you elaborate on how ShapesXR will drive mainstream adoption of 3D content creation and immersive experiences?
IP: “The long-term vision of ShapesXR is to transform every pitch into an immersive experience, a vivid and interactive narrative. Such immersive stories transcend traditional presentations, enabling users to interact with content and products, thereby communicating ideas more effectively. As ShapesXR’s accessibility is akin to user-friendly tools like PowerPoint, I envision widespread adoption across diverse domains. Whether it’s educators explaining complex concepts, surgeons showcasing intricate procedures, designers unveiling new product interiors, or marketing managers pitching innovative packaging solutions, ShapesXR has the potential to empower a myriad of storytellers.”
TFN: The goal of becoming the de facto industry standard for UI/UX design is ambitious. What steps is ShapesXR taking to achieve this goal and stand alongside platforms like Figma?
IP: “Our strategy revolves around close engagement with our user community to understand their needs and desired enhancements. This enables us to shape ShapesXR with a holistic approach, catering to a diverse user base. By ensuring that ShapesXR remains functional and accessible, we are fostering a collaborative environment that resonates with every member of a team, regardless of their role. Furthermore, we are rapidly adapting the platform to support new VR devices as they emerge, positioning ShapesXR as a seamless bridge between creativity and technology. We are also exploring ways to facilitate shared component libraries, plugins, and community templates, echoing the collaborative spirit that platforms like Figma have championed in the mobile computing era.”
TFN: The expansion to new devices, including Apple Vision Pro, Pico, and Magic Leap, is an exciting development. How will this expansion enhance the user experience and accessibility of ShapesXR?
IP: “ShapesXR’s inherent flexibility allows users to simulate a variety of devices, enabling them to design for platforms like Apple Vision Pro, Magic Leap 2, and Hololens 2 using the Quest Pro. However, our vision extends beyond simulation; we’re actively preparing to port the ShapesXR interface to these devices. This transition will enable users to craft experiences directly within their intended medium, further enhancing authenticity and impact. Additionally, our efforts to enhance web support will democratise access to ShapesXR experiences, eliminating the need for a headset and fostering real-time collaboration between VR and web users.”
ShapesXR is showing us how VR is changing our lives a lot. As the metaverse becomes more important and VR gets even cooler, ShapesXR aims to help people for all kinds of jobs, use their imagination and make amazing things.