In the first five months of 2022, more than $120 billion in metaverse technologies were invested worldwide, with 79% of consumers making a purchase in the metaverse. Apart from Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta, several e-commerce startups are foraying in the segment to lure the investor’s attention, including the Edit LDN, the ‘Farfetch of sneakers,’ which got £4.8M funding to expand its Metaverse store.
The latest one to join the list is Emperia, a London and New York-based immersive virtual retail pioneer that develops a virtual store platform for the retail and fashion sectors. It has snapped $10 million in Series A funding.
The investment round was led by San Francisco-based early-stage venture capital firm Base10 Partners (which invested in Oyster, Incredible Health, and WeTravel) alongside participation from investors, including Daphni via its retail fund Dastore, Sony Innovation Fund, Background Capital, Stanford Capital Partners and Concept Ventures and angel investor Jay Radia, Managing Partner at Blissgrowth.
Emperia will use the investment to supercharge the capabilities of its groundbreaking virtual retail platform and bring metaverse e-commerce to new international markets and retail sectors. The company also plans to utilise virtual store customer data to provide retailers with even better tools with which to personalise the customer experience.
The CEO and co-founder at Emperia, Olga Dogadkina commented, “I’m confident that the pool of participating investors in this round, from both the U.S and Europe, will make for a great network of advisors as Emperia continues its global expansion, pioneering e-commerce’s next generation. I’m looking forward to delivering an even more impactful experience for our brand partners.”
Base10 Partners’ Luci Fonseca commented, “When we met Olga and Simon, we were absolutely stunned by the high quality team they had already built and the business’ early traction. The more we spoke to customers, the more we saw that Emperia is on the edge of a global revolution on how consumers interact with retailers and brands. Emperia is pioneering the development of virtual store creation and maintenance, and we’re excited to be partnering with a team that is truly building for the future of e-commerce.”
Immersive virtual experiences for brands
Emperia was founded by fashion and retail expert Olga Dogadkina and VR innovation expert Simonas Holcmann in 2019. They first met through LinkedIn while Olga was looking for a developer to lead on what became one of Emperia’s first projects. Later, they decided to partner and continue building the company together. In addition to a female founder, the team of 29 is diverse with 11 women. Also, the team has a ethnic diversity as well as they belong to 15 different countries.
The company has developed a platform, which powers the creation of immersive virtual experiences for brands across multiple retail sectors. With these virtual spaces, brands can enhance their omnichannel retail strategies by creating new digital touchpoints that drive engagement and increase sales. Eventually, these virtual spaces act as powerful drivers of revenue.
As per Emperia, the platform has driven increased conversion rates for its brand partners by an average of 73% as compared to regular e-commerce websites.
Currently, Emperia has partnered with globally-renowned retail powerhouses, including Bloomingdales, Dior, Sunglass Hut and Lacoste and is transforming the future of shopping for digital natives.