Manchester based award winning business DigitalBridge, received more than £700,000 from a number of private investors, ahead of a planned launch with a number of home decor and DIY retailers.
The largest fund came from Stuart Marks, the founder of the early stage investor and corporate innovation specialist, L Marks, who offered £350,000 to the technology start-up.
High street giant John Lewis has also thrown its financial weight behind the North West start-up, offering £100,000 to DigitalBridge after the company was named partners’ choice at the retailer’s JLAB accelerator programme.
The investment comes as an independent report, commissioned by DigitalBridge, which revealed that virtual and augmented reality platforms had the potential to add £1bn to the UK’s retail market.
It found that a third of UK consumers are currently walking away from potential purchases, just because they could not imagine how a product would look in their own homes.
The report also found that more than half of shoppers would like to have access to a “room visualisation” tool when shopping, and that they would be more likely to shop with a retailer that offered this option.
According to DigitalBridge CEO David Levine, the investment will be used to bolster the businesses development team and improve the platforms UX.
He said: “More retailers are beginning to see the commercial benefit of implementing mixed reality platforms in their customer offering, particularly online, and the confidence shown by these latest investments is testament to that.
“As a business we have experienced significant growth in the last few months and are in the early stages of some major deals to bring this technology to market. Consumers have been calling for an ‘undo button’ for interior design for years, and thanks to new technology, retailers can now offer them one.”
Commenting on the investment, Stuart Marks added: “DigitalBridge is a truly innovative company, providing consumers with the ‘undo button’ for home décor they have been calling for and L Marks are very proud to offer our expertise and support.
“David has put an exceptional team in place, which has been one of the key drivers in the business’ rapid growth in the last 12 months. The potential of this new platform is really starting to come to light among major retailers, both in the UK and across the world, and I have no doubt the business will continue its disruption of the retail sector.
“Their recent study, which unveiled the true cost of the imagination gap for the first time, shows the massive potential for this technology within the retail sector and I’m very excited to discover what the future holds for this business.”