The new funding is meant to help the company deepen its capabilities and enable Emperia to grow the team and market reach. Emperia also plans to utilize virtual store customer data to provide retailers with better tools for personalizing the customer experience.
Founded in 2019, Emperia has been partnering with Dior, Bloomingdale’s, Burberry, Sunglass Hut and Lacoste on virtual shopping experiences.
The Series A round was led by Base10 Partners, a venture capital fund, and joined by other investors including Daphni (via its retail fund Dastore), Sony Innovation Fund, Background Capital, Stanford Capital Partners and Concept Ventures, Emperia said in its announcement Wednesday. Angel investors include Blissgrowth’s Jay Radia.
Emperia was launched by fashion and retail executive Olga Dogadkina and virtual reality expert Simonas Holcmann and powers immersive virtual experiences for brands. “The platform marries the reach and accessibility of e-commerce with the impact of in-person retail, giving companies the tech and visual infrastructure to build and manage powerful virtual stores,” Emperia said in a statement. “These virtual spaces enhance omnichannel retail strategies by creating new digital touchpoints that drive engagement and increase sales.”
Emperia contends that its platform has driven increased conversion rates for brands by an average of 73 percent versus regular e-commerce websites since its inception in 2019, with an average ROI of 750 percent.
Citing statistics from a McKinsey report, Emperia indicated that $120 billion was invested in metaverse technologies in the first five months of 2022, with 79 percent of consumers active in the metaverse making a purchase while there.
“While working in fashion, it became clear to me that e-commerce was the future, but 2D websites were merely a tool that enabled an online purchase, but were lacking the customer journey and story-telling that brands are after,” Dogadkina said in a statement. “The solution was to bridge that gap, with the aim of making virtual experiences into the future of brands’ long-term e-commerce strategy.
“We are strong believers in data-reliance and as such all our virtual experiences are developed incorporating analytics, which is reflected in layout, design, user experience and merchandise placement. Crucially, we’re doing this in a way that has a demonstrable impact on sales, traffic, engagement and brand perception.”
She also said that the new investors, being from both the U.S. and Europe, “will make for a great network of advisors,” for growing the company.
“One way to think about Emperia is through the lens of ‘Web 2.5,'” said Luci Fonseca of Base10 Partners. “It is a device-agnostic bridge for brands to engage with a new generation of consumers while driving real commerce. 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.”