Emperia raises $10m in funding to advance immersive retail platform
Immersive virtual retailer Emperia has raised a US$10m Series A round to supercharge the capabilities of its virtual retail platform and bring “metaverse e-commerce” to new international markets and retail sectors.
The round was led by Base10 Partners and joined by investors including Daphni (via its retail fund Dastore), Sony Innovation Fund, Background Capital, Stanford Capital Partners and Concept Ventures. Angels include Blissgrowth’s Jay Radia.
Launched by fashion and retail expert Olga Dogadkina and gaming innovation expert Simonas Holcmann in 2019, Emperia has developed a platform which powers the creation of immersive virtual experiences for brands across multiple retail sectors. 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.
These virtual spaces enhance omnichannel retail strategies by creating new digital touchpoints that drive engagement and increase sales. Crucially, the virtual worlds made possible by Emperia are powerful drivers of revenue. The platform has driven increased conversion rates for its brand partners by an average of 73% (vs. regular e-commerce websites) since its inception in 2019, with an average ROI of 750%. Globally, more than $120 billion was invested in metaverse technologies in the first five months of 2022, with 79% of consumers active in the metaverse making a purchase whilst there.
Emperia is already partnering with globally-renowned retail powerhouses including Bloomingdales, Dior, Sunglass Hut and Lacoste, as best-in-class retailers look to cultivate impactful, on-brand experiences and bring a powerful new dimension to online retail, transforming the future of shopping for digital natives.
Emperia will use this fresh funding to grow its team, supercharge its virtual store SaaS platform and deepen the capabilities of the data suite that powers it. Emperia also plans to utilize virtual store customer data to provide retailers with even better tools with which to personalize the customer experience.
Olga Dogadkina, CEO and co-founder at Emperia, said, “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. 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.
“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.”
Luci Fonseca of Base10 Partners, 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. One way to think about Emperia is through the lens of ‘web 2.5’ — 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.”
February 15, 2023