Helsinki-based Sayduck announces it has raised a €350,000 seed investment from IncubAsia Ventures, Arteel Ventures, as well as angel investors from the Nordic countries, the US, and Slovenia. The company has been growing steadily since we first covered them, by getting into European accelerator Seedcamp, as well as growing from a team from three to a team of 15 involved people from around the globe.
“The next step for us is now to work on further developing the platform and make Sayduck the gold standard for experiencing products before buying", says CEO Mikko Martikainen.
Their solution allows brands to easily digitalize and showcase their products virtually using augmented reality, where a new product can be seen through your phone's camera surrounded by the real world. For example, if you were looking at a new chair to put in your living room, you could place a paper marker on the ground, as if it was the piece of furniture. When pointing at the paper with your smartphone or tablet, the chair would come to life as if it was really there. Users can move around to see how the chair that they might purchase would look in their living room.
We've long thought of Sayduck as an augmented reality solution for furniture, given their track record. But Sayduck also tells us they're working with global brands in other sectors, like fashion brands including Adidas and Onitsuka Tiger.
For fashion, augmented reality could be used to virtually picture how a accessories, like a purse, would go with your outfit, but additionally Sayduck says they see their solution being used for building hype before an actual product is on shelves. In the Onitsuka Tiger example, these shoes have developed a cult following and employ Sayduck's technology for in-store displays. So before an actual shoe reaches stores, potential purchasers can download their app, point it at the in-store display, and get a much deeper product experience than seeing a flat picture.
“Our users are telling us that Sayduck is the catalyst for them to make an informed purchasing decision and provides real value in doing so. This is obviously really encouraging for us and proves that this technology has a lot of potential for true disruption”, says Sayduck CEO Mikko Martikainen.
Additionally they see architecture as another vertical they're exploring. When an architect is presenting blueprints, it adds much more "wow factor" if potential clients see the building design leap out of the blueprints in 3D when they point their phones at it.
"I think this year is going to be a big year [for augmented reality] overall," Martikainen tells us. "We’re seeing larger and larger brands jumping onboard, so the end-user adoption is growing. We think this year is going to be a good year on the user adoption side, and then closer to the critical mass of it becoming a household technology that people expect to come available."