Why I invested in Marxent Labs

Today if you’re selling goods or services, chances are you have an online presence. Be it reviews on Yelp or selling through Amazon, online is the dominant platform for commerce. This makes sense considering 91% of all Americans with higher disposable incomes (>$75,000) log in at least once a day. But what happens when augmented reality starts to gain adoption and the UX/UI paradigms shift? Content will be less about website copy and 2D images and more about immersive 3D content that lets you see what products look like in your home, on your body, or in your hand.

Today content management systems provide a clean user interface to organize and easily update websites. Photos, videos, and copy can be updated with little technical skill and the software automagically updates the front end. 3D images are also able to be incorporated and modified through today’s CMS systems but in a very basic fashion. If you want to create 3D product experiences, it’s generally a custom app that you’ll need to build. This doesn’t scale, and as augmented reality moves closer to reality we’ll need tools and infrastructure in place to make product visualization easier.

In a future where augmented reality gains mass adoption, brick and mortar locations will want to provide product details by overlaying relevant information. Things like price, color options, availability, and sale information will all be presented to users when browsing products in store. The retailer needs a system to be able to control all this information. Conversely, eCommerce platforms will want to give you a better sense of what it would be like to touch a product before you buy it, enhancing the experience and minimizing disappointment and thus returns.

Enter Marxent Labs, a product visualization and CMS platform Anorak Ventures recently invested in. There are 4 main reasons why this investment was made:

  1. Experienced management team — Given the opportunity ahead this is perhaps the most important factor. Beck Besecker, the founder and CEO, built his first software company in 1999 and sold it to NCR in 2003. His brother, CTO and co-founder Barry Besecker, worked on CMS software for 8 years prior to Marxent. They’ve built a strong team around them and have great traction with several marque brands.
  2. Easy on boarding — They’ve reduced friction for new customers by building a streamlined data ingestion process. Retailers and manufacturer can provide data in a variety of formats from 2D images to 3D models and Marxent’s software will (where necessary) create, optimize and upload to their system to create a variety of visualization experiences. Similar to today’s CMS software, Marxent provides a simple backend that non technical people can easily update to reflect price, options and availability.
  3. Best in class visuals — They leverage markerless proprietary computer vision software (demo here) and Unity3D to provide a top notch experience. No other solution I’ve seen provides the functionality and sense of presence Marxent is capable of.
  4. AR is the future — And lastly, whether it’s 5 or 15 years down the road, augmented reality will miniaturize to be indistinguishable from standard glasses and ultimately replace the rectangles we all carry in our pocket. When that happens retailers and manufacturers will need a content management system to manage models and the meta data for all their products. This represents a massive opportunity for a new SaaS platform and Marxent is well positioned to capitalize.

Managing Partner @ Anorak Ventures. Investing in early-stage technology with the potential to change the world.