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M&S and Founders Factory invest in 3D digital fit company

May '19
Pic: Texel
Pic: Texel
Marks & Spencer (M&S) and Founders Factory have invested in Texel, a 3D digital fit company, for their retail accelerator programme under the joint venture (JV) Founders Factory Retail. Texel is the third startup M&S has selected along with ChargedUp, a mobile phone battery sharing service and Rocketo, a healthy subscription dog food service.

Founders Factory Retail enables startups to grow using its experts in design, computer engineering, AI, data science and strategy. The company will spend six months working with Texel which it will seek to grow and scale, said M&S in a press release.

Texel’s technology scans, captures and measures people in 3D, creating a digital avatar of the user. It then uses its technology to recommend clothes that will best fit the user’s shape and size.

Texel will complement Optitex which M&S’s design and technology team use to create patterns that are then rendered in 3D to visualise what a garment will look like on an avatar or mannequin without a piece of cloth being cut or sewn.

“Texel’s technology opens up many exciting routes for us. Retail is changing and changing faster than ever before. Investing in businesses like Texel puts us at the sharp end of that change and gives us the tools to test and trial new ways to inspire our customers,” said Paschal Little, head of clothing & home technology at M&S.

“Texel is building products designed to simplify, personalise and enrich the offline and online shopping experience and helps to reduce online returns and increase conversion,” said Sergey Klimentyev, Texel Inc co-founder.

“The breadth of the businesses backed by M&S so far – from solving the challenge of on-the-go mobile phone charging to improving the way we feed our pets – is testament to M&S’s commitment to partnering with startups across all their business units to transform their offer to their customers, and we will see benefits to the startups and to M&S through these collaborations,” said Isabela Chick, managing director of retail, Founders Factory.

The investments are in addition to M&S’s strategic partnership with Microsoft, which is testing the capabilities of technology and artificial intelligence in a retail environment. (PC)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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