Home Feature How this NC startup is redefining furniture shopping using 3D and AR

How this NC startup is redefining furniture shopping using 3D and AR

by Chantal Allam

With contractors and interior designers not allowed to physically set foot in their clients’ spaces due to COVID-19, executing design projects has become difficult at best.

But a small North Carolina startup is working to change that.

Enter Intiaro, a 3D visualization firm based out of Greensboro, North Carolina.

Located just a stone’s throw from High Point, nicknamed the ‘Furniture Capital of the World, the company has built a platform using 3D and augmented reality (AR) to help furniture retailers and brands visualize their products in a real-life context.

Now it’s launching a new cloud-based platform for interior designers called DesignerBoard3d. It’s a multi-brand platform that helps clients virtually picture products in their own spaces, replete with customizable fabric overlays and 3D downloads.

“We want to build the world’s largest platform with up-to-date, ready-to-order 3D visualizations of millions of products,” its co-founder Pawel Ciach told Hypepotamus.

The startup already counts top brands like Ethan Allen, Tommy Bahama, and Vanguard as clients, to name a few.

“The next step is making db3d.com become the standard tool used by all the interior designers in North America,” Ciach says.

3D, AR — the future of e-commerce?

 By all accounts, consumers are increasingly seeking out 3D and AR experiences that help gauge size, fit, and style. 

A quarter of respondents in a recent Vertebrae study said they wanted to use virtual tools to try on new looks, and 57% said they wanted to visualize products in their environments.

The knock-on effect: Industry experts say bigger sales. 

Furniture retailer CB2 found that product pages featuring 3D and AR experiences drove 21 percent higher revenue per visit and a 13 percent lift in average order size. 

That has many retailers rushing to invest in this new technology — a trend that is being accelerated by the pandemic, Ciach says.

A case in point is Ethan Allen. 

Intiaro recently launched the retailer’s inHome mobile app, giving designers and consumers access to the retailers’ complete product catalog, all in 3D.

“Our customers [are] radically expediting their plans investing in e-commerce and digitalization, in general,” he says. “As a result, we’re growing very fast.” 

Scaling quickly

Back in 2018, Ciach and his business partner, Michal Stachowski, founded Intiaro in Warsaw, Poland.

He says it’s a little-known fact that Poland is one of the leaders of 3D technology worldwide. It’s also the second-largest manufacturer of furniture, second only to China. 

That made Poland a great place to start the business, he said.

However, not long after, they traveled to North Carolina to attend High Point Market, one of the largest furniture trade shows in the world. That pushed them to reconsider their strategy.

“After that visit, we made the decision to move [our] headquarters to the United States and focus on this market,” he says. “Because whoever wins the US, wins the world.”

To date, Intiaro has raised $4 million in funding. It has around 50 employees, and is planning to scale quickly, Ciach says. 

“We are increasing team sizes in all of the areas of our business. We’ll be also expanding our customer success and account executive teams.”

Going forward, he remains positive.

“We’re 100% [confident] that this technology will completely redefine furniture shopping in the future.”

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