At its founding in January 2014, Prizmiq scanned and created 3-D representations of everything from wakeboards to couches. Learning quickly that focus is key, Prizmiq now just works with shoes.
What:Prizmiq, a Seattle-based company that creates interactive 3-D representations of products, mostly shoes, for retailers to display online.
Who: Darrick Morrison, founder and CEO, a 32-year-old University of Washington graduate and former Amazon employee.
3-D library: Prizmiq originally charged a company a large fee to scan its inventory, limiting customers to brands that could afford the service. Now Morrison wants to build the world’s largest 3-D library, starting with shoes and then moving to other product lines. The new business model will allow a retailer to subscribe to the library, and the 3-D versions of items the company carries will automatically populate its website. The retailer incurs a charge each time a 3-D model loads on the retailer’s page.
Banking on shoes: At its founding in January 2014, Prizmiq scanned and created 3-D representations of everything from wakeboards to couches. Learning quickly that focus is key, Prizmiq now just works with shoes. Morrison said shoes are predictable in size and shape, allowing the company to build a 3-D system specifically for shoes and pump out scans at a higher volume.
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Show me the money: Prizmiq will start its first seed round this fall, hoping to bring in enough money to create the 3-D library. Morrison wants to scan 20,000 styles of shoes per year. The company has raised just over $500,000, including $35,000 received for participating in Seattle’s 9Mile Labs’ business accelerator in January 2014.
Challenge: The company has put a lot of time and energy into creating high quality, realistic visuals that are quickly accessible online. “If people have to wait for 5 to 10 seconds for something to load, you’ve already lost them,” Morrison said.
Virtual shopping: Prizmiq is ready for retailers to move to a virtual reality shopping experience. Computer screens are flat, which Morrison says makes Prizmiq’s 3-D models more like 2.5-D. With virtual reality, a person can actually turn the shoes or walk around in them. “That could revolutionize the traditional shopping experience,” he said.
Fun fact: Prizmiq has a costume closet for its eight employees. “We work in costumes sometimes. … We are a very funky gang,” Morrison said.
— Coral Garnick