More than ever, fashion firms and luxury players face an urgent need to keep a finger on the pulse of the trends driving consumers to pull out their wallets and grow their wardrobes at a time when more people are paring down and embracing Marie Kondo-inspired minimalism.
Heuritech, the LVMH Innovation Award-winning French fashion analytics firm, just raised 4 million euros ($4.4 million) to advance its platform that helps apparel brands effectively trawl the millions of images uploaded on social media and accurately forecast the trends and innovations that will succeed at retail.
Heuritech said the Series A was led by Paris-based Elaia, a venture capital firm that’s invested in SaaS marketplace provider Mirakl and marketing firm Criteo, and Serena, also based in Paris. Jimmy Choo CEO Pierre Denis and Coralie de Fontenay, who formerly was the general manager of Cartier France, also participated in the round.
So far this year, Heuritech has released a trends forecasting platform that adds to the product analytics offering it launched in 2017—the year it received the LVMH honor—and that gives “product, merchandising and marketing teams the possibility to make data-backed decisions on assortments, stock and communications,” it said in a statement.
The company estimates that about 75 percent of purchases are influenced in one way or another by what consumers are exposed to on social media, and Instagram alone sees roughly 100 million images posted on its platform daily. Heuritech also claims its technology can analyze as many as 2,000 details in each image, such as patterns, shapes, colors and SKUs, and is capable of forecasting trends 12 months into the future with 90 percent accuracy.
That level of precision has captured the attention of “multiple” beauty brands that have been asking Heuritech for a trend detection platform for their industry, claims CEO Tony Pinville, a machine learning PhD who co-founded the company in 2013 with chief technology officer Charles Ollion. The new funding paves the way for Heuritech to expand outside its roots in luxury and fashion, where its client base includes Louis Vuitton, Adidas, Dior and Kontoor Brands.
Beyond strengthening its executive and leadership teams and expanding internationally with new offices in New York City and Singapore with the new investment, Heuritech has set its sights on becoming the “go-to-market intelligence platform for consumer and product insights,” Pinville added.
Indeed, Serena investment associate Léa Verdillon noted how employing artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze images as well as data is now “key in the decision-making process on strategic topics among [Heuritech’s] clients.” And the funding dovetails with Global Market Insights’ projection that the market for AI in retail will surpass $8 billion by 2024 as companies in the space embrace empirical tools to guide their businesses through a rapidly changing consumer landscape.