LOS ANGELES, Sept. 24, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Camera IQ, the world's first augmented reality platform for camera marketing, today announced an additional $5 million in Series A funding, bringing its total funding raised to-date to over $14 million. Led by Shasta Ventures, the round also includes participation from existing investors Waverly Capital, Betaworks Ventures, Sway Ventures, as well as new investors Grand Ventures, Space Capital, and Gingerbread Capital.
COVID tailwinds are accelerating augmented reality (AR) adoption on social platforms as consumers spend more time online. With over four billion daily active camera users on social, the numbers are in – and AR is here to stay. 75% of consumers are using AR on a daily basis, leading to an 85% year-over-year increase in time spent in AR, AR is not only driving marketing engagement, it is now measurably increasing the likelihood of conversion by up to 250%.
Camera IQ's newly launched platform enables brand marketers to drive business objectives while easily creating, managing and measuring scalable augmented reality (AR) campaigns that reach audiences across social media and streaming platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitch, Zoom and more.
"For beauty brands building e-commerce businesses, AR and virtual try-on are essential to providing the user experience to incentivize purchases," said Elaine Chen, Vice President of Brand Marketing and Innovation at wet n wild Beauty/Markwins. "In our latest campaign with Camera IQ, we included two AR experiences to promote the highly-anticipated launch of our Sanrio collaboration featuring My Melody and Kuromi, giving users the ability to visualize themselves as the cult characters while wearing the products from our collection. With virtual try-on, Camera IQ enabled us to not only build authentic brand affinity but also drive real business ROI. The My Melody experience saw a 47.4% play rate, and the Kuromi experience saw a 63.8% play rate, generating excitement and amplifying exposure for the collection which has largely sold-out online."
In 2020, Camera IQ customers have seen a record number of AR experiences reach in excess of one million views. AR share rates on Instagram and Facebook have increased 43% and 23% respectively in Q2, and Snap Camera usage (which powers AR in Twitch, Zoom and Google Hangouts) has increased 33x since the start of the year.
AR is Driving Next-Generation Consumer Engagement and Conversion
The network effects and virality of AR experiences harkens to the early days of social. Brand marketers and advertisers at many of the world's largest brands, like Republic Records, wet n wild, and Purina, are changing the ways they engage with their audiences through Camera IQ. For example:
- Music: Camera IQ has deployed over 250 music experiences across platforms, generating over 300 million views, with a new music experience being published on the platform every two days. Recently, Republic Records used Camera IQ to scale their AR initiatives for both established and emerging artists across its 150-plus roster. One emerging artist, with only 20K Instagram followers, drove 4.5 million views of their AR experience across Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook two weeks after its release.
- Gaming: A variety of game publishers, AAA franchises, and e-sports leagues use Camera IQ to create, publish and manage camera marketing campaigns. One customer launched over 100 AR effects across Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat in 2020 alone. AR is the perfect medium to reach hyper-engaged gaming fans: play rates for some AR effects launched in the gaming vertical exceed 90%.
- Beauty: Virtual try-on experiences are now a must-have. wet n wild Beauty is leveraging the platform to bring together marketing and commerce, utilizing the transformative nature of AR as a tool for self-expression.
- Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG): Purina works with Camera IQ to add Camera Marketing to their social presence, celebrating both tentpole events like their Beverly Hills Dog Show, and to be part of the social conversations on holidays, like Beggin Strip's Treats & Kisses on Valentine's Day.
- Media: Camera IQ has been leveraged by media brands to create, manage and measure numerous impactful AR experiences for various programs, from scripted shows to sporting events and award shows – a feat which was impossible with a traditional AR agency model.
Democratizing Camera Marketing to Make Business Goals a Reality
"With the Camera and AR playing essential roles in our daily lives now, AR is the strongest format for driving consumer engagement and making business goals a reality," said Allison Ferenci, Co-founder and CEO of Camera IQ. "Our platform enables brands and businesses to power the next generation of consumer engagement and gives them the tools to have more interactive, engaging targeted connections with customers. We are thrilled to partner with Shasta and our other investors to expand to new platforms and reach new industries."
The funds will be used to make key hires in sales and marketing, as well as on product development with an emphasis on expanding distribution to new platforms to further its mission to democratize the camera and AR technology for brands across the globe.
"When I met with Camera IQ's co-founders, Allison Ferenci and Sonia Tsao in 2016, they painted a picture of the key role that the camera would play in our daily lives," said Jacob Mullins, Partner at Shasta Ventures. "Since then, they have continuously delivered and are now the category leaders for Camera Marketing, becoming a trusted partner to leading brands in the music, beauty, media, and gaming industries."
About Camera IQ
Camera IQ is powering the next generation of consumer interactions by enabling brands to tap into the power of Augmented Reality. We are a well-funded and fast growing B2B LA-based startup. We help marketers drive business objectives through Camera Marketing. Our platform empowers brands to easily create and deploy scalable Augmented Reality campaigns and reach audiences everywhere including Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitch, Zoom, and more. We are AR Simplified.
We are a team of talented, diverse, and open-minded engineers, designers and marketers committed to democratizing the camera and AR technology. We are building a future where the camera is the new start menu, where audiences and brands can interact seamlessly with each other and co-create brand new worlds for all to explore. If this excites you, you've come to the right place.
SOURCE Camera IQ