If it’s up to Expivi, you can now simply buy a new kitchen from home. The startup makes it possible to view all the different options in 3D and adjust them completely to your wishes. With augmented reality on your smartphone or VR, for example, via cardboard, you can immediately see whether the kitchen fits your home. “This will be the new standard in e-commerce.”
Babak Mirzaie, one of the founders of the company, is convinced of this. “We not only show what a product looks like in 3D, but we can also add endless configurations that can simply be viewed in the browser.” At the moment it takes a long time – partly due to the heavy software – to make products into a 3D rendering that incorporates a wide range of options. “Designers make product drawings that can also be used for 3D models”, Mirzaie holds up a cup, he continues enthusiastically. “But the 3D models are made with a different program, often that is double work. In that software, it takes a long time to make a rendering of this cup, especially if you want to be able to choose several colours or materials. We use the original drawing and get information from it. Another disadvantage of the current way of working is that once the rendering is finished, you can’t add anything to it anymore.”
Expivi makes it possible to load 3D quickly and customizable via an online platform, without additional software. Mirzaie crawls behind a laptop and clicks open the backend of the system. A folder structure fills the screen. “Here you can see to the screw exactly which part is in a product, but also which options are possible in colour, material or versions. You can upload new models or multiple choices here and they are immediately visible at the front. That makes it very flexible.”
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Another advantage, Mirzaie believes, is the possibility to link the platform to a webshop. “Consumers can see exactly how much they pay for the execution they put together and retailers can see exactly what happens to their stock. Consumers get an extra experience and behind the scenes, the stock system is managed. This makes it so suitable for e-commerce.” While telling Mirzaie takes his phone out of his pocket and via his screen suddenly there is a Mercedes in the room. The car is visible from all sides, Mirzaie stands up and with his phone facing the virtual car, he walks around it. With a few taps on his screen, the car changes: black leather becomes white. “Every option a dealer has can be selected here.”
Meanwhile, Jur Rademakers joined the conversation. He entered the company about a year ago while he was actually working on another company. Rademakers is the founder of Edubookers, an online booking platform for training and courses. Just like Expivi, Edubookers has an office in Bouncespace. “During the lunches, we met each other, I thought it was a great company with an incredible amount of potential. I am proud that I was able to join Expivi as a partner. Because we are in the same building I can combine it with Edubookers, if I am needed I come downstairs.” Rademakers refers again to the example of the Mercedes: “The great thing about this is that you can make this experience for any product. Not only in augmented reality, but also in virtual reality. And that doesn’t have to be expensive at all, because even with simple VR glasses it works fine.”
At the moment, the company is working hard to acquire a large company, but they don’t want to say who exactly that is. “This is what we need in order to continue to grow, it allows us to show the world what we can do and then others will automatically follow.” What they also think helps here was winning the Dell startup league in 2017. But also the appreciation from the software world supports them: “At CES in Las Vegas, the big drawing software companies were especially impressed by our clear backend. Also in a Skype meeting with Autodesk developers (3D drawing software), they only listened to how we work. They didn’t interrupt the story once and were listening breathlessly. That’s a nice compliment.”
Mirzaie has a good idea where this clear backend comes from: “Together with my brother, Siamak, we started in 2009 as Golabi studio for the development of IOS games. When building games it is important that the relationships to the models you make are clear. At the same time, it has to be flexible, for when something changes. From this background, we are benefiting now with Expivi.” Golabi is the Iranian word for pear, with a little wink at Apple. Golabi became Expivi and now the company employs 10 people. Whether the gentlemen ever think they will be as big as Apple: “Just like almost everyone today uses WordPress for a website, our dream is that everyone uses our platform for 3D personalization.”
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