Hexa raises $20.5M to help create the metaverse, one object at a time
Hexa is working with retailers to bring their products into the metaverse so you can browse and shop in VR and AR.
You've probably never heard of Hexa, but the 3D asset management company is on the rise in the business world with a $20.5 Million Series A round of investments. Founded in 2018, Hexa works with such notable clients as Macy's, Logitech, Unity, and Crate & Barrel.
To fill the limitless worlds of the metaverse, millions of 3D objects are needed, making the Hexa 3D platform attractive to investors anticipating a growth opportunity. Hexa's efforts are diverse but primarily focus on making retail products available as 3D objects that can be viewed in VR headsets, AR devices, and computer browsers.
Converting images to 3D objects
Hexa can start with images from a product's website or directly scan objects. The company doesn't reveal the exact nature of its process, but Hexa3D's Reconstruction Engine uses neural networks to optimize the conversion process.
Since Hexa's model is trained on a proprietary dataset with tens of thousands of 3D objects and optimized by 3D artists, the results are much more refined than you might be able to create on your own.
"Taking a product library, converting it to 3D, inspecting it, and deploying it is a tremendous undertaking," said co-founder and CTO Jonathan Clark in a blog post. "But we've eliminated the pain points with a fast, scalable solution to a very specific problem everyone selling anything in the Metaverse is going to encounter."
Hexa isn't the only company building a library of 3D assets. Sketchfab also assists retailers with 3D scans and you can use Epic's RealityScan app to scan and upload 3D models.
Who's investing in the metaverse?
Venture capital firms Point72 Ventures, Samurai Incubate, and Sarona Partners, as well HTC, the creator of the new Vive XR Elite headset, participated in Hexa's recent $20.5 million round of funding. $1.2 million in pre-seed funding and $5.5 million in seed funding rounds were raised before the latest investments, making Hexa's total financing $27.2 million.
This will fund expansion beyond the current team of 100 employees involved in engineering and business development. Hexa is also partnering with Google, Microsoft, and Snap, among others.
How quickly the metaverse emerges remains to be seen, but the tech industry continues to work on solutions. Facebook became so invested in the metaverse it was renamed Meta in 2021. Google has already shown a preview of its upcoming AR glasses, while Apple is expected to launch its XR headset this year, and Samsung recently confirmed it would launch an XR device as well.
With so much activity, retailers might be feeling the pressure to get products ready for the future. 3D content can already be viewed on websites and seen in your home with an AR-capable phone, as shown in a Hexa presentation posted to YouTube by Gavin Home.