Fashiontech startup Bandicoot Imaging Sciences is hoping to reduce one of the worst aspects of online clothes shopping – that nearly a third of garments are returned after purchase – and has scored $330,000 in a funding round led by the Sydney Angels.
The company is planning to give online fashion retailers a new way to showcase their products and give shoppers a better feel for the materials used in the potential purchases by conveying a sense of its texture and the way light plays across its fabric, as well as its colour.
Four engineers who worked in Canon Australia’s R&D arm founded Bandicoot Imaging after discovering the astonishing return rate for online purchases. Co-founder and managing director David Monaghan said the “quite shocked” to discover that nearly one in three items bought online are returned
“Of these returns, around 30% were attributed to the items ‘looking different’ than they did on the website. Even more disturbing is the number of returns that can’t be resold, and end up in landfill,” he said.
“We wanted to solve this problem for retailers, in particular as the pandemic has driven ever-increasing numbers of consumers online. Retailers can use our true-to-life digital materials to give these online shoppers greater confidence in their purchases, and avoid all of the unnecessary wastage.”
Bandicoot’s solution was develop technology that creates a sophisticated digital rendering of clothing materials from photos. Its potential is even more valuable for challenging fabrics such as those with metallic threads or a satin finish, where the appearance varies dramatically depending on the viewpoint of the observer.
The Sydney Angels investment delivers the funds Bandicoot needs to develop an enterprise-ready product for retailers increasingly moving to online.
Myers said the deep expertise of the founders in advanced image processing was not easy to find, and their quick progress impressed him.
“Purchasing of clothing via ecommerce is booming. Bandicoot’s technology produces images of fabrics that are so real it’s almost like touching and feeling the material, which enhances the online customer experience and enables fashion retailers to drive sales and reduce returns,” he said.
For a demonstration of how the Bandicoot digital enhancement works is available at bandicootimaging.com.au