Dallas Startup Immerss Aims To Be the ‘Go-To Solution’ for Live E-Commerce

Working with San Antonio-based bootmaker Lucchese, Immerss delivered a use case that gave the brand a real kick, with a live e-commerce shopping experience that moved the majority of Lucchese sales to direct-to-consumer. That turned the bootmaker from client to investor through a $1.1 million seeding check. Now Immerss is looking to raise millions more to become the "go-to solution" for live e-commerce.

Co-founder Patrick Jacobs told Dallas Innovates an early meeting with Lucchese's president led to a "lightbulb moment"—one that set Immerss on an innovative new path.

A pivot in focus a few years ago has positioned Immerss to tackle the growing e-commerce trend.

Now, as it looks to raise millions in a new fundraising effort, the Dallas-based company—which provides digital tools to help brands drive online sales—says it’s looking to become the “go-to solution” for live e-commerce.

“We really view ourselves as a matchmaker between brands and their customers,” Immerss co-founder Patrick Jacobs told Dallas Innovates.

The ‘lightbulb moment’

Immerss co-founder Patrick Jacobs

Immerss initially launched in 2015 with the goal creating a video connection platform, bringing on now-CEO Arthur Veytsman as an earlier investor. The company later reiterated to a tool connecting brands with influencers to market products online, but found itself moving more toward an agency model rather than its core focus as a tech platform.

“It’s always been about the belief that live video was going to become more of a prevalent player in commerce, and in general, that live video was going to continue to evolve be a player in multiple areas,” Jacobs said.

At around that time, the co-founders found themselves speaking with Doug Kindy, the president of San Antonio-based bootmaker Lucchese. Kindy told them his company’s biggest pain point was selling expensive, high-consideration items to customers who don’t get the experience of being helped by a knowledgeable salesperson online

“That was the lightbulb moment,” Jacobs said.

Client becomes investor

In 2019, Immerss leveraged its years of R&D work and began working on an MVP for its new focus as an e-commerce shopping experience, with Lucchese as its first client and use-case. After going live with the Immerss platform in early 2020—even before the pandemic pushed most sales online—the company was able to help Lucchese move the majority of its sales to direct-to-consumer.

Through family office investors led by Lucchese board members—Oak Stream Investors III, a fund of Oak Stream Investors, and Muse Family Enterprises—the bootmaker would go on to invest $1.1 million in seed funding in Immerss in 2021.

“When we got numbers out of Lucchese’s case study, that just blew everybody’s mind. We’re like, ‘Okay, we’ve got something good here, because we went with the most difficult use-case and we got really amazing KPIs out of it,’” Veytsman told Dallas Innovates. “That that gave us a very strong trajectory into we’re building the right thing at the right time. So, then it’s going and making it accessible to many stores.”

‘It’s all about enabling brands to build relationships’

[Photo: Immerss]

To help brands drive e-commerce sales, Immerss offers two core solutions. Its one-to-one solution, which is called digital clienteling, is similar to the chat widget that pops up on many retail websites. However, Immerss’ solution connects customers with real-time video to a brand’s sales rep. Its one-to-many solution is described by Jacobs as giving companies their own “branded QVC experience,” allowing them to host interactive livestreams to entertain and make sales.

Both solutions provide real-time analytics about sales and engagement.

“It’s all about enabling brands to build relationships with their shoppers online, to really create a human element in e-commerce and create this kind of virtual in-store experience from a clientele standpoint,” Jacobs said.

That solution has helped Immerss attract local clients like Ylang 23 and Tinge Beauty, as well as others like Hammitt and Radley London. On average, the company says brands using its platform see sales conversions between 24% and 31% and average order volumes increase by at least 35%.

“Through our technology, you can build a relationship with an associate from the store from anywhere in the world. The brand could do that successfully, they’re going to win in the long-term,” Jacobs said. “You’ve got to differentiate the brands out there, and the number-one way to differentiate is to provide memorable experiences.”

Immerss plans to start raising $5 million later this year

Building on the success it has seen, Veytsman said his 12-person company plans to begin raising a $5 million funding round in Q4 of this year. Still considering the companies Immerss works with as early-adopters, he added that the funding will help Immerss continue to garner traction and customers, while positioning it to become a “business influencer” in the space, leveraging its understanding of technology and e-commerce, in addition to helping it build out its offering.

One of the areas Immerss is looking at is bridging the in-person shopping experience with digital shopping. Veytsman said the new solution the company is building out will allow a shopper to enter a store, and instead of looking around for a sales rep or specialist, they’ll be able to scan a QR code, which would connect them with a live online expert—something he says also helps cut down on hiring costs for businesses.

“The big, overarching goal is to provide our clients with the ability to use our technology to better their business and better life for their employees,” Veytsman said.

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