Visual marketing vendor Olapic raises $15 million
June 24, 2015 11:10 AM
Visual marketing vendor Olapic has raised $15 million in a Series B funding round led by Felix Capital that also included Unilever Ventures, Fung Capital, Longworth Venture Partners, Michael Lazerow, Fabrice Grinda and Jose Marin Investments. The vendor has raised $21 million to date.
Olapic, which works with retailers such as Target Corp., Alex and Ani LLC and Birchbox Inc., aggregates consumers’ photos that are shared on such social networks as Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest so retailers and brands can use them online and offline. The vendor’s algorithm and in-house editors predict the best images to drive sales depending on the channel—such as on retail websites, digital ads, social network ads and in-store displays—using signals such as the images’ dominant color, how many people are friends with the consumer who shared the photo and whether the image features a human.
Olapic plans to use the funds to expand into Europe and Asia, as well as to develop visual content products. Those initiatives include a push to figure out how to enable brands to leverage consumer-generated videos, says Luis Sanz, Olapic’s co-founder and chief operating officer.
“We’ve seen video become more important on social networks like Facebook and Instagram,” he says. “But we haven’t seen much content that is good enough for brands to use. That might take a while, but we’re working on figuring out how to make consumer-generated videos as useful to brands as pictures are.”
Consumer-generated content is more powerful than professionally photographed images, Sanz says. The vendor’s research suggests user-generated photos that feature the retailer or brand’s images increase conversion rates by 5% and order value by 2%, which is why Sanz and Olapic envision a future in which the majority of images on e-commerce sites are taken by consumers.
“Obviously that won’t happen overnight,” he says. But because shoppers respond more strongly to it, he believes that in time it won’t be unusual to see user-generated content in everything from marketing emails to in-store displays.