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Lumirithmic raising $6M seed for hyperreal avatars

Illustration of a facial recognition grid with dollar signs at the points.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Lumirithmic is raising a $6 million seed round to make its hyperrealistic avatars accessible to the masses, CEO Gaurav Chawla tells Axios exclusively.

Why it matters: Retailers are increasingly adopting Web3 applications to give shoppers a more accurate, tailored way to find the products that fit best, and to reduce returns.

Details: Lumirithmic has lined up several angel investors, and it’s just a matter of “nailing down a lead investor,” Chawla says.

  • The company has raised $1.2 million since March, bringing its total funding in the last 12 months to $2 million.

What they’re saying: “Many people believe the metaverse is the next big thing,” he says. “And we're going to make a huge impact in that space by making it actually be something that people want to spend their time in.”

  • Key to that, he says, will be making it less gimmicky and more realistic.

The latest: The company has a pilot with a large but undisclosed French beauty, skin care and dermatology company.

  • By next year, this contract will convert to hundreds of thousands of deployments, Chawla says.

What's next: The company aims to get its products in shopping malls and beauty stores.

  • Lumirithmic, whose existing adopters include visual effects studios that work primarily on post-production with actors, also aims to penetrate ad tech.
  • The company sees huge opportunities in video conferencing and video games and wants its tech “anywhere where the face is.”

How it works: The London-based company has a 3D facial appearance capture technology that constructs a realistic digital human avatar.

  • Lumirithmic co-founder and CTO Abhijeet Ghosh co-invented the facial capture and light system used in the Hollywood movie “Avatar” to create the human-like characters.
  • Similar to the large camera rigs and lights the movie deployed, that kind of technology was shrunk to a desktop version and can scan someone down to the pore level, at 1/10 of a millimeter — “which means your skin, your retina, your pore, your emotions are all preserved in it,” Chawla says.
  • The idea is to give people access to high-quality scans that don’t cost many thousands of dollars.

State of play: The company has made the most inroads in skin care and cosmetics, Chawla says, offering biophysical imaging and biophysical simulation of the skin.

  • With its 3D renderings, "it's not just a shade or color, but the skin health, like hemoglobin level or melanin levels," Chawla says.
  • The technology can simulate how a lipstick’s color is going to react with the skin, not just replace the color of your own lips, Ghosh adds.

Yes and: The company also delivers forward simulation, enabling consumers to see how they'll look in a few weeks after using a certain product.

  • “So within seconds, it's telling you these are the issues with your skin,” Chawla says, adding that this helps match the right skin care products and provides recommendations.
  • “This specific application in hyper personalized skin care ... there's this massive demand,” Chawla says.

The intrigue: Lumirithmic aims to scan billions of people's faces, Chawla says. With that data, the company hopes to bring this technology from Hollywood Boulevard to Main Street USA.

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