The Israeli startup raised only $ 1.5 million, and the CEO tells Legitimate: “3 times I had less than a week to raise additional investment for the following salaries or lay off all employees.”
Hanukkah miracle: the Israeli startup RestAR Who developed technology for scanning 3D products using only the smartphone, was acquired today by the American Unity. The amount of the purchase has not been revealed, but as part of the transaction, RestAR will become Unity’s first official development center in Israel. All company employees are expected to move to the new company.The road to the exit, contrary to expectation, was far from perfect.
Simulations for everyone
The development of RestAR has enabled any platform, store or website to integrate 3D and AR simulations of high quality products. This is done by photographing the object using only a smartphone camera. The same simulations can be combined as an element in virtual reality experiences, augmented reality and even allow customers to perform “virtual measurements” of sample shoes. All this without the need for special equipment or prior knowledge and training in the field.
RestAR claims that a photo of each object takes about a minute, after which the videos are processed and compressed in the cloud. Initially, the company was engaged in building augmented reality menus for restaurateurs, but decided to pivot into the tumultuous eCommerce field. A decision that paid off well for them.
RestAR’s exit is also Wix Capital’s first exit, Wix’s investment arm launched just a few months ago. Other investors in the company include 500Startups, former Walmart president (in the Latin American region), Dafiti founders and other investors. According to the company, its investors will enjoy a return of up to 7 times in a period of less than two years.
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“Investors rejected us non-stop, the market rejected us”
In conversation with Giktiim Bar Serf, CEO and co-founder of RestAR, explains that the company, which raised only $ 1.5 million, was facing a crossroads where it could complete a $ 3 million pre-seed round, or access the exit lane: “The road was very difficult. Investors rejected us non-stop, the market rejected us, technology did not work well enough, a former joint parting in the middle of the investment process in the corona period. “Three times I had less than a week to raise additional investment for the following salaries or to lay off all employees.”
Serf says that some of the workers immigrated to Eretz Israel especially to work for the company, and that the pressure was not simple: “Thoughts of this kind were always on our minds in every challenge we faced and left us strong and positive. To survive is to win. ‘
Serf also added that “the Corona crisis has created new consumer behavior and a change in the world of commerce. The global expansion of the e-commerce industry requires merchants and brands with a strong digital presence, differentiation, and rich user experience. Along with Unity, the world’s leading 3D platform, we can change the rules of the game by creating visual content for businesses and marketers around the world, so that without any prior knowledge, any business owner can provide the best selling experience for their consumers. “
RestAR was founded by Bar Surf, the company’s CEO, and Shimon Weiner, the company’s CTO. Weiner and Serf will now head Unity’s first and official research and development center in Israel, located in Tel Aviv. To the 10 RestAR employees who will join Unity, it was announced that additional development personnel will be recruited.
The buyer, Unity, is traded on the stock exchange at a market value of almost $ 40 billion and employs over 3,000 people worldwide. Its platform enables the creation of games, movies, simulations and more in 3D. ‘The acquisition of Restar is a necessary step. The combination of the company’s 3D scanning capabilities, along with Unity Forma (a new tool that Unity recently released to the market), will change the field of digital marketing for almost any product, “said Dave Rhodes, Vice President and CEO of Unity. “Now, digital merchants and marketers will get the same power and flexibility that customers from other fields are already enjoying today, simply by using their mobile devices.”
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