Photo credit: VivaTech
Since VivaTech’s beginnings, we have acted as a powerful global catalyst for digital transformation and startup growth. And the core of these happenings occur when the right people meet at the right time, allowing conversations to start, ideas to be born and partnerships to be made. Yet many stories of what VivaTech has brought to startups, investors, exhibitors and partners alike go unnoticed. Luckily, in the search for some inspiring VivaStories, we found a few pearls this year at VivaTech!
Company: Alpha AR
Sector: Augmented Reality, IT
HQ: Tallinn, Estonia
Year founded: 2018
Who we interviewed: Madis Alesmaa, CEO and Co-founder
Being able to try on clothes virtually or making a car appear in AR on your driveway makes these items much more attractive to consumers and can increase conversion rates for online retailers. Yet one of the biggest challenges in virtual and augmented reality as well as the metaverse industry is the creation of 3D models. This type of content creation can be time consuming and costly because it has to be created manually from 2D images first.
One Estonian startup, named Alpha AR, has found a way to sidestep the manual creation of 3D models through a new AI-powered platform. “We are building an AI tool, which will make the content generation simple and will create scalable products, augmented reality, virtual try-ons and gaming platforms,” explained CEO Madis Alesmaa. “We are trying to automate the content production side.” The startup’s mission is to bring augmented reality to the masses and make 3D affordable and scalable.
A collaboration for innovation
In the aim to gain a more international audience, Alpha AR applied for the 2020 LVMH Innovation Award which every year rewards a project from an innovative startup during Viva Technology. Regrettably, the 2020 VivaTech edition was canceled, but the LVMH Innovation Award ceremony was still able to take place online – and Alpha AR was listed as a finalist!
Thanks to their participation in the awards, the AR startup was able to increase their international visibility without even leaving Estonia. More particularly, our Innovation Team at VivaTech found Alpha AR’s technology a perfect solution to create digital twins on our digital platform for the next edition. And a collaboration was born!
For VivaTech 2021, Alpha AR helped to recreate 80 innovations in 3D and AR so that both physical and digital visitors could view and interact with the top innovations of the event. As a first hybrid model, the 3D and AR creations added another dimension to the event that VivaTech never had before and augmented visitors’ experience. In addition to their creations on the platform, Alpha AR also had their own online booth and were able to interact and network with multiple businesses and individuals during the four days.
AR image created by Alpha AR on VivaTech’s digital platform 2021. Photo credit: VivaTech
An augmented funding round
Soon after the 2021 edition, Alpha AR launched a seed funding round. From contacts made during VivaTech and from all over, the Estonian startup was able to raise 800k euros for its AI platform and closed its fundraising round in March of 2022.
“Our collaboration with VivaTech last year was definitely a win-win solution for both of us. In general, it helps out the VivaTech team on their platform, but it also boosts our visibility. The partnership helped open doors with Renault, Publicis Conseil and many more which definitely assisted us in our fundraising,” said Madis.
One of VivaTech’s 2022 Digital Showrooms, featuring a 3D model of Ascento’s wheeled robot. Photo credit: VivaTech
Back for round two
With a successful hybrid edition under our belts, our innovation team partnered with Alpha AR again in 2022 for a similar collaboration for the digital platform. This year we had five different digital showrooms created by Cher Ami including a Robot Park, Low Carbon Park and Human Tech park which highlighted different experiences and innovations modeled by Alpha AR. These VivaTech showrooms even won awards from the websites Awwwards and the FWA for their design, creativity and innovation.
During the four in-person days in Paris, Alpha AR had over a hundred meetings and presentations at their stand. “During the event we saw a couple of thousand new visitors on our website as well which led to some interesting demos and POCs. Definitely looking forward to returning next year,” Madis told us.
Now, a few months after VivaTech, Alpha AR is already focusing on their next fundraising round. “We had many really interesting talks with major companies at VivaTech and some next exciting partnerships are in discussions especially with some high end luxury retailers who showed serious interest.”
Take a page out of their book
One piece of advice the startup’s CEO would give to first-timers at VivaTech? “If you are a startup and are creating any sort of innovative technology, VivaTech is a must event. Even if you just want to stay up to date with new technologies or you want to showcase your startup, it is one of Europe's biggest tech events. I’d definitely recommend going.”
If you want to learn more about Alpha AR’s solutions check out their website here.
Want to spark your own success story? Stay tuned for our ticket opening and our super early bird prices!