NYC Startup Body Labs Raises $2.2M Because They Make Sure the Shoe Fits



Body Labs is a sophisticated 3D technology that makes it possible to create an avatar of your body so that you can personalize your world cheaply and easily, customizing shirts, shoes, bras, sporting gear, and all sorts of other products.

That’s just the beginning. Their avatars can be posed or display a range of motion, so it’s only a matter of time before anyone can literally get into the game.

Uh, video game.

And still that’s just the beginning. Body Labs is the first company to commercialize this technology. Cofounder Bill O’Farrell tells us more about it and their experience with the funding process. But with $2.2 million in seed funding from the likes of FirstMark Capital, New York Angels et al, you know that they’re on to something!

Who were your investors?

Investors that participated in our seed round of funding include FirstMark CapitalNew York Angels, the company founders and existing investors.

Tell us about your product or service.

Body Labs collects, digitizes and organizes all of the data and information related to human body shape, pose, and motion. The platform provides a simple, fully automated way to create 3D avatars of the human body that can move seamlessly and naturally through the entire range of human motion, and that can be measured, compared, animated, dressed and manipulated.

Its first application, BodyHub.com, is an interactive web application that allows anyone to create and customize his or her own avatar by uploading laser scans, inputting actual measurements, or customizing one of the standard body models available through the site.

How is it different?

Never before has it been possible to automatically, accurately and efficiently create a 3D human avatar of a specific person. With Body Labs’ technology, it is now possible to use an individual’s exact 3D geometry as the platform for designing and creating products and services.

What market you are targeting and how big is it?

Our technology transforms the human body into a digital platform and it can be used in a broad array of industries, including apparel design, manufacturing and retail, the medical and fitness market, video game and animation design and production, and many others.

What’s your business model?

Currently, we are a SaaS model with a services component — we get paid for avatar creation and have large apparel and equipment companies who rely on us for detailed analytics on size, shape and movement of target customers. As consumers gradually come to have 3D models as a part of their digital, online IDs, we anticipate gravitating toward a transaction-based model.

What was the funding process like?

We are the first company to commercialize this kind of technology and we have a big vision. Initial funding discussions were mostly educational, more about showing and explaining how the body can be transformed into a platform and what people/ businesses can do with it.

Once that message was understood, the applications and potential for what we can do became obvious.

What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?

One of the biggest challenges that we faced while raising capital was communicating the vision and the unique, path-breaking nature of the technology.

What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?

We believe that we can change the interface between businesses and consumers. In an increasingly mass-customized world, the body is the necessary ingredient for automating the personalized design and delivery of goods and services. The potential to realize such a big vision was the main factor that convinced the investors to write the check.

What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?

We expect to expand our marquee early adopter customers and plan to release an API so the developer community can begin building applications using our data and technology.

What advice can you offer companies in New York that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?


What’s the fastest-growing sector that’s using technology such as yours?

The fastest growing sectors that are using technology like ours include apparel and footwear design, fitness tracking and video gaming.

Where do you see the company going now over the near term?

Over the near term, we aim to expand the capabilities of our technology to enable the creation of more far-reaching applications.

What’s your favorite NYC spot when you want to give your body a rest?

Hmmm…pretty much any barstool, but only after a trip to Equinox.


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