Ottawa-born 3D commerce firm Threekit expands overseas with Paris, London offices

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A 3D-imaging company with roots in Ottawa is putting down seeds in Europe to serve overseas markets.

Threekit, which launched in Ottawa back in 2014, announced its expansion plans Thursday. The company will open offices in Paris and London to tackle markets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

The firm, which earlier this year landed a US$10-million investment from Silicon Valley venture capitalist Godard Abel, develops an e-commerce platform that allows clients to create three-dimensional, photorealistic renderings of their products for use online or in augmented reality.

Threekit’s headquarters are now in Chicago, but the firm was founded and is run locally by Ben Houston, a former Hollywood VFX developer. He realized his skills for rendering fantastic beasts onscreen could be repurposed for products such as furniture, which can be customized in full 3D on the Threekit platform. Houston told Techopia earlier this year that the ability to customize a couch online, from its colour to its fabric to its legs, can boost sales conversion rates.

“If you can show an image of the product that results from all of the options, it's a 20 to 40 per cent higher conversion rate, because they don't have to guess,” he said.

Threekit has recruited Franck Devaux, a former sales manager at Salesforce in France, to lead its EMEA operations.