With social media and data transforming commerce, Paris-based Heuritech has raised $4.4 million to help clients in fashion and beauty stay abreast of rapidly changing tastes.
The company uses algorithms and computer vision to scan and analyze large volumes of images and text across the internet to understand trends as they emerge, mutate, and then vanish. With social media accelerating the rise and fall of mini-fads, companies are struggling to stay current in industries where falling behind can be fatal.
“It’s very difficult to understand the trends, because the trends move very quickly thanks to social media,” said Heuritech CEO Tony Pinville.
Founded in 2013, Heuritech is a good example of how AI and machine learning are filtering out to a broader range of non-tech industries. Social media, online sharing, and ecommerce are creating floods of data that require more robust tools for companies if they want to truly leverage these advances rather than get buried by them.
Pinville cofounded Heuritech with fellow machine learning PhD Charles Ollion. Pinville said for the first three years, the pair focused on finding use cases for the tools before stumbling into the fashion and luxury market.
The company began working more closely with France’s LVMH and eventually launched a product analytics platform in 2017. As it evolved and processed more data, the company also created a trends forecasting platform. That has brought them clients such as Louis Vuitton, Dior, and Adidas.
Today, Heuritech crunches 3 million images and videos daily. It can identify 2,000 details in an image, including such factors as patterns, products, shapes, and colors. This data is shared with product developers and marketers, who then use it in design decisions, Pinville said.
The platform’s data also helps companies make decisions in terms of purchasing, marketing, and stocking product by offering guidance about how far a trend might run and who might be receptive to it.
This year, the company also began expanding into the beauty segment. Pinville said the latest funding will help with its beauty push in terms of product development and growing marketing teams. The company currently has 40 employees.
The round included money from venture firms Elaia and Serena, as well as participation by Jimmy Choo CEO Pierre Denis and Coralie de Fontenay, former general manager of Cartier France.