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Now, anyone can create AR/VR content, with zero coding knowledge

Founded in 2017, AR/VR startup Scapic positions itself as a company which can help businesses with all that is needed to market, sell and manage their products using tech enabled experiences. All this without knowing any coding.

, ET Online|
Updated: Dec 02, 2019, 11.22 AM IST
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Over 55 enterprises have been utilising the product, with strong adoption witnessed across industries such as ecommerce, marketing and media.
Hot Startups 2020
Earlier this year, the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas had a star attraction - pop icon Madonna performing her latest single ‘Medellin’. Not one, but five Madonnas graced the stage, one real and four digital avatars. The ‘real’ Madonna was accompanied by virtual avatars of a secret agent, musician, cha-cha instructor and bride in tow - all made possible by an Augmented Reality (AR) experience.

The avatars were not visible to the naked eye, but the use of AR for a live show presented a completely new dimension to the show. While AR makes interactive digital components a part of one’s environment such as the face filters on Snapchat and Instagram, Virtual Reality (VR) can transport someone to a virtual world where they can interact and feel a part of it all. Imagine exploring the Amazon forests in their entire expanse or being on the Golden Gate Bridge at this very moment through an unconventional VR experience that transcends geographical barriers.


With brands increasingly understanding the significance of innovative user engagement to cut across the clutter, AR & VR experiences could be more of a norm going forward than an exception.

And that is where startups such as Scapic are cashing in. Founded in 2017, AR/VR startup Scapic positions itself as a company which can help businesses with all that is needed to market, sell and manage their products using such tech enabled experiences. Helping users create and discover VR and AR experiences, it allows anyone to build such content without any knowledge of coding needed.

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Founders Sai Krishna VK and Ajay PV met earlier in Chennai and later on in the Bay Area when Krishna had completed his entrepreneurship studies at Stanford GSB and Ajay was working for San Francisco-based VR startup Gridraster Inc. Conversations soon veered towards ideating on the next wave of tech innovation. “Between Chennai and the San Francisco Bay Area, what remains constant is the number of south Indian restaurants to trade links about. Half serendipity and half cravings for a good dosa meant that conversations around startups became the main stake,” jokes Krishna while recounting their interactions back then.

As a cloud-based editor, the Scapic platform claims to offer a suite of dead simple tools needed to build one’s own experiences in VR/AR in a quick few minutes, without any coding or 3D expertise on the web browser. “It lets people create, share and explore immersive experiences. We are a platform for building Virtual/Augmented/ Mixed Reality content easily. It will help to build the SaaS foundations of the next iteration of the internet broadly called the Immersive Web,” asserts Krishna.

Immersive computing, he feels, will remove more of the abstractions between people and computers and is the inevitable next step in the arc of computing interfaces. “Instead of staring at screens or constantly checking our phones, we’ll simply exist in the real and virtual worlds around us,” avers Krishna.

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(Founders: Sai Krishna VK and Ajay PV)

The company foresees Scapic’s use for varied purposes -- presentations, product tours, sales tools, training, brand marketing experiences, promotional experiences and educational content among others.

Making room for deep tech
Scapic is trying to make inroads in an area that is still nascent in India - deep tech. It is still early days for the Indian ecosystem when it comes to deep tech startups, which primarily are those companies that rank high on scientific advances and breakthrough engineering innovation. Though a recent Nasscom report pegged an increase in deep tech startups with 18% of all startups in India now being deep tech compared to a mere 8% in 2014, industry experts feel that this still constitutes a very small percentage in the domain.

Krishna adds that building deep tech such as VR and AR is indeed a thorny challenge to solve in India. “We constantly found ourselves at the crossroads of a product-first approach versus distractive short-term benefits. Since Virtual and Augmented Reality aren’t evolved verticals yet, sometimes even the relatively simple engineering tasks would end up taking days to crack. It is almost like the wild west of technology, where there are very few norms and rules. It is liberating to try pioneering a new space, but daunting to bring your vision to life,” he says.

Currently the company is focused on building a SaaS layer for the deep tech products along with a key focus on ecommerce, and marketing. “We have already signed up a big beta list of customers to test the new product and are looking to double the number of businesses that have adopted the Scapic platform thus far in,” reveals Krishna.

As far as revenue streams are concerned, the company’s business model is a transactional SaaS platform where each brand pays for the bandwidth of usage for the product and how many customers benefit from the technology.

India market: AR or VR?
When it comes to the two forms of tech content, Scapic has seen a bigger uptick for AR content that is created on the platform since it does not require any new hardware and can work easily on one’s smartphone. VR, however, still sees niche use cases. In Krishna’s words, “Put on these goggles, go nowhere, and be transported anywhere.”

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However, since there is a headset constraint to get started, the use cases for it are specialised as yet. “In India, we have seen use cases across media, entertainment, marketing and commerce explode in the recent past for AR. With VR, we see specialised use cases in sales and training so far. We hope in a couple of device launch cycles globally, India too begins to adopt hardware much like USA as they have become versatile and accessible,” he adds, optimistic about what the future holds.

He, in fact, dubs India as one of the potential big markets for AR-based content in the times to come.

What next?
Last year the startup had raised $500,000 in seed funding from Axilor Ventures, Speciale Invest and Newfort Capital. Over 55 enterprises have been utilising the product, with strong adoption witnessed across industries such as ecommerce, marketing and media.

Expansion plans include setting up stronger presence and offices across San Francisco and NYC, with a stronger tech team to be hired.

Krishna says that immersive computing is much more than the latest gizmo or fad and rather is the genesis of a fundamentally new technology platform. “It is one that will change how we communicate, connect and exist. VR & AR are just its first manifestation. The last time we saw a shift like this was in the 1800s, with the invention of the fundamental technologies behind recording and broadcasting moving pictures and sound,” he reflects.

The 20 something founders are excited about the realities that will unfold in the not-so-distant future. Krishna feels they are at the cusp of a big cycle of tech change between 2020 – 2030 and are excited by the turn of things to come. He rattles off the jargon that is frequently heard in their company conversations. “At Scapic, we often say, VR can put you anywhere and AR can bring anything to you. They both give you superpowers,” he quips.

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