By Erika Racicot, Slyce co-founder and COO
Elevator Pitch: Slyce is an advanced visual product search platform that allows users to identify and instantly purchase items they see in the real world—simply by taking a picture with their smartphone.
Slyce will exist as both an independent consumer app and a white label solution which can be integrated into existing retailer technologies.
Using advanced visual recognition technology available both on smartphones as well as through a desktop application, Slyce is enabling retailers to be there at a consumer’s exact point of interest—whether that be after seeing something they love while out and about, or while viewing items contained in images on their favorite social sharing sites.
Ultimately, Slyce is disrupting when-and-how retailers interact with consumers, and the ways in which consumers search for and purchase goods.
I guess intrinsically, entrepreneurs look at life and businesses with an eye to improving and creating better ways for things to be done. During the holiday shopping season of 2011, we saw the dramatic emergence of the smartphone not only as a tool for consumers to directly purchase goods, but as a highly efficient way for people to share with their friends and followers things they love through posting images.
We asked ourselves the ‘what if’: “What if we could enable people to find and instantly buy the things they love simply through images, and what if we could take retailers to that holy grail of engaging with people at the exact moment they are inspired to buy?”
I am a co-founder at Slyce, along with my partner Cameron Chell. Cameron is considered one of the original founders of the Application Service Provider industry, and founded the original cloud computing company, FutureLink. He also recently co-founded space tech startup UrtheCast, which in 2014 will stream live, HD video footage of the Earth from the ISS. He is, therefore, used to bringing big ideas to life!
Together, we also co-founded venture-creation firm Business Instincts Group.
Slyce had originally formed as a consumer technology company, and while that consumer-focused element of the product still exists, the company has pivoted to service a considerable B2B market. The Slyce marketing drive is currently primarily centered around building partnerships and relationships with leading consumer brands, and providing our technology as an adaptable white-labeled m-commerce solution. To that end, the brand marketing is largely focused on establishing, building, and strengthening relationships with tier-one retail brands.
With Slyce, our market opportunity is undoubtedly immense. M-commerce through smartphones has become a major flow of revenue and a primary consideration for retailers—mobile shopping accounted for 39 percent of all online traffic during this holiday season.
By creating a seamless and intuitive way for consumers to discover and purchase the things they fall in love with, wherever they are, simply though snapping pictures, we make the journey from impulse to ownership simple and painless.
For retailers, the Slyce technology enables them to be there at that point of inspiration and fulfill their customers’ needs, wherever they might be. This is undoubtedly a compelling and attractive proposition.
At Slyce, we recognized that just being good at visual search wasn’t enough in the marketplace. We wanted to push the envelope further, and the most difficult step is taking users from discovery to purchase. That difficult step is our specialty, whether Slyce is appearing as the technology that powers a retailer search application or as an independent consumer app, finding users what they are looking for and enabling purchases is what sets us apart.
We primarily take advantage of two different revenue streams in order to push our business forward. We play on both sides of the business fence, taking both a consumer standpoint and as an enterprise solution. Slyce works with enterprise clients to offer a white label visual search and purchase platform for their mobile and ecommerce needs.
Our team is expanding! Our needs over the next few months will be HR- and development-related. We’re looking for people in Toronto and Calgary, specifically to work in our development team. Right now, we’re looking for a great database engineer and some more people with experience in machine vision and machine learning.
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Founders: Erika Racicot, Cameron Chell
Investors: Private investors
Year Founded: 2012