DressX, a digital fashion house that specializes in virtual and augmented reality wearables, has secured $15 million in Series A funding to further expand its product offerings, the company announced on Tuesday. The funding round was led by European crypto investment firm Greenfield Capital, with participation from Slow Ventures, Warner Music, The Artemis Fund, and Red DAO, the digital fashion collective.
FLASH NEWS⚡️: @dressxcom announces the successful raise of USD 15 million Series A round 🚀
— DRESSX (@dressxcom) March 14, 2023
Despite being in operation for less than three years, DressX is considered one of the oldest and most established players in the rapidly evolving, metaverse-oriented economy of digital wearables. The company designs virtual fashion items that can be worn by virtual avatars both on-chain, as NFTs, and off-chain, as skins in non-blockchain-based gaming ecosystems. DressX also creates augmented reality (AR) outfits that real-life users can wear as filters on social media platforms.
Since its inception in August 2020, DressX has sought to prioritize mass adoption over strict adherence to decentralized principles, positioning itself on both sides of Web3 discourse. The company has been able to successfully straddle both sides of the divide, despite ruffling feathers within the tightly-knit digital fashion ecosystem when it partnered with tech colossus Meta last July. Critics contended that DressX was aligning itself with the greatest opponent of, and obstacle to, an open, decentralized metaverse. However, the company’s founders argued that their aim was to bring digital fashion to the largest audience possible.
DressX’s decision to partner with Meta may have been a wise move, given that the blockchain-backed metaverse enthusiasm has cooled considerably in the face of technological hurdles and the grueling bear market. Just yesterday, Meta announced plans to wind down support for NFTs on its platforms, axing a Web3-supportive initiative launched less than a year ago. DressX’s Horizon World offerings, which do not live on the blockchain, were unaffected by the announcement.
DressX’s primary use case, thus far, has been social media. Users have been able to wear AR digital dresses in Instagram photos or virtual hats in front-facing videos. Such applications don’t require blockchain compatibility and sometimes preclude it. While DressX will continue to offer digital outfits compatible with the blockchain, the company may stop calling those items NFTs. In fact, many of the company’s top sellers have nothing to do with crypto.
Despite DressX’s use of blockchain technology, the company’s founders are keen to emphasize that they are utilizing different technologies to bring their vision of digital fashion to life. They point to artificial intelligence as another key technology that will enable the company to offer new features and products in the near future. Next month, DressX plans to roll out a beta version of a program that, aided by AI, will allow users to quickly throw digital outfits onto large quantities of photos or video in a manner that significantly speeds up the process of adjusting AR fashion pieces to different real-world physical environments.
DressX’s $15 million funding round will enable the company to scale and expand, particularly on the technical side. The company may have found a way to insulate itself from the connotations currently tainting the perception of NFTs and the metaverse, as well as market forces. In December, Warner Music, one of Tuesday’s funding round investors, tapped DressX to begin designing digital outfits for the label’s artists and those artists’ fans. This partnership, another with a major Web2 brand, featured no discernible tokenized characteristics.