raises €1.3 million, lets you try on clothes before you buy – on the Web, the Estonian biorobotics and virtual fitting room company for e-commerce clothing retailers and shoppers, has secured a Series B round of financing to the tune of €1.3 million. The round was led by the Estonian Development Fund and brings’s total funding to €2.6 million. co-founder and CEO Heikki Haldre says virtual fitting rooms are what online apparel retailers need to be able to compete with traditional brick-and-mortar clothing shops, as they aim to remove the biggest barrier to buying sweaters, shirts and whatnot on the Web: the fact that you cannot try them on prior to purchase.

By mimicking the tactile offline shopping experience online, Web retailers could well be able to significantly reduce apparel returns and increase sales by allowing online shoppers to see
clothes on a robotic mannequin with the exact dimensions of the buyer’s body via such a virtual fitting room, argues.

The startup does this by using robotic mannequins with artificial muscles that can simulate the shape and size of any body type. claims the biorobotics and scientific algorithms that were needed to produce the mannequins are capable of having them shift into nearly 100,000 different types of body shapes.’s Virtual Fitting Room solution is currently available for men only, but the company plans to launch a women-compliant offering by the end of 2010.

(Disclosure: won the Plugg startup competition this year – I organize the conference but hold no financial interest in the company).