Williams-Sonoma, Inc. acquires AR 3D imaging startup Outward for $112M

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Furniture and kitchenware giant Williams-Sonoma, Inc. (WSI) is acquiring augmented reality startup Outward in an all-cash deal for $112 million. The furniture mega-brand, which operates stores like Williams Sonoma, Pottery Barn, West Elm and others, will be using the startup’s 3D imaging tech to “enhance and extend its high-touch customer service platform,” the company says.

Outward, founded in 2012, works similarly to many other furniture visualization startups, capturing 3D information about partner products then allowing consumers the ability to see exactly what the product they want looks like, changing things like the object’s color or pattern while checking it out from every angle. The team has experimented heavily with things like augmented reality and VR visualization.

The San Jose, Calif. startup raised $11.5 million over two rounds from Merus Capital according to Crunchbase.

“Outward brings proprietary and transformative technology at the forefront of our industry, and we welcome them to WSI,” Williams-Sonoma CEO Laura Alber said in a statement. “We are excited to own and collaborate in the further development of Outward’s technology that enables applications in product visualization, digital room design, and augmented and virtual reality.”

The company is going to function as a subsidiary of WSI and will retain its current brand while continuing to be led by co-founder and CEO Clarence Chui. The all-cash deal is expected to close at the end of this calendar year, the company says.