Stuttgart-based autoRetouch claims to be the first image editor to automatically edit apparel images in bulk. Also, it is said to be the first-ever image editor to provide an automated ghost mannequin feature, which isn’t available on Photoshop right now. Now, this German AI-powered computer vision platform, focused on editing product images in bulk, has secured €3.2M funding.
Plans to focus on R&D
autoRetouch’s investment round was led by Breuninger, a 140-year-old European apparel retailer. With this investment, the company intends to expand its team of data scientists and engineers from a five to sixteen, double its R&D focus and build initial customer traction.
“We’re building a deeptech b2b platform adhering to a product design philosophy that results in a b2c-like product experience,” states, autoRetouch’s co-founder and CEO Alex Ciorapciu. “Very few other startups have built a similar level of R&D expertise in computer vision in such a short amount of time.”
“As a retailer in a very dense and competitive online market, we have recognised the importance of a good technological solution to significantly minimise the time between the photoshoot and getting the images on the product sales page,” says Holger Blecker, CEO Breuninger. “When we saw what the autoRetouch team could do with apparel images, we knew they were doing something that was previously thought impossible in image editing.”
AI-powered image editing
Founded by Alex Ciorapciu and Julian Eckerle, autoRetouch is an AI-powered image editing platform. It is touted to be more sophisticated than the existing image-editing standard available for fashion and lifestyle brands, creatives and retailers.
Usually, editing fashion and lifestyle product images is time-consuming and often unrewarding in creative terms. The use of outdated technology is considered the industry standard and results in a cumbersome editing process to retouch them at scale. As per the company, it takes 5 to 15 minutes for tasks ranging from removing background removal to basic skin retouching for any standard, non-creative edit of images featuring human models.
With the use of AI, autoRetouch removes background or retouches skin. It combines both the taskmaster and the tool in a single platform. Its API-first approach lets it work at any scale. Editing with the autoRetouch’s AI platform results in great product images easier, faster and cheaper than ever before despite any compromise on creative controls. Moreover, as there is no need to do repetitive tasks with AI, autoRetouch has let customers save up to 90 per cent of the cost than traditional methods.
Patent-pending tech available commercially
Besides its AI-powered imaging editing standard, autoRetouch has come up with its patent-pending Ghost Mannequin effect technology. Previously, this effect was only under preview. Now, this feature is available commercially for users. autoRetouch’s Ghost Mannequin AI, the one-click photography manipulation technology merges two images, and product and inlay shots, intelligently in seconds.
A majority of commercial fashion images use the ghost mannequin effect. With this effect, the model’s or mannequin’s body on which the product is displayed will be digitally edited from two different images to make them transparent or invisible.
All the features of autoRetouch are designed for self-service including the Ghost Mannequin feature. Users can create an autoRetouch account for free and try the service with up to 10 images. To edit additional images, users need to purchase credits available on a pay-as-you-go basis.
As of now, the cost of creating one ghost mannequin image is €0.50 +VAT. On the other hand, configurable workflows for model photography editing are available for €0.10 +VAT per image.