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Business Observer Friday, Jun. 7, 2019 2 months ago

St. Pete tech firm makes French connection

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Marxent adds European flair to its suite of next-gen imagery services.

Marxent, a St. Petersburg-based tech firm that creates interactive virtual-reality displays for home furnishing retailers like Macy’s, has found a strategic partner in Europe.

Decod, headquartered in Paris, is a home décor digital agency that does business in an adjacent lane to Marxent. Whereas Marxent specializes in virtual reality and augmented reality for customer engagement purposes, Decod creates lifelike, 3D imagery for websites and catalogues — a service that can eliminate the need for expensive product photo shoots.

“We are more of a software shop and they’re more of a design and professional services organization,” says Beck Besecker, co-founder and CEO of Marxent. “They offer a set of services that are complementary to ours, and vice versa. It worked out perfectly.”

Marxent opened its first European office, in London, last year and had been preparing to expand to France and Spain when it crossed paths with Decod. Besecker characterizes the companies’ relationship as a “co-sales” agreement that boosts Marxent’s presence in Europe while giving Decod a foothold in the lucrative U.S. market.

Besecker says Marxent, which was founded in 2011 and has been backed financially by Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, had a “blind spot” when it came to turning out 3D models of furniture that could be used in lifestyle images commonly used in advertising and social media.

“It was a natural thing for people to ask us for,” he says. “But it’s something that we had avoided because it takes a different skill set, and it requires more people. Now we have a partner that fulfills that part of the stack. It gives us the chance to keep to our knitting while still keeping customers happy.”

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