Paracosma Inc. – Where Virtual Reality Meets with Business Reality
Written By- Kajal Dobhal
In its brand-new edition, Business Connect Magazine (BCM) presents the inside stories of a few most trusted AR/VR companies. One such company Paracosma Inc. is an AR/VR design, consulting and systems integration company that has made an exceptional mark in the relevant industry owing to its matchless services (content creation, application development, and project implementation).
In a virtual coffee session with our team, Ken Ehrhart, Founder & CEO, walked us through the company’s exclusive strategies to maintain the trust of its diverse clientele.
BCM: Please walk us through your company profile and offered products/services.
Ken Ehrhart: Paracosma is an Augmented and Virtual Reality Solutions Provider founded in 2016. We offer AR/VR Application Development as well as 3D Content Creation Services, including photo-realistic modeling, digital twin creation, and 360 video production and distribution. We currently have 75 employees across our US headquarters, Japan sales and technology office and Nepal development center.
BCM: Our Team has recognized Paracosma as one of the “10 Most Trusted AR/AR Companies 2021”, how do you view that selection?
Ken Ehrhart: As a Solutions Provider, our business is dependent on the success of our clients, on the success of the work we do for them. In this case, Trust refers to the Trust our clients place in us to solve their business problems and deliver our services at both the highest quality and most affordable pricing. We are honored that this recognition follows on from being recognized as one of the “10 Most Trusted AR/VR Companies in 2020” and one of the “20 Most Trusted AR/VR Companies 2019”. We would be disappointed if we were not meeting this standard of Trust consistently year after year.
BCM: Some might say “Trust” is a subjective term. How do you quantify and measure Trust?
Ken Ehrhart: We think the simplest way to measure customer trust is whether our clients become repeat customers. If they had a good experience with our company and the quality of our services, then they Trust that we will continue delivering on our promises and they continue as a customer. In 2018, 37% of our revenues came from repeat business with existing clients.
In 2019, 78% of revenues came from repeat business. And, in 2020, fully 97% of our business came from repeat business from existing customers. This expansion of repeat business has also been in the context of great growth. From 2019 to 2020, revenues from repeat business with existing customers increased 95%. We view this as a clear validation of the Trust our customers place in us.
BCM: That is remarkable. With a SAAS or other subscription business we expect to see client retention driving recurring revenue. But, it is exceptional to see a Services business in which such a high proportion of business is repeat business. Generally, it is thought that Services businesses reset to zero each year. What is your secret to growing recurring revenue?
Ken Ehrhart: Our success in growing recurring revenue comes from both the high value of our service, our high quality at low prices, but also the value, the return on investment (ROI) that our clients derive from AR, VR and other 3D solutions. As long ago as 2016, when we founded Paracosma, surveys showed that of the business enterprises that had tried AR or VR, all or virtually all of them intended to continue or increase their adoption.
We find this very much to be the case, that once clients see the value of AR/VR and 3D, they accelerate their use. Once our clients begin a successful proof of concept with us, they continue to a pilot and then full deployment. Also, demand for many of our services, such as 3D model creation is often an ongoing business requirement for our clients, it is not a one-time need. In some cases, our repeat-client business scales as fast as we can hire and train artists and engineers.
BCM: When commentators assess the health of the AR or VR Industry they often look at headset sales or hit video games. How do you view the health of the industry?
Ken Ehrhart: Years ago, I think we would have weighed some of the same factors. Even last year we saw supply-chain constraints at the start of the pandemic that reduced headset availability just when some hit games became available. Yet, by the end of 2020, the Oculus Quest 2 headset was recognized as a huge success and we have seen the Quest ecosystem expand with numerous hit games and apps. Yet, we have found our business propelled by a broader business trend. We find that businesses, technology and computing generally are undergoing a shift from 2D systems to 3D.
This is reflected across all industries. From 3D printing to self-driving cars, most sectors are enabled by moving to 3D computing. Similarly, part of our business is replacing traditional studio photography with renders of photo-realistic 3D models and entire scenes made from those models. This produces a huge ROI completely independent of the adoption of AR and VR. We are also using 3D game engines to create simulations of the real world, so we can generate synthetic images and videos for training machine-vision deep learning AI (artificial intelligence). We see business and growth opportunities well beyond AR and VR headset adoption.
BCM: How do these big changes in technology impact client Trust?
Ken Ehrhart: Every potential client has a preconceived idea of AR and VR. Often that image or vision is beyond what current technology is capable of. From our earliest customer conversations we find ourselves assessing whether or not the customer’s vision is possible. Can it be achieved with existing technology? Is it theoretically possible but needs to be developed? Will it need to wait for future innovations? Being honest about what is possible, allows us to join with our clients on a journey.
We can deliver what is possible today as well as plan a roadmap that encompasses their full vision in the future. This also becomes the foundation for long-term repeat-business relationships, because that journey plays out over time. Similarly, we are constantly striving to innovate and push the limits of what is possible technologically, because we want to improve upon and expand upon what we have already done for our clients. We want to advance with them to the next better way of doing things.
BCM: Customer Trust is built over time. What is your value proposition for first-time clients?
Ken Ehrhart: Because of our large team and 5 years of experience, we really offer a one-stop shop for AR, VR and 3D services such as modeling. We can create good looking models of food as well as the AR application to display the models to clients ordering in a restaurant. We can offer a machine maintenance AR application that seamlessly displays 3D spatial information.
We can go from concept to realization for a 3D communications app. We can deliver a three-day, three-venue international film festival in VR as well as Virtual office campuses. And, no matter what service we are delivering each client will know that our goal is their long-term success, because we seek to have their repeat business over many years and many projects.
BCM: What is your advice for new companies and entrepreneurs just starting out? How do they build Trust?
Ken Ernhrst: Customers want to be treated with respect. Begin with Trusting your clients. Trust that they can understand the technology options and participate in choosing the best solution for their problem. Trust that they can understand why each service requires the time or money commitment you specify. Be clear about what is or is not possible. Then deliver on your promises. Clients who have found success in working with you will want to continue to build on that success, both for their business and yours. Our clients want us to be successful because they recognize that the stronger we grow the more effective we can be in meeting their needs.