It was one of the surprises of the 2022 edition of the General Staff of the VO (EMVO). The Meero company has just founded a team to fully enter the used vehicle photography market. The ambition is to dislodge the leaders.
CarCutter by Meero applies artificial intelligence to automatic photo cropping.
To those who thought that the positions were fixed, they could well be mistaken. The market for 360° photography of used vehicles has just seen the arrival of a new competitor. By founding a division specific to the automobile, the French group Meero is showing its ambitions.
His presence was a surprise to the Staff of the VO (EMVO), on May 18, 2022. But his stand did not fail to attract attention and visitors. The meeting of Automotive Journal having served as a kick-off for the French group which intends to come and shake up the players in place.
But who is Meero? “We are a world expert in photography and we apply our method to various verticalsExplain Julien Rebaudthe co-founder and CEO France. We started as a platform for connecting with professional photographers and later added a layer of technology for retouching.”
Thanks to three successive fundraisers of 15 million, then 45 million and 250 million euros, the French company obtained the means to make acquisitions. Among the investments made, there was the acquisition at the start of 2022 of CarCutter, an Austrian company which publishes a solution for clipping vehicle photos.
“We chose this file because we wanted a player recognized on the international scene and whose level of sophistication legitimately allows us to canvass used vehicle distributors”, explains Julien Rebaud, during a meeting at Meero’s Paris headquarters.
As a replacement for studios
Now, on the strength of this technical base, he has set up a dedicated unit, the reins of which have been entrusted to Fanny Servoin, former collaborator of the Auto1 group. Around her, profiles with proven commercial skills have gathered. They then began to present the CarCutter by Meero solution to major dealers, manufacturers, rental companies and infomediaries as a priority.
The argument is based on the technical dimension. “Photographing a vehicle takes time. We have therefore opted for integrating the technology into smartphones in the form of a very simple application. In addition, distributors no longer want to devote tens of thousands of euros to the creation of a studio“, supports Julien Rebaud.
Demonstration in support, Fanny Servoin illustrates the point. In less than a minute, the sales manager of the automotive branch walked around a used vehicle to take 8 shots which instantly generated a 360° view. “At the request of the client, we integrate or create any background, then we immediately transfer the file to the DMS“, she presents the continuation of the course of use.
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Meero contracts are negotiated on a yearly basis and calculated according to the potential volume of vehicles. The price should be limited to 6 euros per unit per month on average. This includes access to the solution and the provision of touch-ups by specialists whenever needed. Indeed, if the artificial intelligence does a very good job, a team is still able to intervene on details that matter within 5 hours of the shooting.
CarCutter by Meero is currently concentrating on its core business. “We know that a well-processed photo gives more confidence to Internet users and generates 52% more clicks“, reports Julien Rebaud. But it will quickly be necessary to find a way to offer damage detection. “An imperative“, admits the DG. For the moment, the solution allows at least to indicate the “spots” for the sake of transparency to invite prospects to zoom in.
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Meero founds an automotive division to shake up 360° photography
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