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Time for a manicure? Israeli startup’s 3D imaging, AI has got your nails covered

Nimble says its home-use machine scans fingers, applies polish and dries nails in 10 minutes per hand; users need to buy the color capsules

Shoshanna Solomon is The Times of Israel's Startups and Business reporter

Israeli startup Nimble says it has created a home-use machine for manicures (Jordan Kastrinsky)
Israeli startup Nimble says it has created a home-use machine for manicures (Jordan Kastrinsky)

Israeli startup Nimble has developed a machine that gives users a manicure through the use of artificial intelligence and 3D image processing technologies.

The firm said this week it has raised $10 million in seed funding led by venture capital firms Entrée Capital and LionBird.

IBI Tech fund, Aristagora VC and private investors, including Allot founder Yigal Yaacobi, InnerActive founder Ziv Elul, and Moovit co-founder Nir Erez also participated in the round, the company said.

The automatic machine can paint and dry the nails on one hand in 10 minutes, the company said in a statement. Users insert their hand into a small window on the side of a box-like device, which scans the hands and identifies the structure of the nails. A series of algorithms then activates a small robotic arm that autonomously paints them: it first applies a base, then two coats of nail polish, then a top coat. Flowing hot air then dries the nails completely.

The Nimble team in Tel Aviv, May 2021 (Jordan Kastrinsky)

Users select a color, insert the nail polish capsules provided by the company into a dedicated compartment in the machine, insert their fingers and press a button.

Once customers buy the product, the company will provide them with software updates and, most importantly, nail polish capsules, in a business model similar to that of the Nespresso coffee-making capsule machines.

The startup is targeting is a whopping $120 billion market that has yet been untouched by technology, the company said.

Founded in 2016 by Omri Moran, its CEO; Ron Miller, VP of Technology; and Avichai Mor-Yosef, VP of R&D, the idea for Nimble came from Moran, who was kept waiting for a date by the woman who would become his future wife, because her manicure was delayed.

“When I asked her why she was delayed for so long, she explained that the reason was her manicure,” Moran said. And even then, she couldn’t complete the manicure as she had to rush out for the date, he said.

The firm employs 12 people in Tel Aviv and New York and is looking to employ additional workers to increase the marketing scope of its product.

Moran and Miller in 2014 set up and sold their location technology startup KitLocate to Russian-Dutch firm Yandex NV, becoming the multinational’s R&D center in Israel. Mor-Yosef is a former manager of the R&D department of HP Indigo, a division of HP Inc, where he developed digital printing-based products.

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