Clothing returns costs retailers more than $11 billion globally each year, and is a particular problem for e-commerce shoppers. Fits.me — an Estonian-founded startup currently based in London — has developed some extremely innovative SaaS solutions to help consumers “try-before-they-buy,” but are still trying to crack the nut of scalability and efficiency.
The company closed a $7.2 million Series A round earlier this week, according to TechCrunch, and its “virtual fitting” products are already being used by Adidas, Avenue32, Boden, Hugo Boss, Pretty Green and many others. Its most high-end product, the “Virtual Fitting Room,” offers robot mannequins which can be adjusted to emulate different body shapes. Enterprise customers provide certain body measurements, and the mannequins are then dressed and photographed between 1,500 and 2,500 times, so shoppers have a variety of visualizations to make their decisions.
Capturing all the required data is a fairly complicated process which can cost a few hundred bucks — too much for smaller alternative apparel retailers, which leads to Fits.me’s second product, Fit Advisor, which compares body measurements to measurements taken directly from the clothes. This, of course, requires compiling a database for measurements of each retailer’s products, and may inherently be less accurate then the model-visualization of the “Virtual Fitting Room.” However, the two products are being used in conjunction fairly frequently by fast-fashion companies.
With the new funding round, the company plans to “aggressively” expand throughout Europe, as well as opening an NYC office.
Co-founder Heikki Haldre is reportedly very confident that the company will outlast its competitors — quite possibly because the robotic mannequins also double as virtual soldiers. We will provide updates on these lethal apparel-ninjas as we receive more information.