Shopping experiences, habits, processes and generally everything related to the fashion industry are hard to keep up with as they are constantly evolving. As a result of COVID-19, the fashion world has not only been brought to a standstill, but has now prevailed as mostly online. With such dramatic changes only increasing by the day, customers want not only a variety of styles, but also an inspiring and personalized digital experience that makes shopping for clothes easy, fun and social. Israeli startups are offering new solutions and touching old habits to fight sustainability issues and approach to maintain this fashion environment. The companies listed below have introduced products that work in harmony with a number of issues that arise from the fashion industry – accurate sizing, retailer-consumer relationships, access to merchandise and distribution options.
Understanding the fit and how the item will actually look on you has always been the most important concern when shopping online. Trying to emulate the usual in-store methods we have when we can try on clothes has now hit the fashion industry with far worse consequences in the post-pandemic era. Israeli fashion hub ZeekIt found the perfect cure for the fashion world by tapping into their extensive military background in real-time technology development. The company has developed the first dynamic virtual dressing room by taking body measurements, fit and fabric of clothing to create the most accurate representation of fashion for its users/customers. The system has two functions: a digital stylist that allows brands to style clothing for social media marketing and personalized options, and a model customization platform where ZeekIt users can filter through countless models to find the one that best represents them. Zeekit uses its patented technology to map a person’s image into thousands of segments and offer them this easy and fun personalized digital experience.
ZeekIt was founded in 2014 by Yael Vzel (CEO), Alon Kristalm (CTO) and Nir Appleboim (VP R&D), where the trio spent seven years working to revolutionize the fashion industry. In May 2021, ZeekIt was acquired by Walmart with the hope of providing its already successful inclusive, immersive and personalized experiences to Walmart’s diverse customer base. Before the acquisition, ZeekIt raised $9 million from Angel Investors. ZeekIt has offices in Tel Aviv and New York.
Metaverse is the “new shopping mall”. Post-Covid-19, meta versions have taken over because of this inherent visual and social space that is quite easy to use, but hard for brands and retailers to catch up with. Metaverses are gaining serious traction, which is now forcing those in the fashion industry to initiate digital programs that hyper-focus on improving their content verticals. Israeli virtuality startup fashion has developed an online fashion design app that seamlessly integrates 3D prototyping into the product development process. Brands and retailers don’t need to change the way they operate or buy expensive apparel design software. The company’s system can transform any high-resolution 3D fashion simulation within hours, significantly shortening the product development cycle and benefiting not only brands/retailers, but also their customers.
Amnon Shalev (CEO) founded Virtuality.fashion in 2015.
Fashion industry experts have coined the term “shopstration” to define the anger felt exclusively by shoppers who don’t have the time or patience to browse through so many products when shopping online. For 27% of users who shop online, there aren’t enough appropriate tools or methods to use to make this virtual experience seamless and successful. Israeli startup Donde Search has developed technology that uses computer vision to analyze hundreds of millions of products across the web, which are then grouped based on visual similarities and differences (i.e. texture, shape, style). As the user selects attributes associated with that (like a mid-length dress), the algorithm begins to narrow down the dresses in the store’s inventory one by one, just as you would in a store. Donde Search’s Saas platform manages to revolutionize e-commerce sites in that they can now mimic the way their customers think about products, as well as shorten the time to purchase and improve the overall user experience.
Donde Search was founded in 2014 by Liat Zakay (CEO) and Shai Katzir (former CTO). The company raised $6.5 million with investments from UpWest, AfterDox, Matrix Partners, Waze, Mobileye, AliExpress and Google. In November 2021, Donde Search was acquired by Shopify to strengthen its retail expertise and gain global traction. The company is based in Tel Aviv and New York and has a total of 16 employees.
Very few fashion industry software platforms are able to compensate both consumers and retailers when it comes to sizing methods. Ever since online shopping has existed, consumers have not been able to gauge exactly how their chosen item will fit them and still buy it anyway. In most cases, the consumer returns the item because it doesn’t fit, leaving the retailer with a huge mess; it’s a vicious cycle in the fashion industry. Fortunately, Israeli startup MySize has developed a unique, patented sensor-based measurement technology that captures and calculates a consumer’s exact measurements. MySizeID offers SDK (Software Development Kit) integration for the store’s product page to display personal size recommendations for shoppers while increasing sales and reducing return costs for retailers. In addition, FirstLook SmartMirror is a MySize interactive mirror touchscreen that provides brands with customer-friendly enhancements to online shopping. With FirstLook SmartMirror, customers can also scan a barcode in-store and get a size recommendation for a specific clothing item through their MySizeID profile.
MySize differs from its competitors in that the company does not ask shoppers their size, but rather tells them their size. MySize technology has prepared cost-effective, commercial and customer-reliable systems for the fashion industry. The company was founded in 2014 by Ronen Luzon (CEO) and two years later went public through the NASDAQ stock exchange. MySize has so far raised $18.91 million from a plethora of different funding rounds. The company is based in Lod, Israel.
Now in this post-pandemic era, smaller businesses are headed in two directions: to succeed or to exit. This harsh reality is destroying traditional business platforms and development processes as elements of sustainability have changed dramatically. Once again, Israeli innovation has come to the rescue, albeit with up-and-coming startup Spotango. Spotango has developed a data-driven marketplace that connects brands with relevant commercial spots through the STATION solution. With Spotango STATION, brands and retailers will finally have a place to sell products with the highest retail standards and become part of this global community to improve online sales. The platform connects brands with retailers that are relevant to them and their products, creating this connected world of elevated retail. STATION resembles pop-up store methods in that brands can reserve these spaces for merchandising and campaign initiatives based on their needs, budget and location.
Spotango was founded in 2018 by Daniel Shoshani (CEO) and Bashan Gdalyahu (CMO). Over the past four years, more than 600 brands have launched programs and initiatives on Spotango’s STATION. From young and daring designers to renowned global brands from the fashion and lifestyle industries, STATION is used to achieve new industrial mechanisms. Some of these brands include H&M, Billabong, Kiehls, Wrangler and FjallRaven. Based in Tel Aviv, Spotango has created STATION stations in Dizengoff, Azrieli Mall, Shenkin, Jaffa Flea Market, Budapest and DCITY (Arugot).
There is a serious disconnect between retailers and the goods they sell. Most retailers feel as if they are blind to the entire value chain because they only get partial real-time data about what is happening to their goods. Without this vital information, retailers can’t match the right item with the right customer, or simultaneously deliver the superior experience customers expect. Israeli startup Nexite has combined the physical and digital channels of the fashion industry to provide the first omnichannel experience, better known as Connected Merchandise. Nexite Technologies has created the NanoBT, which runs completely without batteries and offers a continuous stream of real-time data flowing from the goods themselves. NanoBT is the first ever long-range communication technology that does not require scanning, guesswork or anything manual. The Connected Merchandise platform is built into NanoBT’s infrastructure to provide automatic, instant and essential information to improve both customer and retailer experiences.
Nexite was founded in 2017 by brothers Anat (CEO) and Lior Shakedd (CTO). The two founded Nexite on the premise that the company would automatically deliver real-time information and new digital features that were pure retail fantasy. Over the years, the company has raised $67 million with the help of Pitango Venture Capital, Saban Ventures, Battery Ventures, Vertex Ventures Israel and Intel Capital. Nexite is located in Ramat Gan, Israel and geographically focuses on the US and other European locations.
Written by Leah Frey