Shopping experiences, habits, processes, and generally anything related to the fashion industry are hard to sustain as it is constantly evolving. As a result of COVID-19, the world of fashion was not only halted but has now prevailed as being predominantly online-driven. With such a dramatic alteration that is only increasing as the days go on, customers not only want variety in styles, but also an inspiring and personalized digital experience that makes shopping for apparel easy, fun and social. Israeli startups are offering new remedies and touching upon old habits to combat issues of sustainability and access to maintain this fashion-forward environment. The companies listed below have established products that work in accordance with the plethora of issues that stem from the fashion industry- accurate sizing, retailer-consumer relations, merchandise access, and distribution opportunities.
Understanding fit and how an item will actually look on you has always been the most prominent issue when shopping online. Trying to replicate the usual in-store methods we have with being able to try clothes on is now hitting the fashion industry with much worse effects post-pandemic era. By touching upon their extensive military background in developing real-time technology, Israeli fashion hub ZeekIt has found the perfect remedy for the world of fashion. The company has developed the first dynamic virtual fitting room by taking body dimensions, fit, and the fabric of the garment to produce the most accurate fashion depiction for its users/ customers. The system has two functions: a digital stylist that allows brands to style outfits for social media marketing and personalized options, and a model customization platform where ZeekIt users can filter between countless models to find the one that best represents themselves. Zeekit uses its patented technology to map a person's image into thousands of segments offering them this easy, fun personalized digital experience.
ZeekIt was founded in 2014 by Yael Vizel (CEO), Alon Kristalm (CTO), and Nir Appleboim (VP of R&D) where the trio worked for seven years to revolutionize the fashion industry. In May 2021 ZeekIt was acquired by Walmart with hopes of delivering their already successful inclusive, immersive, personalized experience for Walmart’s diverse customer base. Before the acquisition, ZeekIt had raised $9 million from Angel Investors. ZeekIt has office locations in Tel Aviv and New York.
The metaverse is the “new mall.” Post-COVID-19, metaverses have prevailed as this inherent visual and social space that is used quite readily, yet brands and retailers are having a hard time catching up. Metaverses are gaining serious traction which is now prompting those in the fashion industry to initiate digital programs that hyperfocus on enhancing their content verticals. Israeli startup virtuality, fashion has developed an online fashion designing app that seamlessly integrates 3D prototyping into the product development process. Brands and retailers do not have to change how they work nor do they have to buy expensive clothing design software. The company’s system can transform any high-resolution 3D fashion simulation in a matter of hours which dramatically shortens the product development cycle and provides benefits not just for brands/retailers, but for their customers too.
Amnon Shalev (CEO) founded Virtuality.fashion in 2015.
Fashion industry experts have coined the term “shopstration,” to define the anger that is felt exclusively by shoppers who do not have the time nor the patience to browse through so many products when online shopping. For the 27% of users who are shopping online, there are not enough proper tools or methods that can be used to make this virtual experience seamless and successful. Israeli startup Donde Search has developed technology using computer vision to analyze hundreds of millions of products across the web which are then divided into clusters based on visual similarities and dissimilarities (i.e. texture, shape, style.) As the user selects attributes associated with that particular item (like a medium-length dress), the algorithm begins to narrow down dresses in the shop’s inventory one by one, just like you’d do in a store. Donde Search’s Saas platform is administering revolutionary aid for eCommerce sites in that they can now mimic the way their customers think about products as well as shortening purchasing time and improving user experience altogether.
Donde Search was founded in 2014 by Liat Zakay (CEO) and Shai Katzir (former CTO). The company had 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 enhance its retail expertise and gain more worldwide traction. The company is based in Tel Aviv and New York with a total of 16 employees.
Very few fashion industry software platforms are able to compensate both the consumer and the retailers when it comes to size selection methods. Ever since the existence of online shopping, consumers are not able to accurately measure how their item of choice will fit them, yet still buy the item regardless. In most cases, the consumer returns the item as it does not fit leaving the retailer with a huge mess; this is a vicious cycle in the fashion industry. Luckily though, 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 a store’s product page to display personal size recommendations to shoppers, as well as simultaneously increasing sales and reducing return costs for retailers. Additionally, the FirstLook SmartMirror is MySize’s interactive, mirror-like touch display that provides brands with customer enhancements regarding the online shopping experience. With the FirstLook SmartMirror, shoppers can also scan a barcode in-store and receive a size recommendation for the specific apparel item, via their MySizeID profile.
MySize is different from its competitors in that the company does not ask shoppers for their size, but rather tells them their size. MySize technology has paved cost-efficient, business-enhancing, customer-reliable systems for the fashion industry. The company was founded in 2014 by Ronen Luzon (CEO) and went public two years later via the NASDAQ stock exchange. MySize has raised $18.91 million so far from a plethora of various funding rounds. The company is based in Lod, Israel.
Now in this post-pandemic era, smaller businesses are going in two directions: toward success or towards termination. This strict reality is ruining traditional business platforms and developmental processes as the elements of sustainability have been dramatically altered. Israeli innovation has yet again prevailed as the saving grace though with the up-and-coming startup Spotango. Spotango has developed a data-driven marketplace connecting brands with relevant commercial spots through its STATION solution. With Spotango STATION, brands and retailers will finally have a place to sell products with the highest standards of retail and become part of this global community for online sale enhancements. The platform matches brands with retailers that are relevant to them and their products to establish this interconnected world of heightened retail. The STATION resembles “pop-up” store methods in that brands can book these spaces for merchandising and campaign initiatives according to 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 at Spotango’s STATION. From young and bold designers to renowned global brands from the fashion and lifestyle industries are using STATION to reach new industry mechanisms. Some of these brands include H&M, Billabong, Kiehls, Wrangler, and FjallRaven. Spotango is based in Tel Aviv and has created STATION locations in Dizengoff, Azrieli Mall, Shenkin, Jaffa Flea Market, Budapest, and DCITY (Arugot).
There is a serious disconnect between retailers and the merchandise they sell. Most retailers feel as though they are blind across the entire value chain as they only receive partial data on what is happening with their merchandise in real time. Without this vital information, retailers cannot match the right item with the right customer, nor can they simultaneously provide the outstanding experience customers are expecting. Israeli startup Nexite has blended the physical and digital channels of the fashion industry to deliver the first omnichannel experience, better known as Connected Merchandise. Nexite technologies have established the NanoBT which runs completely battery-free offering a continual stream of real-time data flowing from the merchandise itself. NanoBT is the first ever long-range communication technology that does not require scanning, guessing or manual anything. The Connected Merchandise platform is embedded into NanoBT’s infrastructure to provide automatic, immediate, and necessary information to enhance both the customer and retailer experience.
Nexite was founded in 2017 by Anat Shakedd (CEO) and Lior Shakedd (CTO). The two established Nexite on the premise that the company would automatically provide real-time insights and new digital capabilities that are pure retail fantasy. Over the years the company has raised $100 million with help from Pitango Venture Capital, Saban Ventures, Battery Ventures, Vertex Ventures Israel, and Intel Capital. Nexite is located in Tel Aviv, Israel and is geographically marketing towards the U.S. and other European locations.
Written by Leah Frey