Do you think that buying shoes online is frustrating? Just using your smartphone as a scanner, FitFully creates a 3D foot model which compares to various shoe brands, industry manufacturing standard CAD/CAM and geographic sizes to provide consumers a unique shoe buying experience. This technology will be embedded in existing retailers’ channels and has been developed by a team based in Israel. We interviewed Roy Tertman, co-founder and CMO.
Question. What’s your background, what did you do before FitFully? What about the rest of the co-founders?
Answer. I have mentored various startup accelerators and have spent more than 10 years in global high-tech as mobile internet technical and marketing consultant. I founded Kupoya in 2011, which was acquired in 2013. As for my colleagues, Gadi managed the business development and innovation dept. at CheckPoint. and was the 1st employee at @Altor (acquired by Juniper), though his real passion is operating Zion Skateboards, his baby, a fully Israeli skateboarding company; Jeremy, PhD. at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Computer Vision, wrote 2 patents, one of them saves lives at every Honda car; Batia managed the business development at SKY for 7 years, and 4 startups were under her hands, apart from being a successful glass sculptor.
Q. As a concept FitFully seems fairly simple but very complex from the technical point of view. How did you come up with this idea? In which stage is the project at the moment?
A. Well, Gadi has been a professional skater for around 20 years. As a skater he has to go through a lot of shoes! (a lot!) and he found frustrating having to switch between brands of shoes, because of the styles (not sizes) of shoes. Now you would think only skaters or athletes have this problem. But I do too. As we know you are frustrated from this as well. Literally anyone has this problem, and when you put it together with the simple fact that everyone buys online today, something doesn’t add up!
Right now we have nearly completed the foot scan technology. This was hard as we had to take into consideration automation, user errors, and stuff such as scale. Luckily of course, we have Dr. Jeremy. The scan is crucial and needs to be limited to as fewer false-positives as possible.
We have nearly completed our seed round and received a grant from Israeli Chief Scientist Office for startups.
Q. What’s your business model? Are your potential clients the large online retailers such as Zappos, Zara or Amazon? Any remarkable competitors?
A. Competitors exist of course, but the thing with competitors is that you have to figure out where you differentiate as product, company, team and business outlook to better position yourself. And I believe we have done so successfully…
We don’t intent to sell shoes online but rather operate in a SaaS model. This allows us to focus on the technology and the product, the implementation with online retailers will also be made by us as a set APIs.
We have a few partners mostly in Europe. We want to tackle Zappos when we’re kicking asses!
Q. In your opinion, what are FitFully main strength and weakness?
A. Our main strength is the team! And I will say that again – team! Each of us has had a startup from beginning to end and is well experienced in his or her field.
Our weakness is that this is not conventional development. There are a lot of moving parts and computer vision (our tech field) is never 100%. There is patenting involved as well and hardware development; this puts us off to “early exit strategy” investors.
Q. Now you’re focusing on footwear, however, would the same technology be applicable to other products, like tailored clothes? Is it too soon to think about this?
A. It is never too soon to think about road map and where you want to be. We have considered it, and that’s why we have actually changed the name from FootWare to Fit Fully as we want to develop more virtual fit technologies in the future. But yes, focus is everything for startups, especially early-stage ones, and now we focus on shoes.
Q. How is a normal day for you and FitFully like?
A. Calls, emails, sync meetings, development meetings, calls, emails, marketing meetings, investors relations. Honestly the calls could be more efficient by 50% if we weren’t kidding around so much and debating stuff such as Batia’s art, Gadi’s skateboarding, my new baby, or Jeremy’s philosophical views… We also argue a lot, all for the good of the product.
Q. Israel’s startup ecosystem is meant to be one of the most developed worldwide, would you agree with this?
A. I will say this, today, when you are approaching an investor who is not from Israel, and introduce yourself as someone from Israel, you automatically get his attention, as they know. They all know 🙂
Find out more about FitFully: