We recently spoke with Sophie Howe about her AI startup Xesto that uses user generated images to model your feet, finding the shoes that fit your feet best.
What is your business called and what does it do?
Xesto is an AI startup that built the first 3D foot sizing tool to allow customers to size themselves for shoes at home. Shoppers can share their size profiles with family and loved ones for easy gift and family purchasing. Now, not only can you buy yourself the best fitted shoe, but someone else can too!
What made you want to do this work?
I never shop for shoes online. Having to return an item because it didn’t fit is a huge hassle, so I limit what I order online. We know our phones are more powerful than ever, so why wouldn’t we use that tech to transform an industry?
What problem does this solve?
We reduce returns in the footwear industry. Returns have a high environmental cost – excess packaging, transportation and reverse logistics result in billions of pounds of landfill waste annually. This contributes to over 10 million metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere. The online footwear industry sees returns of approximately 40 per cent vs 8 per cent return rate in brick and mortar stores. Some brands dispose of up to 84 per cent of returned fashion items for reasons such as damaged packaging or minor cosmetic damage. Approximately 80 per cent of online returns are due to poor fit, making the lack of personalized sizing tools a leading sustainability problem in the fashion industry.
Who are your clientele/demographics?
Anyone with an iPhone with a FaceID camera who wears shoes!
How does your business make money? How does it work?
We integrate with shoe companies and charge according to how often the app is used.
Where in Toronto can we find your profession?
On the Apple App Store or on our website!
What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services? Give the answer as well.
How accurate is your tool?
Using Xesto’s proprietary fit technology and an iPhone with a FaceID camera, consumers are able to scan themselves at home using their smartphone, then shop online with no concerns of fit related returns. We extract hundreds of thousands of data-points to make recommendations from reconstructions with unmatched under 1.5 mm accuracy. Aside from us, the current standard is 3mm accuracy, which can sway a shoe size recommendation to be incorrect. We aim to replicate the in store shopping experience online.
What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst part?
Working in cutting edge technology is fascinating because I meet and am friends with so many people who will change the world. I work with amazing, brilliant people. The worst part is that there are only 24 hours in a day!
What is your favourite joke about your own profession?
What do you call 3 friends in Silicon Valley? A startup
PAY IT FORWARD: What is another Toronto business that you love?
De Mello coffee is my favourite local coffee joint.