Shoefitr, an early-stage technology company that helps online shoe shoppers find the right fit, has received $1.2 million in funding from Maryland-based Vital Financial and Pittsburgh investor network BlueTree Allied Angels. Innovation Works, a seed-stage investor in Pittsburgh-area startups, also participated in the round.
Shoefitr originated out of Carnegie Mellon University. The company’s list of customers include RunningWarehouse.com and Netshoes, the largest online footwear retailer in Brazil, among others. Shoefitr was part of the Winter 2010 AlphaLab session and has also received funding from Innovation Works, Blue Tree Allied Angels, and Vital Financial.
Shoefitr uses 3D scanning technology to scan the insides of shoes from various manufacturers. Each scan provides measurements pertinent to fitting a shoe to a foot. An online shopper finds a shoe he or she wants to buy and Shoefitr automatically compares the measurements of the shoe the customer currently wears to the correct size in the new shoe.
Returns of online shoe purchases are a huge downside of the industry — in 2008, one in three shoes purchased online was returned, costing retailers over $600 million in lost sales.