Volumental’s mission is to transform the footwear industry, enabling a completely personalized experience in fitting and finding the perfect footwear. Below is our recent interview with Ingrid Bonde Åkerlind, VP Marketing at Volumental:
Q: How long have you been working on Volumental and where did the idea come from?
A: Volumental is 5 years old. Back when our cofounder Alper Aydemir was finishing his PhD in artificial intelligence and computer vision at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden, he shared his research online. The response was phenomenal, and the idea for a company that could deliver accurate 3D scanning into the world was born. A founding team – Alper Aydemir, Rasmus Göransson, Miroslav Kobetski, and Caroline Walerud – came together and in December 2012, Volumental was born. The team recognized the difficulties people have in finding appropriate footwear and set their sights on revolutionizing the way we buy footwear.
Q: You have recently raised SEK12M, could you tell us more about your recent funding round?
We welcomed Dutch Forward VC as a new investor, along with long-time advisors Sting and Walerud Ventures, based here in Stockholm. Current investor Moor Capital also reinvested.
Vince Wols from Forward VC has been a very active and helpful advisor already.
We have seen strong growth through our own capital. We took in additional funding in order to further accelerate sales and marketing. The money will be used for this purpose, as well as building out a product in e-commerce.
Q: Your customer base – is it within specific industries at the moment?
A: We’re a partner for the footwear retail industry.
Q: What is your differentiator? What can you do that the competition can’t?
We are known for putting the shopper and store staff in focus in our product design. Designing a compelling, fun scanner and software is a win-win as it delights shoppers, which in turn creates that relationship between store and customer, which in turn drives sales. Here’s on CEO on this point : “The future of retail revolves around creating personalized, immersive experiences for customers in stores that transition to an omnichannel relationship. Shopping in store should be a delightful experience. To make sense for both consumer and retailer, retail technology solutions need to provide great user experiences and business value.”
In addition, our Fit Engine uses state-of-the-art technology to give individual and personalized fitting recommendations. Scan a shopper, and the Fit Engine will automatically rank the shoes currently in stock according to how well they fit that shopper.
Q: How do you see the future of Volumental?
A: We want to continue building the best products for the footwear industry to help them better serve their customers