South Florida Tech HubSouth Florida Tech Hub

By Nikki Cabus

Ft. Lauderdale’s FIT:MATCH honored as high impact tech startup in the international The Lead 100 List 2023

Read Time 5 Minutes

The Leading 100 List 2023, the highly anticipated international annual research list recognizing innovative tech start-ups driving the future of brand-to-consumer has been announced and the local Ft. Lauderdale-based FIT:MATCH has made the list.

FIT:MATCH is a ‘Digital Twin Matching Platform’ for B2B apparel brands enabling them to match their customers with the best-fitting products. The company’s patented algorithms derive a shopper’s 3D body shape, or “digital twin,’ using augmented reality and LIDAR-powered devices, to make personalized product recommendations in hard to fit categories. FIT:MATCH is designed to eliminate brands’ and consumers’ questions about fit in order to drive conversion and loyalty, while reducing returns.

The Leading 100 List, produced by The Lead, recognizes high impact technology start-ups that are transforming the direct-to-consumer business model and driving business value for brands as well as retailers. These young companies are venture capital funded and predominantly in their seed or series A round of financing. The Leading 100 companies are solving business problems, powering growth, and helping brands deliver on customer expectations through innovative, accessible, and powerful technology solutions. All companies were vetted and selected using a rigorous methodology which measured Innovation, Business Impact, Commercialization & Customers, Teams & Experience, Competition, Media Buzz, and Investor Value Creation. Company data was collected via a combination of CEO interviews, company nomination data, and publicly available market data.

FIT:MATCH, the digital twin platform, recently partnered with disruptor brand Savage X Fenty, in collaboration with Intel to launch the next generation of its award-winning, patented body shape technology. The product, dubbed Fit Xperience, gives shoppers the opportunity to get scanned in an in-store fitting room using Intel’s RealSense technology and the Intel Distribution of OpenVINO toolkit.

Within seconds, customers are matched with the best-fitting Savage X styles based on their exact body shape. This first-of-its-kind experience is available exclusively at Savage X Fenty retail stores, debuted at its new Lenox Square Mall location in Atlanta, Georgia in February.

This new experience weaves together augmented reality, computer vision and artificial intelligence, creating a re-imagined in-store fitting room experience. Shoppers who take part in Fit Xperience step into the fitting room where Intel RealSense depth sensors create an anonymized avatar based on their exact body shape. The technology then compares the shopper’s body to the database of digital twins (bodies that have been scanned previously), and – with an AI assist from Intel OpenVINO – recommends the best-fitting products to the shopper. By using depth sensors, and not cameras, to generate a mapping of a shoppers’ shape, FIT:MATCH has ensured the entire experience is both safe and private, with no videos and pictures taken or stored. The process is also extremely fast — it takes less than 30 seconds from beginning to end — saving time, both for the shoppers and the store associates.

Savage X Fenty closed a strategic investment in FIT:MATCH last year to accelerate expansion of the AR-powered technology, which solves the fit challenge that has long plagued brands and consumers by utilizing body shape data rather than just standard measurements.

This is the type of “high impact technology” that The Lead is looking for in their startups honored in The Lead 100 List 2023.

“Capitalizing on the learnings from the initial Fit Xperience rollout, we wanted to take the entire experience to the next level. This new product leverages Intel’s RealSense technology, as well as OpenVINO software to deliver a powerful, fast, and immersive shopping experience,” said Haniff Brown, Founder and CEO of FIT:MATCH. “We truly believe this is the most frictionless in-store fitting experience on the market.”

Companies from across the value chain all around the world — including marketing, ecommerce, customer experience, stores, data, AI, last mile, checkouts and payments, sustainability, merchandising, and Web3 — were nominated & considered. All companies were vetted and selected using a rigorous methodology which measures Innovation, Business Impact, Commercialization & Customers, Teams and Experience, Competition, Media Buzz, and Investor Value Creation. The selection committee, led by The Lead’s Chief Content Officer, Sonal Gandhi, conducted the analysis and final selection.

“The pace of change in the fashion, beauty and consumer industries has become dizzyingly fast, even for the industry leaders,” says Gandhi. “The companies selected for The Leading 100 list represent some of the best examples of how technology innovation is helping address the needs of this rapidly evolving business environment. Some are helping brands get the best out of the latest advances in powerful technologies such as AI, while others are creating solutions to optimize efficiency and productivity across the value chain.”

The Leading 100 List of 2023 is presented in partnership with RILA, NYFTL, XRC Ventures, Plug & Play, The Robin Report, and SUBTA. The Leading 100 Selection Committee includes: Pano Anthos, Founder & Managing Director, XRC Ventures; Jackie Trebilcock, Managing Director, New York Fashion Tech Lab; Nicholas Ahrens, Senior Vice President of Strategy, Innovation & Content, RILA; Nick Reasner, Director, Innovation & Customer Experience, Simon Property Group; Chip Korn, Partner & Co-chair, Emerging Company & Venture Capital Practice Group, Foley Hoag; Ken Pilot, Founder, Ken Pilot Ventures; Will Decker, Head of Brand & Retail, Plug & Play Tech Center; Christine Russo, Principal, RCC Agency; Tom Barbaro, Co-Founder, Cogent; Juan Mejia, Managing Director, BrightTower; Ian McGarrigle, Chairman, World Retail Congress; and Robin Lewis, Founder & CEO, The Robin Report.

“At XRC Ventures, we are excited about new technologies that empower brands and retailers to innovate,” says XRC Ventures Founder & Managing Director, Pano Anthos. “The Leading 100 List includes startups that are doing just that by developing and leveraging new approaches in AI applications, spatial intelligence, supply chain redesign, sustainably-focused methods, and more. I look forward to seeing these startups help lead our industry into the future.”

The Leading 100 will be honored at The Lead Innovation Summit on July 12th & 13th, The Lead’s flagship event where the entire fashion, beauty, home, CPG, food, beverage, health, wellness, and retail innovation community will converge to engage the future of the direct-to-consumer business model. The annual event will bring together executives from enterprise brands and retailers, challenger DTC brands, innovative unicorns, technology start-ups, enterprise technology, investors, dealmakers, analysts, and stakeholders that comprise The Lead’s network.



The Leading 100 List of 2023

Accrue Savings
Alloy Automation
Archive Resale
Crossing Minds
Curated for You
Factored Quality
Fuse Inventory
Haus Analytics
Hexa 3D
Howl Technologies
Lily AI
Link Money
Osa Commerce
Pipe 17
Syrup Tech
Triple Whale
Try your best

By Riley Kaminer

Fort Lauderdale startup FIT:MATCH announces partnership with Rihanna-backed Savage x Fenty

Read Time 4 Minutes

Since the pandemic, retailers have seen an explosion of e-commerce sales, jumping from 11% of all retail sales to 22%. In developing countries, the increase was even more pronounced.

But there are some aspects of the online shopping experience that are more difficult to translate to the digital world. One of the biggest issues, particularly within the apparel industry: fit.

Meet the Fort Lauderdale-based startup is on a mission to bridge this gap, and help consumers find the best fit for their clothes. FIT:MATCH has developed an augmented reality matching solution. It’s designed to eliminate brands’ and consumers’ questions about fit in order to drive conversion and loyalty, while reducing returns.

The platform, which for the moment has been deployed B2B, works using Apple’s LiDAR technology. A sales associate can take a 10-second body scan, creating a so-called “digital twin,” or a 3D avatar of a person. Half a minute later, the customer is provided with a personalized assortment of the clothes that would best fit them.

Founder and CEO Haniff Brown’s main goal in creating FIT:MATCH was to simplify the shopping process. “Right now, the experience feels very cumbersome to a shopper and requires a lot of guesswork,” he said. But FIT:MATCH’s technology can “almost guarantee” that the item that comes through your mailslot will fit.

The technology FIT:MATCH developed will save customers time, while also having a positive environmental impact, since shipping returns back and forth is resource intensive.

Recently, FIT:MATCH announced a collaboration with Savage x Fenty, a lingerie retailer backed by Rihanna. For Brown, this partnership is especially exciting for two reasons: first, bras are one of the top selling and worn items in retail; and second, they are one of the most difficult items to fit.

Of course, getting fitted for a bra can be an intimate affair. Customers need not worry about their privacy, underscored Brown. “One of the reasons why we decided to go with this LiDAR and augmented reality solution is that everything is processed on the device,” he explained. “Nothing is sent to or stored on the cloud, which is where there is a window of opportunity for bad actors to do something wrong.”

Through the partnership, Savage x Fenty also made a strategic investment in FIT:MATCH. “We’re extremely pleased to partner with FIT:MATCH to lead innovation in the shopping experience and eliminate the fit question for our Savage X Fenty customers, so they can shop for and wear our product with absolute confidence,” commented Savage X Fenty’s co-Presidents, Christiane Pendarvis and Natalie Guzman.

“We offer an extensive product assortment that makes identifying the right size even more important for our customers and are thrilled to roll out Fit Xperience in all of our stores,” Pendarvis and Guzman continued.

This is just the beginning of FIT:MATCH’s ambitious growth roadmap, Brown noted. “We believe we are well positioned to scale our product to more shoppers as our brand partners continue to roll out the technology in their fitting rooms across the country.”

”We will also launch our activewear solution in a few months, which presents an entirely new and large market opportunity for us,” Brown continued, noting that the company plans to launch their solution for at-home shoppers in the second half of 2022.

Brown, who came to Miami a few years ago after leaving a private equity job in New York, is particularly bullish on the South Florida tech scene.

“I feel proud to be a member of such a talented, diverse and growing Tech Hub,” said Brown. “In just a couple years, I’ve watched the tech ecosystem in South Florida explode. I continue to believe that South Florida is one of the best places to attract talent and build businesses.”

What advice does Brown give to early-stage South Florida startups looking to rapidly expand? Focus on building a strong team and building in our community.

“South Florida has a diverse talent pool. At the end of the day, you need to build the right team to be successful,” said Brown.

“If you are an entrepreneur based in South Florida, my advice is to start networking with the people around you, before looking elsewhere,” he continued. “Start by going to the different meetups, events, pitch competitions and so forth. In the first 12 months of building our business, I spent a majority of my time trying to immerse myself in the community and I’ve formed a ton of key local partnerships which have proven to be really important to our success to date.”

Ft. Lauderdale’s FIT:MATCH honored as high impact tech startup in the international The Lead 100 List 2023
Fort Lauderdale startup FIT:MATCH announces partnership with Rihanna-backed Savage x Fenty