VIPO is a startup launched within the EIT Digital Innovation Factory. It has developed technology to help retail and fashion companies personalize their customers’ experience in physical stores. When the pandemic hit, VIPO decided to pivot to e-commerce. It now has customers in Colombia and a sales pipeline in France and Spain.
Brussels, 22 January 2021 - VIPO, a startup launched within the EIT Digital Innovation Factory, is showing inspiring entrepreneurial resilience.
VIPO has developed a technology that uses computer vision to help retail and fashion companies customize their users’ experience. The startup initially planned to offer the solution only to physical stores. Customers would interact with a 49’’ LCD totem with a built-in web camera, located at the point of sale. By touching the device screen, they could receive fashion advice based on their appearance and the in-store inventory.
In the spring 2020, the product hit the market. It was well-received: the Colombian branch of Falabella, the largest South American department store, was the startup’s first customer and VIPO began to chase deals in Europe as well.
Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit, with an impact on VIPO’s target market. The startup pivoted. “The pandemic was a large obstacle. To tackle it, we had to redesign our products. We used to focus only on physical stores, but now we also offer a solution aimed at online customers,” says VIPO’s CEO William Bernal. In five months of intense work, the team developed the V-Shopper application, which seamlessly integrates with the e-commerce experience of fashion retail websites.
“V-Shopper turns your store and e-commerce into a personal shopper. Customers can upload a picture of themselves, or any picture they like, and they will receive customized recommendations based on the computer vision analysis of the picture and what is available in-store or online. We suggest products based on styles and shopping history in order to improve the upselling and cross-selling strategies,” Bernal says.
Besides Falabella, which is using both the totem and the V-Shopper product, two other customers are now using VIPO’s products in Colombia: Arturo Calle and Totto. Two more deals are being finalized in France and Spain.
VIPO’s technology was developed within the EIT Digital Innovation Factory. The partnership behind the startup launch included the University of Barcelona in Spain, Dutch company Bright Cape and the University of Rennes 1 in France. VIPO is headquartered in Rennes, France.
The team focused, pivoted, never gave up. The startup is now looking for investors to further accelerate its growth.