Mar. 13, 2015
San Diego based startup FeetZ, the digital cobbler making customizable footwear using 3D printing, announced today the closing of a $1.25M seed round. Silicon Valley (Menlo Park) based Khosla Ventures led the investment. Additional partners include the JumpFund (Chattanooga, TN) and Uli Becker, former CEO of Reebok who has also joined the Feetz board of directors.
FeetZ shoes are very unique. You just need to take three pictures from different angles of each foot with your smartphone. Using a process called photogrammetry, Feetz would turn the images into a 3D model and utilize 3D printing technology to make that pair of SizeMe shoes. The shoes will be 3D printed in antimicrobial "jelly" material, similar to what Crocs are made of, and sent to you within 7 days. Each pair of custom-printed shoes costs about $200.
Shoe manufacturing is a perfect fit for 3D printing technology because feet are unique, and printing shoes allows for extreme customization, said Lucy Beard, product developer, founder and CEO of feetZ. The company currently employs seven people. The fund will be used to launch the Feetz platform directly to customers later this year via the first micro-manufacturing center in Chattanooga, TN.
"Today, we wear a shoe that's been made and sized to fit anyone. I'm excited to bring a new reality to market by offering 7+ billion shoe sizes: 1 for everyone in the world," says Beard. "We celebrate your uniqueness by offering the only size you'll ever need: SizeMe. Our shoes are not only custom fit but can be customized so that no two pairs are ever the same."
"The core idea of Feetz is huge and so disruptive to footwear and its processes as we know it today," says Uli Becker, former Reebok CEO and new Feetz board member. "This paired with the substance both founders bring to the table, I decided to throw in my experience and support to help build the company, so that Feetz becomes a powerful force in the marketplace."
The company, a member of the 2014 Master Accelerator program The TENN led by Launch Tennessee, will present at SXSW as a Wearables finalist at Accelerator event on Saturday, Mar 14th in Hilton Hotel.
The news follows an announcement in February that Sols, a startup that makes custom 3D printed shoe insoles, closed on an $11.1 million Series B funding to bring their products to consumer market.
"Feetz has applied 3D printing technology to the footwear industry enabling consumers to have a perfect customized fit," said Vinod Khosla, partner at Khosla Ventures. "Founder and CEO, Lucy Beard came to us with her vision to never try on a pair of shoes again, and we're excited to help make that a reality."
"Feetz has the key elements of a company in which the JumpFund seeks to invest-- a strong, talented female leader, disruptive technology with huge market potential, and founders willing to grow their company in the Southeast," says Kristina Montague, general partner, The JumpFund.
Posted in 3D Printing Applications
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Mark Fulwider wrote at 3/15/2015 11:08:23 AM:
gona be great. I am hoping that these types of industries get fast competition. What's the point if the product is hyped to extreme. Walmart should open a booth. You walk in, scan your foot, pick a style, color and press "print". $18.99... done. Now were talking progress.
Damiano wrote at 3/14/2015 12:37:54 PM:
Very interesting ! What type of technology is used to print ? FDM ? Material ?