Celebrating a decade in the footwear retail business, in Greece and abroad, SafeSize is a technology company that provides a retail tech solution to a key problem faced by the global shoe market: “What is the right shoe size?” SafeSize’s 3D foot scanning and 3D shoe scanning technology, supported by machine learning and artificial intelligence, has helped millions of consumers around the world find the perfect shoes, both in physical and online stores.
The idea of SafeSize was born in Greece and ‘travelled’ to the Netherlands, where the first funding for the company was secured. SafeSize started as a technology startup in a small room in Eastern Netherlands and has now grown to five offices in the Netherlands, Greece, Slovenia, China, Australia and is soon opening a new office in the US. Two years ago, the Innovation & Development Center of SafeSize was established in Athens, investing in the talent available in the Greek market and creating new job opportunities. The Athens office is now the center of the company’s innovation efforts, with a focus on designing new technologies and products. SafeSize is currently powered by a team of 65 individuals from 19 nationalities, distributed across its five offices worldwide. Currently, the company has various job openings in all its offices, with a focus on technology, customer services and support. Estimates suggest that the company will exceed 100 employees soon.
SafeSize CEO, Angelos Stavrakis, stated: “Innovation is at the heart of our company’s strategy. We constantly strive to evolve our products, the technology we use, and find real solutions to real problems. We operate with great flexibility and have methodologies and structures in our teams worldwide that allow us to quickly adapt our strategy and product based on market dynamics and the needs of our customers. I believe our ability to scale up quickly while maintaining our startup culture is the key that has helped us expand our business activity to over 50 markets, gain the trust of the world’s largest footwear retailers, and maintain our leadership position in the shoe market.”
According to Mr. Stavrakis, 2022 was an exceptional year for SafeSize, maintaining an annual growth rate exceeding 50%. Furthermore, in 2023, the company achieved a significant milestone by securing the largest funding to date, totaling 14 million euros. The funding round included participation from Phaistos Investment Fund and other investors such as Convent Capital and 3TS Capital Partners, as well as a strategic investor (one of the world’s largest footwear retailers).
“These funds have given us new momentum and will be invested in expanding the company’s operations into new global markets such as the United States, strengthening our presence in Asia, and developing new technological solutions that leverage 5G connectivity and better serve our customers”, Mr. Stavrakis said. He added, “Our goal is to broaden the range of our products and services, offering footwear retailers the most innovative omnichannel solutions to increase their sales and improve the customer experience.”
According to information from BusinessNews.gr, 2023 marked not only an anniversary but also the year when SafeSize entered several new markets. SafeSize expanded its reach to clients in Estonia, Croatia, Colombia, Turkey, Bahrain, South Korea, and Australia. Additionally, new partnerships were established in the Netherlands, England, China, and Japan. Some of the new clients include global brands such as Puma, Adidas, Nike, Hoka, as well as retail chains like Sports Direct, Marks & Spencer, SportVision, Rack Room Shoes and HighWave Sports. In 2023, the company also opened its new offices in Australia to support markets beyond Australia, including New Zealand and Southeast Asia.
SafeSize is launching a new product, the Digital Sales Assistant, which is an intelligent and highly autonomous digital sales assistant specially designed to support the shopping experience in footwear stores. Using artificial intelligence, it can offer personalized recommendations to consumers by combining their foot data (3D foot scan) and personal preferences with the available stock instore. This product aims to fill a gap in the global market, addressing the shortage of specialized personnel in sales positions while helping footwear retailers reduce their operational costs and improve the customer experience, as consumers increasingly seek digital experiences within physical stores. According to the company, the innovative new product is already being tested in two major sports retail chains in the Netherlands and Ireland and is scheduled for launch in the coming months.
The projections for the remainder of 2023 are also positive, as SafeSize’s CEO stated: “As we progress through the year, we expect 2023 to close with positive results, in line with our budget for this year. Our projections are based on the increased demand of our omnichannel solution by both retailers and consumers, as well as our continued expansion into new international markets. The pipeline of new customers is growing faster than expected, and we anticipate significant growth for 2024.”
You can read the original article in Greek in Business News HERE
Journalist: Maria Bakopoulou