• Tanvi Mago

Aina


Finding the right fit online can be a major hassle, prompting consumers to have to purchase multiple sizes, pay extra for alterations, or forgo the experience entirely to go in person. Nisha Saboo and the team at Aina aim to address these pain points through a B2B technology platform that leverages artificial intelligence, machine learning, and augmented reality to allow customers to find the perfect fit. Aina offers a virtual try-on experience that retailers can include directly on their product pages, allowing customers to get a sense of how an item will look on their body before deciding to purchase.


Nisha first started to consider these issues when she was working as a buyer in Macy’s mens’ activewear department, working with brands like Nike and Puma. She engaged with the full purchase lifecycle and saw the initial problem that retailers did not know how to engage their customer effectively. She experienced this firsthand in her first entrepreneurial venture, a clothing line she developed with her brother, NS2, selling ice dyed hoodies. Their hoodies were very popular, but they quickly found that their customer wanted to know “how will this look on me?”. Nisha further validated the problem through numerous conversations with retailers and customers, most of whom agreed that sizing was a major hurdle.

Armed with these insights, the team developed a prototype and were selected to participate in the University of Chicago New Venture Challenge. Fittingly, they decided to name the platform Aina, which means mirror / vision in Hindi and references their grounding in AI technology. Through the NVC process, they went deeper into customer discovery and developed their go-to-market strategy. They initially debated whether to develop Aina as a B2C app or a B2B SaaS integration. Retailers expressed pain points around customers navigating away from shopping to separate apps, solidifying the offering as a B2B SaaS platform. After months of hard work, Aina placed 5th in NVC and received $95,000 in pre-seed funding to bring their product to market.


Currently the Aina team is working on a beta prototype that will be available in early Spring. This free app will ask customers to do a 3D scan of themselves by spinning in a circle on camera. Within seconds, users will receive measurement information about their body in a MyFit Card, which users can save and reference when shopping online. This data will be leveraged to input into the B2B SaaS platform targeted for retailers. Ultimately, Aina will act as a personalized size recommender tool that allows users to do virtual try-ons, empowering customers to take their fit preferences into their own hands. Retailers will pay a monthly subscription fee while customers will have their free MyFit card always available.


Aina’s points of differentiation include the scanning methodology and retailer integration aspect. The scanning methodology requires customers to only turn in a circle on camera, rather than take several photos and upload them, putting ease of customer experience first. Moreover, there is no comparable AR technology that is integrated into retailer product pages. Many retailers have tried tools like TrueFit but there has not been widespread adoption of a single platform.


Aina has already seen early indications of success through positive retailer feedback. Large retailers such as Macy’s and Levi’s are interested in being adopters of the platform, giving Aina the opportunity to integrate into select category pages. After receiving pre-seed funding in 2021, Aina plans to raise an angel / friends & family round over the summer and then will look to do a more institutional round to continue building out the product.


If you would like to learn more about Aina, contact Nisha Saboo at nisha@meetaina.com.


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