Case Study: FittingBox

FittingBox, the global augmented reality software solution for the eyewear industry, has a single mission: change the way people buy frames. It may sound very niche, but considering that hundreds of millions of people should be wearing frames, it’s a big market ripe for innovation.

Benjamin Hakoun, CEO and cofounder of FittingBox tells us: “We were looking for investors for our next round. However, we believed that to get the best investor on board we had to stabilise our company’s position and to do that we needed a form of debt. We looked at a few options, but in the end, Bootstrap Europe stood out. Thanks to their professionalism, speedy process, and fair negotiation, we were able to work with them. Their entrepreneurial spirit shone through, and every other proposal we got was stiff and generic. It’s clear that with Bootstrap Europe they trust you, and your vision. We have never had any issues with the team at all.

As an entrepreneur, you want to work with people who understand you, who are open-minded to technology that can change the future even if it is not instantly clear, and who are solution-driven.”

FittingBox’s customers include manufacturers, big and small retailers, opticians, enterprises, online sellers and of course, the end-user — consumers who need glasses. The industry has many components, and streamlining everything to make the process of finding frames and buying frames seamless is no easy feat.

“It’s currently an expensive, inefficient and very long process. That’s why we want to change the industry and turn it into a greener landscape. In the next five to ten years we want to have a big environmental impact. Most frames come from China, so throughout transit, millions of frames are destroyed, and these frames are plastic. The frames are not fixed, they are replaced so that’s a lot of plastic piling up in landfills”.

No one ever really appreciates their vision until it is lost or impaired. Glasses are an important part of people’s health — the ability to see is something many of us may take for granted. Today, many communities are not able to access much-needed glasses as high-street opticians, and glasses’ stores cope with closures and lockdowns due to the ongoing pandemic this year. Benjamin Hakoun tells us: “We believe that this technology is making eyewear much more inclusive. Those who cannot leave home, or who have no access to an optician can virtually try on a pair of glasses and see if it suits and fits comfortably on the face”.

So what does the future hold for FittingBox? “Since we completed our investment and received funding from Bootstrap Europe at the end of 2018, we have grown by 70%. We now have 80 people working at FittingBox, and our turnover continues to grow too. At the start of the year, we had one and half million customers per month trying on at least one frame digitally. Over the past five months, we hit 4.8 million customers per month. Usage has gone up since covid forced the industry to transform. Covid was the catalyst for speedier innovation and has started to change the way people buy frames. In the future, we hope to have 10 million people trying on frames per month and continue to have Bootstrap Europe working alongside us”.

To find out more about FittingBox, you can visit their website here.

Bootstrap Europe supports thriving industries across the globe, from green energy and genetic testing to SaaS, fintech and smarter city solutions; the team’s collective experience has ensured that the fund includes some of Europe’s fastest, socially-focused scale-up businesses.

To find out more about how Bootstrap Europe helps scale-up businesses, you can visit our website here.

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