True&Co personalizes online bra shopping, raises $2M

Faith Merino · May 30, 2012 · Short URL:

The site finds the perfect bra for your unique body type

When my sister worked at Victoria’s Secret, she took her job way too seriously and was quite vocal about the necessity of getting fitted for the right bra—like if you didn’t, your breasts could explode at any moment.  She also frequently reminded me that three out of four women are wearing the wrong bra size—which you might not know if you were raised in a bomb shelter with no TV or Cosmo magazines.  

But you know what’s worse than walking around in a too-small bra?  Standing half-naked in front of a stranger with measuring tape and cold hands. 

To save you a trip to the fitting rooms, True&Co launched today as an online bra shopping site.  The company also announced that it has raised $2 million in its first round of funding from First Round Capital, SoftTech VC, Kleiner Perkins partner Aileen Lee, Softbank Capital, and former LinkedIn executive Ellen Levy.

Bra shopping online, you ask?  Madness!  That’s what I thought too, but the company claims to have remarkably accurate results. 

The whole process starts with a quick survey, similar in nature to the kind you would take for other online apparel and shoe-shopping sites, like JustFabulous and CakeStyle, but with a more focused goal.  The idea is to find out what body type you have, so the survey has you identify your breast shape, how your bras typically fit (are there gaps?  Is there spillage?), how the straps fit (are they sliding off or digging in?), and what size you normally wear. 

The site’s algorithms then determine the best type of bra for you and True&Co lets you select five to try on.  The bras are shipped to your home and you only pay for the ones you decide to keep, shipping the rest back free of charge.

True&Co has seen turned up some spot-on results, with customers reporting that three of the five bras fit well. 

“Behind the scenes, we baked the same unwritten rules that expert bra fitters use into code,” said co-founder and Head of Product Aarthi Ramamurthy, in a statement.  Ramamurthy explained that the site’s algorithms can identify where each customer fits among 2000 different body type variations.

CEO and co-founder Michelle Lam hints that True&Co won’t stop at bras, but will evolve to cover everything “under the dress.”

“The team is applying technology in an unexpected way to solve a hard retail problem, leveraging algorithms and data that even the leading brands don’t have access to,” said Josh Kopelman, a managing partner at First Round Capital, in a statement. “True&Co has identified a huge pain point in the $12 billion intimate apparel industry.”

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