Project Shoe wants to walk from East to West with customized, user-designed shoes

Asian startup Project Shoe took the stage today at Startup Asia Jakarta 2013 to introduce its online service for designing and buying personally-customized shoes to a panel of investors.

Founder Andi Anissa explains that Project Shoe was inspired by online and custom digital printing services. But to make the service more niche, Project Shoe CEO Andi Anissa drew from her family’s and her own fascination with shoes.

At the Arena, Andi gave a demo on how consumers can pick a shoe design and customize it. The startup will provide a variety of design options on their website, such as color and materials, so that shoppers can customize in order to design a unique shoe. To make each consumer’s shoes more special, Andi says it will “add more elements every month so there will be millions more design possibilities in the future.”

While the founders are based in Indonesia, the team maintains that its outlook is global through and through, and aims to tap the $436 billion global shoe market. It aims to first tap western countries, which “have the largest market share for fashion especially shoes.” When asked about their target market and pricing, Andi says:
    [We are targeting] people who have monthly income starting $1500 per month. Age will probably start from 15 to 40 years of age. The price of the shoes start from US$230 up to US$500.

The Project Shoe team understands that a fair share of competitors reside in US and the UK, but remains confident due to the large market for shoes in those regions. All the while, the team also plans to launch this platform in Asia as the startup scales.

Project Shoe is expected to launch its site by the end of this month, but interested consumers can sign-up for email notification.
After their pitch, Takahiro Suzuki of Global Brain asks how the startup will manage return requests by customers. This is given the fact that they are producing customized shoes. Project Shoe co-foounder CEO Aryo Ariotedjo says thy are allowing customers to return the shoe in case an issue occurs (for example, it doesn’t fit). Desite this, Project Shoe assures that they will gain profit as they provided high profit margin to cover all the possible costs.

Meanwhile, Saemin Anh of Rakuten Ventures tells the Project Shoe team: “You have a great chance to jump the curve. But you have to invest heavily on tech like image matching technology.”


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