From An Expensive Hobby To A Multi-Million Dollar Business: How Kola Tytler And His Team Use AI To Run Their Own Thriving Sneakers Resale Business

Predicting market trends helps businesses make many decisions. While it’s easy to see what is happening in some markets, others are a bit harder. Like the sneakers reselling industry. It can be difficult to pinpoint a specific product that will do well or fail. For Kola Tytler, CEO of Dropout, one of Italy’s most popular sneaker retailers, getting assistance from AI-powered software is the difference between good and excellent.

Even though Italy is full of reputable shoe manufacturers and retailers, Kola has carved a unique niche for himself in the industry. In addition to entrepreneurship, Kola is a practicing medical doctor in London and an MBA candidate at the University of Birmingham.

Kola fuelled his passion for the sneaker business almost a decade ago after buying a pair of limited-edition Air Jordans. Finally owning a pair opened his eyes to a market he’d never considered before – the underground sneaker resale market. Kola’s interest motivated him to learn to code, and he created a sneaker bot. He also got more involved in online sneaker platforms, and that’s where he met his initial partner, Stefano Zeppierri.

Stefano is a 23-year-old software engineer and the CTO at Dropout. After meeting online, the two became friends and started formulating a business plan for a structured venture. Later, they met Andrea Canziani and Federico Pasquetti, their co-founders and business partners. In 2018, the team created Dropout and it has been growing steadily ever since.

Dropout has a flagship store in the heart of Milan, as well as a thriving e-commerce store. Since opening its doors, the physical store has welcomed 50,000+ visitors from different parts of the world, all looking for quality sneakers. According to the founders, the online store has done more business. So far, it has recorded 2 million visitors. It has also garnered 150M social media impressions and 5 million YouTube views since it was launched. So, what’s the secret behind this success?

Besides guaranteeing authenticity, Dropout has a secret weapon called HypeAnalyzer. As the name suggests, this is software that keeps track of the market trends for the company and provides the team with enough data to make feasible decisions.

The HypeAnalyzer algorithms decide on important business aspects like profit margins, stock management, discounts, and shop windows. HypeAnalyzer also contains a window that facilitates efficient communication between a client and the Dropout team. This makes it easier to track consignments, check pending payments, and manage products for sale.

HypeAnalyzer’s main strength is its ability to keep track of the entire secondary sneaker market. The software tracks and compares thousands of sneakers daily to identify those with the greatest potential for future resale. That makes it particularly useful in making business decisions, such as which sneaker to stock and which to avoid investing in.

Recently, HypeAnalyzer’s developer added a new feature that allows individuals and companies to sell products the software predicts will rapidly increase in price. Dropout displays a live buying list on an online portal and the sellers are able to buy and sell through an automated process.

Dropout’s team is still researching and expanding what HypeAnalyzer can do with the data fetched and analyzed. A few months ago, the business raised a substantial amount of money through a crowdfunding campaign and part of those funds will go towards HypeAnalyzer’s R&D. The team hopes to scale the software further, to change not only the secondary sneaker market but other markets too.

Written in partnership with Ascend