Forget crypto and NFTs: how Kola Tytler’s Business Dropout is Using AI to Invest in Sneakers

When it comes to the world of trading, reselling, and conducting overall business transactions, everything has been changing. Along with art, stocks, cryptocurrencies and other tangible and non-tangible forms of investments, limited edition sneakers are becoming an increasingly popular appreciating assets and numerous retailers entered the space to sell sneakers. However, to be able to find genuine and authentic sneakers is an ongoing problem and the availability and reachability of those stores remains an ongoing issue.

One store that is revolutionizing and changing the way sneakers are sold and resold between collectors and investors is Dropout, an Italian store specifically focused on rare and collectible sneakers and streetwear. They have a physical store in the center of Milan as well as a busy e-commerce channel.

Dropout was launched in 2018 by a small team of young Italian sneaker collectors, including Kola Tytler, at the time 23-years old and based in London, and Stefano Zeppieri, at time of opening an 19-years old who was fresh out of high school. Kola  grew up in Rome himself and is the son of Nigerian parents. He moved to London to study medicine and remains practicing as a medical practictioner within the UK public healthcare system. He often returns to Milan and at the moment he is also undertaking an MBA at the University of Birmingham.

Stefano is a software engineer based in Rome, currently working on his Masters in Computer Science. The two met online and soon discovered they could mix their skillset, both being self-taught coders as well as sneakers collectors, and work together. They took advantage of the best of each other and developed a brand that could solve the existing problems in the sneaker sales industry. In 2016 they launched HypeAnalyzer, a technical analysis tool which they used to track and assess sales and listing data for the secondary streetwear market and eventually to automate the decision-making process of the choice of sneakers to invest in.

In the meantime, Dropout has become a household name in Italian fashion and enjoys strong popularity amongst niche and curious crowds. The Milanese retailer ships and delivers all their products free of charge anywhere in the EU and guarantees authenticity of the products that they sell. The use of HypeAnalyzer has since expanded to aid running several aspects of the business, from consignment margin rates to discounts and website displays.

During their journey to make Dropout a success, the founders had to overcome some obstacles that included the struggle to make their endeavor notable and able to compete in this highly competitive industry. When it comes to success, Stefano and Kola say that you need to preserve your dreams and find solutions to every problem instead of finding excuses for ideas that failed.

In the coming years, they are aiming to establish their brand as one of the strongest in Italy and they are optimistic that is where more success awaits.

LA Weekly