Connect with us


St. Pete startup founder aims to scale

Ashley Morales



Bodidata co-founder Bruce Terry demonstrates the startup’s Kora V3 body scanner. Photos by Ashley Morales.

In an era where online shopping dominates consumer behavior, one startup intends to revolutionize the clothing industry by solving the hassle of returns.

Bodidata was founded in 2016 to provide tech-focused solutions to the longstanding challenge of matching people’s unique body shapes to ready-to-wear clothing. Co-founder and St. Pete resident Bruce Terry, who has more than 35 years of experience in retail, consumer products and leadership roles, explained that returns cost companies billions of dollars, frustrate customers and damage the environment.

“The cost to return an item is between three and six times the cost of selling the item in the first place, so the lost revenue [for apparel retailers] is extraordinary,” Terry said. “In terms of the environmental costs, we estimate that it’s somewhere between one and a half and 3% of greenhouse gases. The statistic that is widely used, but is likely an underestimate, is that every second of every day, the equivalent of a garbage truck full of clothing is taken to a dump.”

Research also shows that the problem is increasing with e-commerce. Approximately 30% of online apparel sales are returned, resulting in 14% more waste than in-store returns in 2021.

Bodidata has developed a few ways to improve the size-matching process, but its crown jewel is its patented Kora V3 body scanner. The handheld scanner attaches to an iPad and allows for contact-free, fully-clothed body measurement, eliminating the need for customers to change into form-fitting clothing. 

Terry recently demonstrated the technology for the Catalyst, explaining how the scanner uses a combination of optical depth sensors and radar to create detailed body surface measurements. The software then matches those measurements with 3D representations of clothing to determine not only which size will fit best but also how it will fit, creating an entirely virtual 3D try-on experience.

“It [uses] millimeter wave radar, which is a harmless form of radar that bounces off the water molecules of your skin, so we can measure people wearing almost anything,” Terry explained. “We are actually measuring the body surface beneath the clothing, which is quite unique.”


After being scanned with the Kora V3, users can see not only which size clothing will fit them best but also how it will fit in certain areas (like chest or waist for tops and thigh or inseam for bottoms) based on their measurements.


So far, the startup has worked primarily with uniform suppliers in Europe and Canada, helping companies overcome what Terry calls a “labor-intensive, manual, error-prone process.”

“65 million Americans and 65 million Western Europeans wear uniforms. That includes six and a half million kids who wear uniforms to school every day,” Terry said. “What our system does is put them in the optimal size that requires the minimum amount of alteration. We take away all the headache and that upfront labor and our accuracy is between 95 and 97%.”

Bodidata offers its Kora scanner for free to customers that license its software, and companies pay an annual usage fee for each wearer profile, giving them unlimited size recommendations. Companies can train their own staff to use the Kora scanner, so a Bodidata employee is not required on-site.

In terms of user privacy, Terry said data protection is a key focus for him and Co-Founder Tuoc Luong, a former senior vice president and Head of Global Search at Yahoo. The Kora V3 scanner does not collect facial features and takes measures to maintain users’ privacy and control over their personal data. Terry emphasized, “Bodidata’s policy is that the only person that owns the body measurements we capture is the person we measure.” 


Terry said the Bodidata system does not maintain a database of measurements. “When a wearer needs a size recommendation, we use the 3D cloud to generate size recommendations in real time. Wearers can access size recommendations online or by using their mobile phone to scan a hang tag in a retail store.”


Bodidata has raised more than $18 million since 2016 – early-stage operating capital invested mainly from friends and family, according to Terry, who said Bodidata eventually plans to expand beyond uniforms into traditional retail. Bodidata raised an additional $2 million in operating capital in February, driving the company’s next phase of growth as the founders add to the startup’s growing portfolio of clients and look towards a potential Series A financing.

“When we go to Series A, we want to have proof of market adoption,” Terry explained. “Sometimes people are reluctant to invest in a company where the technology is more than software, where there’s hardware involved. But we’re in the third generation [of the Kora scanner]; the hardware works and is proven, and it has been reduced in size.”

“So at this point in time, when we go for our next round of fundraising, it will be to ‘move out of the garage,’ so to speak,” Terry said. “We’ll add some redundancy and some marketing resources that we don’t have right now.”

The company has two dozen remote employees across Vietnam, the U.S., Canada and Belgium but considers its headquarters as Saratoga, California (where Luong is based) and St. Petersburg. While an expansion into retail is on the horizon, Terry also envisions trailblazing uses for Bodidata’s technology in the security and healthcare industries, among others.

“We’re extraordinarily leverageable based on the way our platform and our system work, so we don’t have to add a lot of overhead to add tens of millions of dollars of revenue.”

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By posting a comment, I have read, understand and agree to the Posting Guidelines.

The St. Pete Catalyst

The Catalyst honors its name by aggregating & curating the sparks that propel the St Pete engine.  It is a modern news platform, powered by community sourced content and augmented with directed coverage.  Bring your news, your perspective and your spark to the St Pete Catalyst and take your seat at the table.

Email us: spark@stpetecatalyst.com

Subscribe for Free

Share with friend

Enter the details of the person you want to share this article with.