PSYKHE Uses AI to Recommend Luxury Clothing Brands on Cheddar

Algorithms seem to be dictating just about every facet of life these days, including what you pick out of your closet, and online-shopping platform, PSYKHE, is using a program of psychological profiling to create style recommendations.

When customers sign up, they are instructed to take the big five personality test, assessing personal preferences, which creates the profile.

“So essentially, the big five is the most robust and respected model in psychology. You end up essentially, from 1 to 100 in each of these five scales, resulting in a really specific composite score,” Anabel Maldonado, PSYKHE founder and CEO, told cheddar. 

Once a customer has completed the test, they can explore their specially curated shopping experience. Over time, the algorithm will improve at making selections that best suit your personality, Maldonado added. 

While concerns have grown over the years regarding human bias entering these kinds of algorithms, Maldonado explained that a somewhat diverse staff worked on the initial training set for the artificial intelligence and that the system’s ability to learn shopping tendencies over time can hopefully ensure that a diverse customer base is being served.

She also said that the system’s ability to track dislikes or rejected suggestions is “almost as valuable, if not more,” than understanding what a customer does like because a wider variety of options are available.

“Currently the status-quo is that you look at dwell time, and clicks, and purchase history. We don’t really feel that works as well, especially purchase history,” Maldonado noted.

PSYKHE looks to avoid repetitive suggestions or similar recommendations that have already been purchased, according to the CEO. And, while PSYKHE is just the latest venture for Maldonado, she plans to expand the brand beyond clothing, using the same artificial intelligence.

“The interesting thing is the relationships between your big five scores and your preferences, health outcomes, behavior, music preference, really a variety of things is what makes the technology so valuable,” she said.

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Psykhe secures Seed funding to match consumer personalities to fashion products

In an overcrowded market of online fashion brands, consumers are spoilt for choice on what site to visit. They are generally forced to visit each brand one by one, manually filtering down to what they like. Most of the experience is not that great, and past purchase history and cookies aren’t much to go on to tailor user experience. If someone has bought an army-green military jacket, the e-commerce site is on a hiding to nothing if all it suggests is more army-green military jackets…

Instead, Psycke ( it’s brand name is ‘PSYKHE’) is an e-commerce startup that uses AI and psychology to make product recommendations based both on the user’s personality profile and the ‘personality’ of the products. Admittedly, a number of startups have come and gone claiming this, but it claims to have taken a unique approach to make the process of buying fashion easier by acting as an aggregator that pulls products from all leading fashion retailers. Each user sees a different storefront that, says the company, becomes increasingly personalized.

It has now raised $1.7 million in seed funding from a range of investors and is announcing new plans to scale its technology to other consumer verticals in the future in the B2B space.

The investors are Carmen Busquets – the largest founding investor in Net-a-Porter; SLS Journey – the new investment arm of the MadaLuxe Group, the North American distributor of luxury fashion; John Skipper – DAZN Chairman and former Co-chairman of Disney Media Networks and President of ESPN; and Lara Vanjak – Chief Operating Officer at Aser Ventures, formerly at MP & Silva and FC Inter-Milan.

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So what does it do? As a B2C aggregator, it pools inventory from leading retailers. The platform then applies machine learning and personality-trait science, and tailors product recommendations to users based on a personality test taken on sign-up. The company says it has international patents pending and has secured affiliate partnerships with leading retailers that include Moda Operandi, MyTheresa, LVMH’s platform 24S, and 11 Honoré.

The business model is based around an affiliate partnership model, where it makes between 5-25% of each sale. It also plans to expand into B2B for other consumer verticals in the future, providing a plug-in product that allows users to sort items by their personality.

How does this personality test help? Well, Psykhe has assigned an overall psychological profile to the actual products themselves: over 1 million products from commerce partners, using machine learning (based on training data).

So for example, if a leather boot had metal studs on it (thus looking more ‘rebellious’), it would get a moderate-low rating on the trait of ‘Agreeableness’. A pink floral dress would get a higher score on that trait. A conservative tweed blazer would get a lower score tag on the trait of ‘Openness’, as

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