April 30, 2024

Arbit Is The Black-Owned AI Sneaker Price-Prediction Startup

Venita Cooper and Vincent Sanders have created an AI-powered sneaker resale price-prediction startup – Arbit.

According to their website, Arbit is the only price prediction model designed to empower sneaker buyers to get fair prices in the resell market.

They collect real-time prices from trusted sites, providing pricing insights and trend analysis that allows users to shop prices on one app.

Arbit’s Journey

Cooper’s passion for sneaker culture began in 2019 when she opened Silhouette Sneakers and Art in Tulsa, which attracted attention from Brian Brackeen in 2021.

After more than four years in the business, Cooper announced in 2024 that the store would be transitioning to Kellen James, a third-generation Tulsa.

Cooper then turned her attention towards the tech sector, telling AfroTech the idea came to light while she was still in the sneaker store.

“There was a lot of volatility in pricing. The Air Jordan 1s retail drop would be $180, and they might sell for $499 the day after or the day of the drop. Then two hours later, it might be $350 or $450,” Cooper told Rolling Out.

“That’s where the idea of bringing AI into the fold came from and let’s build an algorithm that can process these massive amounts of data faster. What Arbit is trying to do is to move some of that negotiating power into the hands of buyers, so buyers can check these resellers, check the prices in the market, and demand greater fairness there.”

She then scaled the idea through the support of Tulsa-based Act House accelerator – a six-month program to empower Black and Latino entrepreneurs before bringing in Sanders.

How Does Arbit Work?

Arbit enables its users to compile current and future collections on a wishlist.

It monitors pricing updates and provides an “unbiased valuation” through aggregated data research, utilizing predictive analytics to anticipate price trends.

In October 2023, it received a $1 million raise, which helped to scale the platform and team.

“What we’re trying to do with Arbit is we’re using AI to bring certainty into the market, to actually give a fair market value for these products that people can have serve as a frame of reference and as the source of truth in negotiating prices in the market,” Cooper told AfroTech.

Arbit’s data is available to users free of charge, and the company earns revenue by partnering with marketplaces to receive a commission from their sales.

Looking ahead, Arbit co-founders hope to expand their reach into other sectors.

They are already collecting data to build algorithms that will be useful for the luxury handbag sector.

Sara Keenan

Tech Reporter at POCIT. Following her master's degree in journalism, Sara cultivated a deep passion for writing and driving positive change for Black and Brown individuals across all areas of life. This passion expanded to include the experiences of Black and Brown people in tech thanks to her internship experience as an editorial assistant at a tech startup.