Born in Detroit, Accelerated with Google

October 19, 2020

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Posted by Ajeet Mirwani, Program Manager, Developer Relations

StockX is a Detroit-based tech leader focused on the large and growing online resale marketplace for sneakers, apparel, accessories, collectibles, and electronics. Its innovative marketplace enables users to anonymously buy and sell high-demand consumer products with stock market-like visibility. StockX employs over 800 people in more than 13 offices and authentication centers around the world, and facilitates sales in more than 200 countries and territories.

StockX has been selected for Google’s Late-Stage Accelerator, which offers specialized programs in the areas of tech, design, product, and people operations to enable high growth startups. This accelerator is built using the fundamentals of the Google for Startups Accelerator that runs across the globe.

Every single item sold on StockX is shipped to one of its six global authentication centers and verified by a human to ensure the item is brand new, authentic, and has no manufacturing defects, providing confidence that resale market transactions are safe and secure.

The partnership between StockX and Google came to light as StockX started looking for technology to enhance its authentication process. This process today is managed by the StockX team with “authenticators” ( i.e. employees who are specially trained at finding fakes, manufacturing defects, etc.) taking on the work.

With this problem statement in mind, we gathered experts from the Google Cloud AI team to help StockX utilize machine learning / AI to improve the speed and accuracy of authentication, spotting which items are fake or have a manufacturing defect. This is a perfect problem for AI - StockX captures large amounts of information about every item and whether it passed or failed authentication, enabling the team to quickly gather training data. StockX and the Accelerator team started collaboration early in the process, planning the project phases together and bringing Google’s experience and expertise in solving these types of problems to bear. The teams meet weekly, sharing data, insights and feedback to enable fast iteration.

Google’s experts in applied machine learning (ML) from the Late-Stage Accelerator have already saved the StockX technical team significant time on model architecture and data management. Both teams are looking forward to moving this collaboration to the next stage of model development, training and serving into production. More to come!