Allbirds: Up-and-Coming $1 Billion Shoe Co.

 

Earlier this month Allbirds closed a $50 million round of Series C funding which gave the company a reported $1.4 billion valuation. Now, the San Francisco-based direct-to-consumer sneaker brands is poised to soar to even greater heights.

 Allbirds is an Altruistic Company

Allbirds was founded in 2014 with the intention of making an eco-friendly shoe. Made from naturally occurring fibers such as wool, eucalyptus, and sugar cane the company has done just that. For their effort Allbirds is a certified B Corp company.

A Winning Idea

Realizing how uncomfortable leather shoes could be, company co-founder Tim Brown set-out to make a much more comfortable product. Sourcing superfine New Zealand merino wool, he found a way to do just that. In order to raise funds for the project, Brown recruited his co-founded Joey  Zwillinger. Initially the pair went the Kickstarter route and successfully raised more than $115,000 in five days fundraising.

A Hit from the Start

In 2016, the pair officially launched the company’s first pair of the sneakers: a wool runners The design was an immediate hit. Customers were thrilled with how incredibly comfortable the shoes were. Couple with that the company’s altruistic intentions of sourcing eco-friendly material, and the co-founders had found a winning combination.

Investors are Interested

Investors took notice as well.  In the first year the company was in business it raised over $7.25 million in funding. Early investors includes Red Sea Ventures, Slow Ventures, Peterson Partners, Maveron, Lerer Hippeau and many others. In 2017, Allbirds closed its Series B round of funding for a reported $17.5 million. The round was led by Tiger Global Management.

Then, in October of this year, Allbirds closed its latest round of Series C funding for a reported $50 million. This latest round was led by T. Rowe Price and gave the company a reported valuation of $1.4 billion. To date the company has raised over $77.5 million after five rounds of funding. 

Several New Products

Since its first wool runner, Allbirds has developed several other models of footwear as well. A year after launch, the company released its second shoe, the Lounger. These shoes were also made of merino wool and caster bean oil, making the shoes fully machine washable. Later that same year, Allbirds launched a children’s line called, Smallbirds. Then in 2018, the company launched three new shoes: a eucalyptus Tree Runner, a Tree Skipper boat shoe, and its first flip-flop made from sugar cane derived foam.

Allbirds has a Bright Future

For those who try Allbirds, it is not uncommon for them to insist they are the most comfortable shoe they’ve ever worn. Couple with this the fact that the company leads the charge on several philanthropic causes and it’s easy to see why Allbirds only looks to be rising higher. 

 

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