Birdies, the new category of shoe brand combining style and comfort, today announced its $8M Series A funding led by Norwest Venture Partners. Former institutional investors, Forerunner Ventures and Slow Ventures, participated in the round The latest round brings the total funding of Birdies to $10M
Since the launch in 2015 of the $2M seed round led by Forerunner Ventures, Birdies has disrupted the footwear industry by creating a completely new category of footwear. Birdies combines the style of a designer flat with the comfort of a sneaker and the softness of a slipper, making it the most versatile shoe brand in the world. With sales up 400 percent in 2018, the brand is on track to achieve 5x year-over-year growth in 2019.
“At Norwest, we are committed to investing in visionary founders who have great aspirations, and Bianca and Marisa could not be better examples of the strong leaders with whom we are proud to work,” said Priti Youssef Choksi, Partner, Norwest Venture Partners. “The team at Birdies has built a beloved brand and we’re excited to support it as it continues to scale and connect with today’s modern customers. “That’s right.
According to market research firm NPD Group, sneaker and comfort shoe sales increased by 37 per cent in 2017, while women’s heel sales decreased by 11 per cent from 2017 to 2018.
As part of Birdies’ continued growth trajectory and market opportunities, the brand will use its new funding to support inventory (Birdies currently has an online waiting list of over 30,000 people), expand the product line, expand the team significantly over the next 12 months and expand its retail presence with key partners such as Nordstrom. Birdies will also continue to develop its social impact efforts, which focus on giving back to women in need.
“We are honored to partner with Priti and the Norwest team to help us achieve our expansion goals and become the world’s favorite lifestyle-inspired interior design brand. Norwest has a proven track record of investing and scaling up companies that consumers love and value, so we’re thrilled to join their beloved brand family and build on their 50+ years of experience,” said Bianca Gates, Co-Founder and CEO, Birdies.
“We’ve set out to build something that has never been done before, and we’ve been thrilled by the impact our brand and products have had on resonating with our customers. We are humbled that Norwest, along with their experience in helping to build strong customer-centric companies, is on board with us as we continue to make Birdies a world-class brand,” said Marisa Sharkey, Co-Founder and President, Birdies.
Birdies were featured on Forbes, Fast Company, VOGUE, ELLE and Refinery29.
About the Birds
Birdies was launched in 2015 as a direct-to-consumer brand, creating a completely new category of footwear. The most versatile brand of shoes in the world, Birdies brings a luxurious style to life with the long-lasting comfort of a sneaker, the softness of a slipper and the style of a flat designer. Birdies is primarily a direct-to-consumer company that sells its website, a physical flagship store in San Francisco and a limited wholesale partnership with Nordstrom.
About Northwest Venture Partners
Norwest is a leading growth equity and venture investment firm that manages more than $7 $5 billion in capital We have invested in more than 600 companies since our inception. The firm invests in early to late-stage companies across a wide range of sectors with a focus on consumer, business and healthcare. We offer a deep network of connections, operational experience and a wide range of powerful services to help CEOs and founders move forward on their journey.
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