- Angela Gonzalez-Rodriguez |
Australian customisable footwear start up Shoes of Prey recently announced on December, 7 a 15.5 million dollars Series B capital raise. The round was led by the Australian firm Blue Sky Capital, with participation from Greycroft Partners and previous investor Khosla Ventures, as well as American department store operator Nordstrom.
As explained by the company’s co-founder Jodie Fox in a note Monday, part of the funding will be used to firmly entrench the Sydney-based startup in its new home in Los Angeles. The cash injection will also be used to add new products to the Shoes of Prey roster, such as the line of boots the firm is aimed to roll out next winter.
"The traditional mass-manufacturing model is designed to cater to the masses and not to individual styles and preferences," stated Khosla Ventures investment partner Benjamin Ling in a press release.
Nordstrom necomes ainvestor in Shoes of prey
"Shoes of Prey is redefining global retail and fashion; by manufacturing on-demand, they enable consumers to define their own style and get shoes that meet their individual tastes, which would otherwise be unavailable," Ling added.
In a similar fashion, Elaine Stead, investment director of BlueSky Venture Capital, pointed out in a statement that “You can look at Shoes of Prey as either a logistics or manufacturing business that has solved a fashion problem, or a fashion company that has solved a logistics and manufacturing problem. Either way, both markets are ripe for disruption.”
Although it has caught the attention of several global investors, Nordstrom’s investment into Australian on-demand customised shoe retailer is quite significant, as it is rare to see a big name of the industry turning into a venture capital fundraising participant.
Shoes of Prey first teamed up with specialty fashion retailer Nordstrom a year ago when the online company launched concept design studios in the department stores, allowing customers to custom-design their own shoes on site. The studios launched in six major Nordstrom locations throughout the US.
With its newest round of funding, the company will continue to grow its retail presence within the American market, as well as increase production and also roll out new product categories, starting with women's handbags. In this regard, founder Fox highlights that, although the company is currently focused on shoes, they have plans to move into other customisable women’s apparel and accessories, with handbags and purses high on the list for new products.
Shoes of Prey sells customisable shoes in a range of materials and designs online and in speciality retailers like Nordstrom. Shoppers can choose the style, material, pattern and colour they’d like for shoes ranging from ballet flats to stiletto heels.
The Australian start up was founded in 2009 by former Google executive Michael Fox, a former Google software engineer Mike Knapp and Jodie Fox, whose background was in advertising and law. The company launched as a global, omni-channel retail brand, creating a platform that allowed customers to customise and order their own shoes online.