Chicago-based footwear brand BucketFeet has secured $7.5 million in Series A funding. Jumpstart Ventures led the round with participation from other investors that included Listen Ventures Founder Jeff Cantalupo.
CHICAGO, IL –– BucketFeet, the footwear brand on a mission to connect people through art, announces today that it has raised a $7.5 million Series A round. The capital was led by entrepreneur Rishi Shah’s Jumpstart Ventures, a previous investor based in Chicago. Additional value-add investors in this round include Yunsan, international distributor, Gordon Segal, founder and former CEO of Crate & Barrel, Jeff Cantalupo, founder of Listen Ventures as well as Glen Tullman, CEO of Livongo Health. To date, BucketFeet has raised a total of of $13.3 million; previous investors include Andy Dunn, Co-Founder/CEO of Bonobos as well as Brian Spaly, CEO of Trunk Club and Co-Founder of Bonobos.
The funding will be used towards making key new hires including in-house tech, sales, artist, and content teams, various technological initiatives including a redesign of the existing website, and scaling inventory to meet customer demand. The company also plans to launch a variety of products this year including art accessories, new sneaker silhouettes, and a range of socks. Additionally, BucketFeet will continue to open new brick and mortar stores, which the brand calls studios, following extensive testing of the store and pop-up model in 2014. Expanding on the two currently-opened retail storefronts in New York City and Chicago, there will be at least six retail studios in 2015, including three international locations in Asia.
“We’re incredibly excited about this round of funding, which will allow us to continue to expand our artist network, our global reach, and our ability to develop products that go beyond traditional footwear,” noted BucketFeet co-founder and CEO, Raaja Nemani. “Highlighting artists’ stories and experiences is absolutely paramount to us – because of this, we’re able to offer something that no other brand can provide.”
BucketFeet connects people through art by sourcing designs from artists worldwide on their footwear, while sharing the story behind the artist and their work to develop a truly connected relationship between art and consumer. The brand started small, inspired by a single pair of hand-designed shoes which led to the creation of a brand that now sells products globally, including through nationally recognized retailers such as Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, and Lord & Taylor.
“BucketFeet is already resonating across the world in a way that few brands ever do,” said Rishi Shah, Founder & Managing Partner of Jumpstart Ventures. “The company has a once in a generation opportunity to redefine why consumers shop and how brands are designed. Backing founders like these is why we started doing venture capital and we’re excited to work with Raaja and the growing team to fulfill the company’s potential.”
In the past two months alone, BucketFeet has more than doubled their full-time staff. The brand currently sells sneakers in 20+ foreign countries which account for nearly 50 percent of total sales. In addition, the network’s 12,000+ artists have a global reach of over 24 million followers on social media, spreading the brand far and wide.
For more information about BucketFeet, please visit: bucketfeet.com
Founded in 2011 after a chance meeting between two travelers, BucketFeet is a footwear brand that goes far beyond shoes. Constantly striving towards a mission of connecting people through art by tapping into the creativity and diversity of the world, BucketFeet has grown from one hand-decorated pair of shoes to a brand that has collaborated with over 12,000 artists in more than 80 countries. Keeping in mind the idea that art is for everyone, the brand aims to bring people together through stories, break down barriers, and feed consumers hungry for products that truly allow them to express themselves. Every time you wear BucketFeet, you share an artist’s story with the world.