Los Angeles-based fashion footwear startup Shoes of Prey has raised $15.5 million in Series B funding. BlueSky Venture Capital led the round with participation from Greycroft, Nordstrom and Khosla Ventures.
Los Angeles, Monday 7 December 2015 — Shoes of Prey, the start-up that pioneered on-demand customized fashion footwear globally, today announced a US$15.5 million Series B capital raising and a deepened partnership with specialty fashion retailer Nordstrom.
Shoes of Prey’s largest funding round to date was led by BlueSky Venture Capital. Greycroft and Nordstrom also came on board as new equity partners, and Khosla Ventures, which led Shoes of Prey’s US$5.5 million Series A-2 round in 2014, also increased its investment. This brings the company’s total combined funding to US$24.6 million.
Shoes of Prey is changing the way people access fashion, by giving them the power to design their own shoes online and choose from trillions of combinations of style, heel height, material, color, size and width. Women across the world have designed more than five million shoes on Shoes of Prey since the company was founded in 2009.
Earlier this year the company rolled out physical design studios in six Nordstrom stores across the US. The brand is now also available on Nordstrom.com, which establishes an important new sales channel for Shoes of Prey.
Shoes of Prey co-founders Mike Knapp, Jodie Fox and Michael Fox at one of the six Nordstrom Design Studios in the US
Shoes of Prey will use the funding to continue growing its omni-channel retail presence in the US. The funding will also increase production capacity in the company’s dedicated factory in China to cater to increased consumer demand in the US and globally for customized products, and to accelerate future expansion into new products, starting with women’s handbags.
Following the relocation of the company’s headquarters from Sydney to Los Angeles earlier this year, Shoes of Prey is also aggressively hiring to support its rapid growth, currently at 120 per cent year on year.
Comments on the news
Jodie Fox, Co-founder of Shoes of Prey:
“We’re thrilled to have forward-thinking partners who believe in our mission to empower customers to shop without compromise. Our customers know exactly what they want in shoes, regardless of whether it’s in stock or in season, and we’re proud to deliver a solution that caters to that otherwise unserved need.
“The Nordstrom investment follows a number of acquisitions of, and investments in, innovative retail companies in recent years, and shows the company’s continued commitment to offering customers an unparalleled shopping experience. It was an easy decision for us to welcome Nordstrom, the leaders in shoe retail and customer service, to our investor group, alongside Greycroft and BlueSky.”
Scott Meden, Executive Vice President and GMM Shoes, Nordstrom:
“We want to serve customers in many different ways to deliver highly relevant experiences. With personalization becoming more important to how the customer views good service, it’s important for us to find opportunities to stay increasingly relevant. Shoes of Prey offers us a way to enhance and deliver a great customer service experience that aligns well with our strategic vision and long-term goals as a company.”
Elaine Stead, Investment Director of BlueSky Venture Capital:
“You can look at Shoes of Prey as either a logistics and 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. Shoes of Prey is leading the change in the fashion and retail industries through its on-demand manufacturing model, and that is exactly why BlueSky is excited to invest in the company.
“We are thrilled that we can support Shoes of Prey through this exciting period of global growth.”
Dana Settle, Co-founder and Partner of Greycroft:
“Shoes of Prey has cracked the code on providing women the opportunity to customize their shoes without sacrificing style or quality. Powering this seamless consumer experience is a mix of technology and proprietary processes that the company has developed that enables it to manufacture shoes on demand and greatly reduce waste.
“Greycroft has a history of investing in technology-enabled, design-focused retailers and brands such as Trunk Club and The RealReal. Shoes of Prey is similarly an innovator on these dimensions and we look forward to being part of its growth journey.”
Benjamin Ling, Investment Partner at Khosla Ventures:
“The traditional mass manufacturing model is designed to cater to the masses and not to individual styles and preferences. 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.
“We’re proud to have been able to help facilitate the company’s entry into the US market, which has proven to be a great success so far. We see continued potential for growth in this area and that’s why we decided to increase our investment.”
About Shoes of Prey
Shoes of Prey is a global, multi-channel retail brand founded in Australia in 2009 that empowers women to design their own shoes online and in-store. With over 5 million shoes designed to date, the company is changing the way women shop for shoes and is on track to become a significant international retailer over the next five years. Shoes of Prey has won and been nominated for many awards, with recent prizes including Best International Conqueror 2015 at the Online Retail Industry Awards, Online Retailer of the Year 2014 at the Online Retail Industry Awards, Kogan Australian Online Retailer of the Year 2013 at the Australian Retail Awards, World Retail Awards Store Design of The Year 2013, and Oria Most Innovative Online Retailer and Best Social Commerce 2013. Shoes of Prey announced its partnership with Nordstrom department stores in November 2014 and has raised $US24.6 million to date from top global investors.