San Francisco-based Allbirds, a maker of eco-friendly wool shoes, has raised $50 million in Series C funding. T. Rowe Price Investment Management led the round with participation from Fidelity Management & Research Company and return backer Tiger Global.
San Francisco (Oct. 11, 2018) – Today, Allbirds, the certified B-Corp brand pioneering the use of premium sustainable materials in footwear, announced that it has closed Series C funding of $50 million led by T. Rowe Price Investment Management, along with Fidelity Management & Research Company and return backer Tiger Global, bringing total funding to more than $75 million. The capital will be used to support deep research and development of sustainable materials, as well as an ambitious expansion strategy that will bring better products to more closets around the globe.
Allbirds currently operates retail locations in San Francisco and New York, and sells direct to customers through its own e-commerce sites in the United States, New Zealand, Australia and Canada. Next week, the brand is taking its first step across the Atlantic to the United Kingdom, introducing a retail store in the Covent Garden neighborhood in London, as well as launching operations and shipping throughout the U.K. In 2019, Allbirds will open additional stores across the U.S. and expand into Asian markets, leveraging both e-commerce and physical retail to introduce the brand in the region.
“Climate change is the problem of our generation and the private sector has a responsibility to combat it,” says Joey Zwillinger, co-founder and co-CEO. “We founded Allbirds as a Public Benefit Corporation, officially writing environmental protection into our charter. This injection of capital will help us bring our sustainable products to more people around the globe, demonstrating that comfort, design and sustainability don’t have to live exclusive of each other.”
Since launching in March 2016, Allbirds has focused on making better things in a better way. This has pointed the brand’s attention towards the continued research and development of novel materials, challenging the industry’s status quo. In 2018, Allbirds expanded on its hero merino wool material and introduced two new innovations: Tree, a light and breezy fabric made from eucalyptus fiber, and SweetFoam™, a shoe sole powered by the world’s first sugarcane-based, carbon-negative EVA compound, which Allbirds has made freely available to other footwear companies, as well as for use across industries.
“There’s an opportunity for us to take a leadership role in an industry that has paid lip service to the idea of sustainability. We are incredibly fortunate to be able to take advantage of this moment and challenge footwear norms, creating products that are not only better for our customers, but also better for the planet,” says Tim Brown, co-founder and co-CEO.
At Allbirds, we believe in making better things in a better way. We are on a mission to prove that comfort, design and sustainability aren’t mutually exclusive. We are dedicated to making sustainable products using premium natural materials, designed for everyday life. Additional Allbirds investors include Academy Award®-winning actor and environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio, Scooter Braun, Andre Iguodala, Elephant, Maveron, and Lerer Hippeau