Allbirds first launched two years ago with one goal in mind: to provide the most comfortable shoe on the planet. The brand’s first shoe was a pair of superfine merino wool sneakers. The grey sneakers took off, selling more than a million pairs in its first two years.
The brand is also catching the eyes of investors. The company recently announced that it raised $50 million in funding from Fidelity, T. Rowe Price and Tiger Global. In total, Allbirds has raised $77.5 million. With the new funding round, the company is now valued at over $1 billion.
It’s not surprising that Allbirds is gaining the attention of investors and customers. Clothing has become more casual, and people are no longer wearing athletic clothing only for the purpose of going to the gym. Sneakers are now a part of the everyday wardrobe for many people. It’s not uncommon to see people walking down the street in white sneakers or Gucci shoes replica sneakers.
Allbirds has focused on creating comfortable shoes that match this lifestyle, and they’ve done so in a sustainable way. While the brand’s first shoe was made of wool, the company has been expanding into new materials and styles. Allbirds recently launched a line of runners made out of eucalyptus fibers that’s more comfortable for summer weather.
The company has been pouring much of its money into materials research.
In 2019, Allbirds plans to open more locations in the U.S. and expand its operations into Asia. The company will leverage both physical retail and e-commerce retail to bring their brand into the region.
Joey Zwillinger, co-CEO and co-founder, said in a press release, “Climate change is the problem of our generation and the private sector has a responsibility to combat it. 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.”
News of Allbirds’ recent round of funding comes as Nike announces that it will be launching a new store called Unlaced. The store, which was announced at Paris Fashion Week, will cater to females. The round will be curated by Sarah Andelman, the founder of Colette.
In its press release, Nike says it’s “pushing new female voices” and “challenging the status quo.”