CNBC Video - Joey Zwillinger, Allbirds co-Founder and co-CEO, talks about the startup of his natural fabric footwear company and the opening of its concept store in New York City.
Allbirds plans to expand to new materials with $17.5 million in fresh funds
You can’t walk outside your door in San Francisco these days without seeing some tech worker or VC wearing a pair of Allbirds. The eco-friendly wool shoes have taken over the tech world since the startup’s launch a mere 18 months ago. Now, it plans to expand globally and develop new materials beyond its signature merino wool. Allbirds has a good amount of capital to go there as the company just raised $17.5 million for its Series B funding, adding a total of $27.5 million to work with now. Tiger Global Management led the round and, as you may be able to tell from the hedge fund’s other bets, Allbirds intends to use those connections to spread its wings internationally.
Sneaker Startup Allbirds Lands $17.5 Million In New Funding
Allbirds, a San Francisco-based sneaker startup, has raised $17.5 million in new investment. The Series B funding round was led by Tiger Global Management, a New York-based firm that has also backed Warby Parker, Spotify and Facebook. Elephant, Lerer Hippeau Ventures and Maveron also invested. The new infusion brings Allbirds’ total funding to $27.5 million to date. The shoe company was founded in 2015 by Tim Brown, a former New Zealand professional soccer player, and Joey Zwillinger, a biotech engineer and renewable materials expert. The startup has more than 50 employees and has been profitable since launch, according to Tim Brown. “We were absolutely diligent on every dollar we spent,” he says. He declined to disclose revenue or valuation.
We tried 'the world's most comfortable shoes' to see if they're as great as everyone says they are
Whether you know someone who has and loves them, or you’ve just seen enough colorful, plush-looking sneakers walking around to note the style, you’ve likely already come into contact with the San Francisco brand Allbirds. Allbirds is only about a year old, but you’d never know that by how popular it has become. The founder, Tim Brown, grew up in New Zealand — a place most of us rightfully associate with rolling green hills, Lord of the Rings, and hordes of fluffy sheep grazing on said green hills. It was there that he noticed the properties of merino wool and their implications — A super comfortable, sustainable material that wicks away moisture, regulates temperature, and minimizes odor? Why hadn’t this been used to make shoes before?
Silicon Valley's Fuzzy Fad
Now comes the Allbird, a knit wool loafer. In uncomfortable times, Silicon Valley has turned to a comfortable shoe. If there’s a venture capitalist nearby, there’s probably a pair of Allbirds, too. The Google co-founder Larry Page wears Allbirds, according to the shoemaker, as do the former Twitter chief Dick Costolo and the venture capitalists Ben Horowitz and Mary Meeker. Founded by a New Zealand soccer star and a clean-technology entrepreneur, Allbirds makes the sneakerlike shoes from wool and castor bean oil. Slightly fuzzy to the touch, Allbirds have minimal styling (tiny logos only) and come in two versions: a runner and a lounger. Both styles, for men and women, sell for $95. Next month, Allbirds is opening its first store in Manhattan.
Allbirds opens a pop-up shop featuring footwear and specialty food and home goods at Grand Central Market
LA Times- Tim Brown, a British-born former professional soccer player from New Zealand, noticed an opportunity in the footwear market for minimalist, nonperformance sneakers. So he reinvented a simple lace-up tennis shoe in soft New Zealand wool and launched a Kickstarter campaign in 2014 that quickly raised $120,000. An investment round a year later attracted an additional $2.25 million, with contributions from Jeff Raider and David Gilboa, co-founders of affordable eyewear brand Warby Parker. By then, Brown had partnered with Joey Zwillinger, a business-savvy friend working in the biotech industry. He also upgraded the shoes with a super-fine merino wool spun into fabric by the 153-year-old Italian
There's a new version of the 'world's most comfortable shoes' that Silicon Valley loves
Can you improve on something that's already close to perfect? That's what I wondered after Allbirds last month debuted a new shoe, the $95 loafer-style "Wool Loungers." When I reviewed the original $95 “Wool Runners,” last year, I was charmed by the New Zealand wool sneakers' look and feel. And I've continued to get tons of unsolicited compliments from strangers on them since. I'm not the only one in their thrall. Over the last year, Silicon Valley startup founders and venture capitalists have
BuzzFeed Video - People Try The World's Most Comfortable Shoes BuzzFeedBlue
Silicon Valley’s favorite shoe now comes in a new style
Last March, Allbirds hit the market with a single product: a wool sneaker that didn't require you to wear socks. The brand, which has raised a total of $9.95 million in funding, was a big hit among techies and entrepreneurs. (In this month's magazine, the founder of Lola recommended it.) According to the founders, the company set itself very ambitious targets for the first year and ended up surpassing them by five times. Today, the company launches a new wool shoe in a smoking slipper silhouette that it is calling the "Lounger." It's a flat slip-on that feels much like the previous Runner style, but does not have laces. The Allbirds design team came up with dozens of prototypes before landing on this one. "This was much harder to design than the Runner," cofounder Tim Brown explains. "There's so little to work with on a flat shoe. Everything needed to be perfect, because there was nowhere for us to hide imperfections."
Allbirds, the sustainable sneaker that's growing in popularity without a big brand name
Allbirds Raises $7.25M Series A led by Maveron
Venture capitalist Henry McNamara owns a pair of Allbirds sneakers in five colors. He obsessively posts photos of them to social media, and never leaves for business without them. McNamara, a general partner at early stage investment firm Great Oaks, is biased. His firm invested in the San Francisco-based footwear startup before it became a Silicon Valley phenomenon. But like like many young professionals, McNamara is over dress shoes.
Are wool sneakers the future of footwear? Some investors think so.
Investors seem to think sustainable sneakers have potential. Allbirds, the San Francisco-based startup that makes wool sneakers, just closed on $7.25 million in a new round of funding. The Series A round was led by Maveron, the venture capital firm co-founded by Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. Seed investors Lerer Hippeau, Peterson Partners, Great Oaks VC, Red Sea Ventures and Slow Ventures also participated, Allbirds said.
Silicon Valley is obsessed with these wool sneakers that claim to be the 'most comfortable in the world'
I'm sitting in a WeWork office in San Francisco that looks torn from a West Elm catalog, talking with Michael Brandt about Nootrobox, a subscription service for "smart drugs," or cognitive-enhancement supplements. But I can't stop admiring his shoes — a pair of fuzzy gray sneakers. "They're really awesome. I don't wear socks anymore," Brandt, a
Why Shoe Startups Are Making Sneakers From Wool
The perfect airport shoe is hard to come by. It should be stylish, cushioned but not overly sporty, and slip on easily. Tim Brown, a former professional soccer player from New Zealand, thinks he has the killer application for such a shoe: wool. Today, Brown launched allbirds, an e-commerce sneaker brand selling one simple model: a foam and rubber outsole stitched to a single piece of merino wool. Dubbed The Wool Runner, the kicks come in four colors and are available only on the allbirds website for $95. It’s a shockingly spare shoe, but it passes the airport test.
The World’s Most Comfortable Shoes Are Made of Super-Soft Wool
Next in line for disruption: sneakers. Allbirds, a new San Francisco-based startup aimed at designing environmentally friendly and comfortable footwear, launched Mar. 1. Its first product is called the Wool Runner, a minimalist sneaker made of natural textiles. The $95 shoes, for men and women, come in five colors and can only be purchased online.