SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Birdies, the San-Francisco-based footwear brand fueling a new category combining style and comfort, today announced its $8M Series A funding led by Norwest Venture Partners. Existing institutional investors, Forerunner Ventures and Slow Ventures, participated in the round. The latest round brings Birdies’ total funding to $10M.
Since launching in 2015 with a $2M seed round led by Forerunner Ventures, Birdies has disrupted the footwear industry by creating an entirely new category of footwear. Birdies combines the style of a designer flat with the comfort of a sneaker and the softness of a slipper, making them the most versatile footwear brand in the world. With sales up 400 percent in 2018, the brand is on track to reach 5x year-over-year growth in 2019.
“At Norwest, we are committed to investing in visionary founders who have big aspirations and Bianca and Marisa couldn’t be better examples of the strong leaders we are proud to work with,” said Priti Youssef Choksi, Partner, Norwest Venture Partners. “The team at Birdies has built a beloved brand and we are excited to support them as they continue to scale and connect with today’s modern customers.”
According to market research company NPD Group, sneaker and comfort shoe sales increased by 37 percent in 2017, while women’s heel sales were down by 11 percent from 2017 to 2018. As part of Birdies’ continued growth trajectory and market opportunity, the brand will use their new funding to support inventory (Birdies currently has an over 30,000 person online wait list), expand the product line, grow the team significantly over the next 12 months and expand its retail presence with key partners like Nordstrom. Birdies will also continue to evolve its social impact efforts, which focus on giving back to women in need.
“We are honored to partner with Priti and the Norwest team to help us fuel our expansion goals and become the world’s favorite interior design inspired lifestyle brand. Norwest has a proven track record of investing and scaling companies that consumers love and value, so we are thrilled to join their family of beloved brands and leverage their 50+ years of experience,” said Bianca Gates, Co-Founder and CEO, Birdies.
“We’ve set out to build something that has never been done before and we have been thrilled by the impact that our brand and products have had in resonating with our customers. We’re thrilled that Norwest, along with their experience in helping build strong customer-centric companies, is on board with us as we continue to grow Birdies into a world-class brand,” said Marisa Sharkey, Co-Founder and President, Birdies.
Birdies has been featured on Forbes, Fast Company, VOGUE, ELLE and Refinery29.
Birdies launched in 2015 as a direct-to-consumer brand, creating an entirely new category of footwear. The most versatile footwear brand in the world, Birdies brings luxurious style to life with the lasting comfort of a sneaker, softness of a slipper and style of a designer flat. Birdies is primarily a direct-to-consumer company that sells through its website, physical flagship store in San Francisco and limited wholesale partnership with Nordstrom.
About Norwest Venture Partners
Norwest is a leading growth equity and venture investment firm managing more than $7.5 billion in capital. Since our inception, we have invested in more than 600 companies. The firm invests in early to late stage companies across a wide range of sectors with a focus on consumer, enterprise, and healthcare. We offer a deep network of connections, operating experience, and a wide range of impactful services to help CEOs and founders advance on their journey. Norwest has offices in Palo Alto and San Francisco, with subsidiaries in India and Israel. For more information, please visit Norwest. Follow Norwest on Twitter @NorwestVP.