Shoes of Prey is developing a habit of going into Christmas with a lot of cash in its pockets. Last December the startup announced that it had raised a US$5.5 million Series A to help further its expansion into the US market, and this year it’s almost tripled that, closing a US$15.5 million Series B round led by BlueSky Venture Capital, with Greycroft and US retailer Nordstrom coming on board as equity partners.
This round brings the total capital raised by Shoes of Prey since its founding in 2009 to US$24.6 million, and follows the shifting of its headquarters to LA earlier this year. It will go towards furthering the growth of Shoes of Prey’s omni-channel retail presence in the US, as well as increasing production capacity in the startup’s China factory to keep up with demand. More than five million pairs of shoes have been created through Shoes of Prey.
Shoes of Prey co-founder Jodie Fox said, “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.”
She said it was “an easy decision” to welcome Nordstrom to the startup’s investor group, with the retailer’s other investments showing its commitment to offering customers new, “unparalleled” shopping experiences.
The startup’s involvement with Nordstrom goes back to last year, when Shoes of Prey signed a deal to launch physical design studios in six Nordstrom stores across the US. This new partnership will see the launch of new studios, while the Shoes of Prey brand is now also available on Nordstrom’s online store.
This blend of online and bricks and mortar, which Shoes of Prey began with David Jones in Australia, has been highly successful for the startup. For the retailers, the design studios offer a way to deliver new experiences to customers and create a deeper sense of engagement.
Scott Meden, executive vice president and GMM of Norstrom, said, “With personalisation 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.”
As well as expanding its physical reach, Shoes of Prey has signalled its intention to expand into new product offerings, beginning with women’s handbags. It will face competition from dozens of startups that applied its model to various products, such as Mon Purse in the women’s handbag space, but its proven track record and big name backing will undoubtedly hold Shoes of Prey in excellent stead.