SAN FRANCISCO — Birdies, a San-Francisco-based footwear brand that combines style and comfort, announced an $8 million 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 $10 million.
Birdies launched in 2015 with a $2 million seed round led by Forerunner Ventures. 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.
Birdies primarily sells shoes through its website, its physical flagship store at 1934 Union Street in San Francisco and limited wholesale partnership with Nordstrom.
“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.