SAN FRANCISCO – Allbirds, a certified B-Corp brand which is trailblazing the use of sustainable materials in footwear, has announced that it has closed Series C funding of US$50m. The round of funding was led by T. Rowe Price Investment Management, as well as Fidelity Management & Research Company and return backer Tiger Global. It brings total funding to more than US$75m. The company said the cash injection will be used to support research and development of sustainable materials, as well as an expansion strategy that introduces a broader range of products.
Allbirds was established by former New Zealand professional soccer player Tim Brown and biotech engineer Joey Zwillinger. The company has so far developed its customer base in the US, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. The US-based company is known for making casual sneakers from merino wool.
Allbirds currently operates retail locations in San Francisco and New York and the brand is also set to head into the United Kingdom, introducing a retail store London, as well as launching operations and shipping throughout the UK. In 2019, Allbirds will open additional stores across the US and expand into Asian markets, using e-commerce and physical retail to introduce the brand in the region.
“Climate change is the problem of our generation and the private sector has a responsibility to combat it,” said Joey Zwillinger, co-founder and co-CEO. “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.”
“There’s an opportunity for us to take a leadership role in an industry that has paid lip service to the idea of sustainability. We are incredibly fortunate to be able to take advantage of this moment and challenge footwear norms, creating products that are not only better for our customers, but also better for the planet,” added Tim Brown, co-founder and co-CEO.