San Francisco based footwear brand Birdies, announced a $2 million Series Seed funding round for their in-demand luxury slippers. The round is led by Forerunner Ventures, the investors behind Jet.com and Dollar Shave Club, with participation from Slow Ventures, Graph Ventures, Social Capital and a few strategic individual investors. The company will use this round of funding to accelerate brand growth through product expansion and increased marketing efforts. Additionally, the company will open its first store on Union Street in San Francisco in Fall 2017.
Co-founders Bianca Gates and Marisa Sharkey created Birdies out of their own need for fashionable at-home slippers. After extensive research and coming up short on available options, they saw an opportunity in the marketplace to create the ultimate indoor shoe.
"We love to entertain friends and family at home but could never find cozy footwear that made style sense and were also comfortable for around the house. Tired of running around barefoot, in our socks, or in frumpy slippers, we decided to leverage our design aesthetic and work with incredible manufacturers to solve this issue," said Bianca Gates, co-founder and CEO of Birdies.
Bianca Gates and Marisa Sharkey had high-powered positions at Facebook and Ross Stores, respectively, when the two friends decided to team up and solve this personal problem once and for all. As orders began to roll in at a pace that far exceeded their expectations, they made the leap to dedicate all of their time to launching the brand.
"As evidenced by the number of early customers that have shared their own discovery of Birdies with friends, it's clear Bianca and Marissa have struck a chord in a somewhat forgotten, and certainly dated, category. We respect their founding story and are looking forward to being part of their team as they seize the potential to redefine indoor fashion with chic slippers," said Kirsten Green, founder and managing director of Forerunner Ventures.
"We're excited to welcome the Birdies team to the Slow community as they take on this new segment. Bianca and Marisa have demonstrated in their careers the grit and creativity needed to inspire a movement, and we are excited to be able to support them in their quest," said Sam Lessin, Slow Ventures.
The reinvented slippers are made with responsive foam, often found in sneakers, for extra comfort and bounce. They offer satin and faux shearling lining for softness, and rubber soles for indoor traction and outdoor wear. The collection retails for $140.00 and is available at specialty boutiques and on the brand's e-commerce site, BirdiesSlippers.com