MILAN — Digitally driven Italian footwear brand Velasca has secured a 2.5-million-euro capital increase backed by venture growth firm Milano Investment Partners and venture capital firm P101 Sgr, along with a pool of private investors.
The investment will allow the footwear brand, cofounded in 2013 by friends Jacopo Sebastio and Enrico Casati, to further develop its online and off-line presence and grow in Italy and internationally with an omnichannel approach.
“Thanks to this investment we will be able to develop our online sales and implement our physical presence in Italy, Europe and North America,” said Sebastio, noting that in 2017 international sales accounted for 20 percent of the total and 35 percent of revenues were generated online.
Retailing at between $175 and $235, Velasca’s Made in Italy men’s shoes including brogues, derbies, monk straps and sneakers are distributed worldwide through the online store. The brand also operates three brick-and-mortar units in Milan, Rome and Turin.
“Fashion-tech has a highly disruptive impact on fashion….Velasca’s innovation started online, allowing the company to impact on the traditional distributive pipeline to meet the final customer’s needs. We believe that Velasca and its team have the right skills to become internationally successful,” said Giuseppe Donvito, a partner at P101.
“The two entrepreneurs were able to reinvent the footwear business interpreting the digital approach’s rules with high-quality products, efficient logistics and distribution and attention to customer care and buying experience. We are convinced that thanks to us and our partners, the Velasca brand will keep growing to become a global player,” added Stefano Guidotti, Milano Investment Partners’ chief executive officer.
While Milano Investment Partners — which Angelo Moratti, vice president of Italian oil refinery company Saras SpA, established last June — is a new investor, venture capital firm P101 had already invested 1.2 million euros in the start-up footwear brand in 2016.