Koio Collective, a high-end women’s and men’s footwear brand founded by Johannes Quodt and Chris Wichert, two Germans who met while getting their MBAs at the Wharton School, successfully raised $1.3 million in their seed round.
The lead investor is Olive Tree Capital. Other investors include Steven Alan; Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss; Brand Foundry, investor in Warby Parker and Birchbox; Andy Dunn, cofounder and chief executive officer of Bonobos, and Brian Spaly, founder and chief executive officer of Trunk Club and cofounder of Bonobos. Advisers to the company are Neil Blumenthal, co-ceo and cofounder of Warby Parker, and Ken Pilot, former ceo of J. Crew and former president of Gap.
Based in New York, the brand launched in February 2015 as an e-commerce venture at KoioCollective.com, featuring a single men’s high-top style in four color ways, all made of pebbled calf leather. It launched women’s last fall. For spring 2016, the women’s and men’s styles retail from $248 to $338 and feature pebble-grain calf leather from northern Italy for the upper of the shoe. The lining is made of soft calf leather from the same region.
To date, the brand has only been available online, but starting in August, it is launching a small partnership with Steven Alan, which will sell it in three stores, two in New York and one in Los Angeles.