BucketFeet has raised $7.5 million in a Series A round of funding.
The footwear brand connects people through art. The round was led by Rishi Shah of Jumpstart Ventures, and includes as new investors international distributor Yunsan, founder and former chief executive officer of Crate & Barrel Gordon Segal, Listen Ventures founder Jeff Cantalupo and Livongo Health ceo Glen Tullman.
Shah was also an investor in the company’s seed round. The seed round includes Andy Dunn, cofounder and chief executive of Bonobos, and Brian Spaly, ceo of Trunk Club and cofounder of Bonobos.
According to BucketFeet cofounder and ceo Raaja Nemani, the funding will be used to expand the in-house tech, artist and content teams. The company plans to open more studios, and brick-and-mortar stores. It already has a pop-up store in Soho, and another in Chicago.
Shah said he hadn’t planned on investing in the footwear space, but did so because “I have seen the product and the brand resonate around the world in a way few brands do this quickly.” He has since expanded his involvement in the company to include mentoring the senior team, helping them to scale the organization.
With the latest round and investment, Shah will join BucketFeet as the company’s chairman.
Shah described the company as a “rocket ship continuing to expand fast,” a key component for a venture firm known for investing in high growth startups.
He said one reason why the brand is expanding so rapidly is its ability to attract a loyal consumer base: “When people wear BucketFeet, they wear it for a social reason. It is a way for them to express a part of themselves. They start conversations with others by sharing information about the artist.”
According to Nemani, the company also has a wholesale distribution with retailers such as Nordstrom, and is in retail channels overseas, which it is building out. It works with over 12,000 artists to create designs for its footwear. Price points average $68 for a low-top canvas shoe, and can be as high as $110 for a leather mid-top shoe.
The company is looking to expand into related categories this year, such as socks.
Visitors to its site can find information about the artists and their designs on the footwear.
“People care about the story of the product. Its about authenticity and that’s how consumers connect with the brand,” Nemani said.