Casual footwear company Solethreads has raised $3.7 million in Series A funding, led by Fireside Ventures.
The round also saw participation from new and existing investors, including DSG Consumer Partners and Saama Capital, along with the Angel investors Nihir Nalin Parikh and Dhaval Nalin Parikh.
Currently, it is in more than 600 MBOs through distributors and in large retail formats such as Shoppers Stop, Reliance Retail, Metro Shoes, etc. in India’s top 30 cities across the country, along with e-commerce sites like Myntra, Ajio, Flipkart, Amazon and its own website.
The funding will be used for category and geographical footprint expansion as it aims to be present in more than 1,000 multi-brand outlets by the end of the financial year and be among the top 3 casual footwear brands in the semi-premium category on e-commerce marketplaces, the company said in a release.
“The footwear industry has been dominated by global brands, and we aim to be the brand built in India for the world. Our first outlet in Mumbai is using technology to make it India’s first Phygital Casual footwear store, thereby disrupting the industry,” said co-founder and CEO Sumant Kakaria.
Additionally, it will also use the funds to enhance its design innovation lab and R&D centre, strengthen its launch pipeline, and explore new categories.
“We look for brands that understand the consumers they are serving and create products that solve their unmet needs. Footwear is an enormous, albeit highly competitive category, and we believe the company is positioned to capture the untapped opportunity in the casual footwear segment,” said Vinay Singh, co-founder of Fireside Ventures.
India is the second largest market after China in the global shoe industry, and Indian buyers are conscious of value additions and the brand they choose, so there is a strong demand for good-looking international quality footwear at sensible prices, according to the company. The non-leather footwear industry in India is projected to grow eight-fold by 2030 and is expected to cross the $6 billion mark by 2024, and Solethreads, being a homegrown design-led brand, is ready to keep pace.
“We have also taken a new age approach by digitising the offline business by enabling a B2B app for distributors, which enables us to have better demand planning. This initiative is designed to totally disrupt this space”, added Gaurav Chopra, co-founder of Solethreads.