Acton Leads Series A in DTC Luxury Sneaker Brand Koio
New York/Munich, April 11, 2018 – Luxury leather goods label, Koio, announced today that it has closed a $3 million Series A round of venture funding led by Acton Capital. The round of financing was completed by other institutional and private investors including Brand Foundry Ventures, Winklevoss Capital, actor, Miles Teller, and director and producer, Simon Kinberg.
The investment comes on the heels of a year of tremendous growth for the New York-based startup, which experienced over 400% revenue growth in 2017 after introducing its first sneaker collaborations with the likes of JonBoy, Game of Thrones, The Beverly Hills Hotel, Ben Medansky, Quincy Davis and more. The new funding will allow the brand to further improve their online and in-store customer experience, grow their store footprint in new markets, expand their footwear portfolio and build the Koio team. The brand just signed a 5-year lease on its Nolita location and is opening its first West Coast pop-up location in Los Angeles on Melrose Place in April 2018.
“In an impressive, short time-frame, Koio has established itself as a leading direct-to-consumer brand and one of the visionary companies in the e-commerce and retail space.“
“Koio is transforming the online and in-store luxury shopping experience with a community-focused approach to events, unconventional collaborations and storytelling,” says Jan Schultze, Managing Partner at Acton Capital. “We’re thrilled to invest in the business and support its growth as the brand continues to innovate leather goods and bring old-world luxury into the digital age.”
Koio’s ingenious approach to out-of-the-box collaborations is an extension of the brand’s mission to redefine the luxury leather category – fusing the inspiring stories of collaborators that share the brand’s rebellious DNA with physical products, in-store events and a strong focus on digital activations. With its collaborations and by championing a community of go-getters, Koio wants to inspire customers to be confident in taking risks to write their own unique life stories. Through optimized customer communication, and fast feedback and production loops, the direct-to-consumer brand is able to react to trends faster, quickly releasing new products and offering them at more accessible price points than traditional labels, without traditional retail markup.
“By democratizing luxury since day one, Koio has quickly resonated with modern consumers in ways that many luxury labels have struggled to do in recent years,” says Sterling Witzke, Partner at Winklevoss Capital. “This is one of the rare brands that has successfully grown both its digital and physical presence in tandem, as two complimentary parts of one greater community-based retail experience. We’re excited to continue to invest in Koio’s growth, as it expands its product portfolio and global reach.”
“Koio is extremely proud to have obtained the support of exceptional investors in this round of financing led by Acton Capital,” says Chris Wichert, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Koio. “Support from such a strong institution and other key institutional and independent investors indicates the tremendous level of confidence in our brand, mission and growth strategy.”
“We are dedicated to continuing to redefine the modern day luxury retail experience through a synchronized online and in-store strategy, as we expand our team, product portfolio and physical footprint,” says Johannes Quodt, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Koio.
Founded in 2015 by Wharton graduates, Johannes Quodt and Chris Wichert, Koio is the leading direct-to-consumer leather goods label bringing old-world luxury into the digital era. Constructed in Italy with the finest calfskin leathers and hand-finished with unrivaled attention to detail, each pair of Koio’s leather sneakers is crafted over a period of 4 hours by the artisans responsible for Chanel’s leather goods. The end product is a truly fine sneaker of the highest quality, offered at an incredible price. Koio speaks to a generation of people who recognize the distinction between quality and excess, and that—like the brand’s co-founders—eschew traditional paths in favor of forging their own.