KOIO announces additional $6M of funding – to invest in product development and expanding its teams in New York and Italy
NEW YORK, NYC / SAN FRANCISCO / MUNICH – Thursday, October 24, 2019 – KOIO, the direct-to-consumer sneaker label dedicated to making luxury footwear more accessible in the digital era, announced today the close of an additional $6 million to its Series A, totaling $9M in funding. This round was led by US investor Founders Fund and i.a. participated by previous investors Acton Capital from Munich and Brand Foundry Ventures from NYC. KOIO had completed a first close of $3 million led by Acton Capital in April 2018. With the close of this additional funding, the company is setting out to create new, unique designs in order to offer a more complete product portfolio to its loyal customer base. Additionally, KOIO will focus on scaling the operational team to respond to the increased demand for KOIO’s products.
Founded in 2015 by Wharton graduates Johannes Quodt and Chris Wichert, the brand takes a modern approach to sell its highest-quality, Italian-made footwear. Direct channels make up 90 percent of its business: KOIO’s online store books a majority of the sales. In addition to the web platform, KOIO operates store locations in New York, Miami, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Each piece of KOIO’s footwear is crafted over a period of four hours by local artisans who also work with Chanel and Hermès at select manufacturers in Le Marche, Italy. With a year-round, direct-to-consumer business, the brand aims to become the leading modern footwear luxury brand, driven by rigorous demand analysis, dedication to craftsmanship, and elevated aesthetics. The price point of existing styles and new colorways for both men and women ranges from $178 to $368. By the end of 2019, KOIO is projected to grow more than 100% year-over-year.
“KOIO is making luxury design accessible.”
– Stacy Chang, Chief of Staff at Founders Fund
“Modern consumers want quality, versatile products that are beautifully crafted without being pretentious and KOIO speaks to this group in a way other footwear brands do not,” shares Stacy Chang, Founders Fund.
“Since our initial investment in 2018, KOIO has refined its unique brand and storytelling approach and opened pop-up stores all over the US. As one of the rare labels able to blend on- with offline growth, KOIO has established the leading direct-to-consumer brand in its segment”, adds Jan-Gisbert Schultze, Managing Partner at Acton Capital.
“Our mission is to provide footwear products that consumers can confidently embrace in everyday situations.”
– Johannes Quodt, co-founder and co-CEO at KOIO
“We are thrilled to be partnering with Founders Fund. One of the most gratifying experiences about this business is creating long-lasting relationships with customers who trust your product and use it every day, and investors who believe in your vision. This investment represents a new era for KOIO as we’ll be bringing on more talent and new ideas to continue creating a product that represents a community that is not afraid to live daring lives” says co-founder and co-CEO, Johannes Quodt.
“A big differentiator of KOIO is our understanding of the importance of working with efficient ordering systems, adds co-founder and co-CEO, Chris Wichert. “This not only helps us achieve a healthier inventory but also contributes to less waste and more conscious buying. Since our initial launch, we’ve been able to build analytics that have helped us understand what our customers want and what they’d like to see next. With our latest funding support, we’ll be able to continue employing processes that allow us to recognize demand forecasting and produce efficient collections.”
Founded in 2015, KOIO is on a mission to 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 sneakers is crafted over a period of four hours by the same artisans responsible for Chanel’s leather goods. KOIO is dedicated to offering timeless shoes, constructed by craftspeople that are fairly compensated, receiving their rightful share of the value that’s created. The brand constantly works to champion fair manufacturing practices, the livelihood of craftspeople, and inclusivity in the leather category.