Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Koio, a direct-to-consumer leather sneaker brand, picks up $3 million

Retail has been revolutionized over the last decade, with brands like Casper and Warby Parker offering high-quality goods at lower costs simply by selling them through the internet.

Koio, a relatively new high-end sneaker brand, is looking to get in on the new retail wave, and the company has some fresh cash to do it.

Koio has just announced the close of a $3 million Series A funding led by Action Capital, with participation from Brand Foundry Ventures, Winkelvoss Capital, actor Miles Teller and director and producer Simon Kinberg, among others.

Koio was founded Chris Wichert and Johannes Quodt, who were sick of spending so much on high-end leather sneakers. The brand focuses on making nice shoes available at a relatively lower price while maintaining high quality products. Most of Koio’s shoes run for around $250.

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The company works with a Chanel factory in Italy for all manufacturing, and no piece of the production is outsourced.

But what’s more interesting to consumers is that Koio’s strategy includes collaborations. The company has partnered with tattoo artist Jonboy, surfer Lindsey Davis, and even Game of Thrones for limited run sneakers, all of which have sold out quickly.

Koio launched in late 2015, and saw 400 percent YOY growth in 2017. The company has also started launching pop-up shops, with one in NYC and one launching today in Los Angeles.

“It’s really important to us that we build Koio in an authentic and sustainable way and that our authenticity is transparently communicated to customers in the digital age,” said Wichert.