Direct-to-consumer dynamo Allbirds soars to $1.4B valuation on some sweet kicks

Hip sustainable shoemaker Allbirds raised $50m at a $1.4B valuation after remarkably rapid growth driven by a rock-solid direct-to-consumer business model.

Silicon Valley’s wool sneaker darling Allbirds raised a $50m Series C at the end of last week, bringing its valuation to $1.4B

Building on the success of brands like Bonobos and Warby Parker, the shoemaker is a poster child for the staying power of the direct-to-consumer business model — and how much it’s evolved in the past 10 years.

Now, Allbirds is on track to out-Warby Warby

First, Bonobos built a D2C clothing empire in 11 years before selling to Walmart for $310m, then Dollar Shave Club sold to Unilever for $1B in just 5.

And, of course, there’s D2C OG Warby Parker, which has opted to stay private, raising $290.5m over 8 years to hit a $1.75B valuation. 

But Allbirds has outpaced them all, hitting a  $1.4B valuation in just 3 years after raising $77.5m

’Birds in flight

Allbirds’ value tripled in just 13 months after raising a $17.5m round last year, thanks to their refreshingly simple business model: Allbirds sells shoes made of wool or wood for $95. That’s it. 

Eventually, as it grows where no D2C startup has grown before, Allbirds will decide whether or not to IPO. But for now, Allbirds founder Joey Zwillinger tells The Wall Street Journal an IPO is “not desirable for a variety of reasons.”

Instead, they’ll use their new tickle cash to launch a UK store and 8 more US stores (on top of their two new US locations) in 2019.

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