Here’s the Team That Built Allbirds Into a Sustainable Footwear Unicorn

George Paul · September 30, 2020
allbirds black shoes on wooden deck
Image Credit: Allbirds

Allbirds has closed its Series E funding round, which netted the New Zealand-American company $100 million and brought its valuation to $1.7 billion. The sustainable footwear startup said the new funding will aid the company as grows its network of physical stores, expands its product line, and boosts its direct-to-consumer sales operation.

The funding round was led by Franklin Templeton along with T. Rowe Price, Baillie Gifford, TDM Growth Partners, Rockefeller Capital Management.

Allbirds initially set out to raise just $50 million but was met with greater than anticipated interest from investors. This is the second fundraising effort from the startup this year, as Allbirds commenced a Series D round earlier in 2020, but ended it early because of the breakout of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Business can be a force for positive change, and this additional capital will allow us to further our mission of bringing more sustainable products to people around the world,” said Allbirds Co-CEO Joey Zwillinger in a press release. “We have seen the power of collective action in response to the global pandemic and, as we continue to grow, we will push for a similar united response to another universal threat: climate change.”

The company, which sold just one pair of shoes in the first 14 months after its founding, ended up selling one million pairs by March 2018. This explosive growth has continued into 2019 and 2020 and can be attributed to a stellar cast of executives and team members. Here some of the key players that have made the dream of a sustainable shoe into a fashion phenomenon.

Allbirds Org Chart on The Org

Allbirds currently operates globally with 21 retail locations in the United States, Europe, Asia, and New Zealand, but is looking to put at least some of its latest funding towards expanding its physical presence. Head of Global Retail Operations Travis Boyce is the man responsible for these efforts and will be increasingly important as the company opens new stores in the US and abroad.

President of International Erick Haskell is in charge of growing the Allbird’s brand in new and diverse foreign markets. The company’s international arm has exceeded expectations with strong launches in Japan and South Korea as well as continued growth in China. Moving forward Haskell and team members like Keiichi Takehana, the Managing Director of Japan, will help the company reach new heights and tap further into new growth opportunities.

A portion of Allbirds’ latest funding will also go towards new product lines, which will require the expertise of Jad Finck, the VP of Innovation & Sustainability. Finck, one of the company’s earliest employees, focuses on scouting, developing, and deploying exciting and sustainable materials and manufacturing processes for the company’s new and existing products. Finck’s expertise will be used to create new styles using a wide range of sustainable materials that appeal to the company’s growing fan base.

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