Allbirds, eco-friendly shoe startup, raises $50 million led by T. Rowe Price

Trendy shoe-making startup, Allbirds, announced Thursday that it has closed Series C funding of $50 million, led by T. Rowe Price Investment Management, Fidelity Management & Research Company and Tiger Global.

Allbirds, a shoe brand made with sustainable materials, will use the money to research sustainable materials and to execute an expansion strategy.

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The company currently sells through its website in the US, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand and at retail stores in New York and San Francisco.  It plans to open a store in the UK next month.

The 3-year-old startup founded by Joey Zwillinger and Tim Brown has raised $75 million to date, including a $17.5 million Series B last year. Its backed by Leonardo DiCaprio, Scooter Braun, Maveron, Lerer Hippeau and Elephant, the venture capital firm led by Warby Parker founder Andrew Hunt.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting the round values Allbirds at $1.4 billion.

Using its latest investment, Allbirds will  double its brick-and-mortar business. In addition to the UK, the company says it will open even more locations in the US, as well as open doors in Asia in the coming months.

Allbirds makes eco-friendly wool shoes for men, women and kids via its kid’s line, aptly named Smallbirds. The shoes are made out of sustainable materials, including merino wool, a fabric made from eucalyptus fiber.

“Climate change is the problem of our generation and the private sector has a responsibility to combat it,” Zwillinger, Allbirds’ chief executive officer, said in a statement. “This injection of capital will help us bring our sustainable products to more people around the globe, demonstrating that comfort, design and sustainability don’t have to live exclusive of each other.”

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