Allbirds, the direct-to-consumer wool sneaker company that’s become a Silicon Valley phenomenon, announced on Thursday that it had secured a series C funding round of $50 million, bringing its total funding to more than $75 million.
The latest round was led by T. Rowe Price Investment Management, joined by Fidelity Management & Research Company and Tiger Global. With its freshly flush bank account, Allbirds has big plans to ramp up its international expansion efforts, invest in sustainability research and increase its brick-and-mortar presence around the U.S.
First up? Its debut London location, opening in the Covent Garden neighborhood next week. U.K. customers will also finally be able to buy the shoes online. The new store will be the brand’s third permanent location, adding to those in New York City and San Francisco. (A Toronto pop-up closed in late summer.) For 2019, the company has set its sights on expanding to Asia, as well as opening more U.S. stores.
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Beyond bringing the buzzy shoes to more customers around the world, the company says it also wants to use the cash to do better by the planet by researching and developing new sustainable materials. Currently, its mesh Tree Runners are made from eucalyptus tree pulp and its flip-flop soles are made from a sugarcane-based, carbon-neutral material it calls SweetFoam.
“There’s an opportunity for us to take a leadership role in an industry that has paid lip service to the idea of sustainability,” Tim Brown, Allbirds’ co-founder and co-CEO said in a statement. “We are incredibly fortunate to be able to take advantage of this moment and challenge footwear norms, creating products that are not only better for our customers, but also better for the planet.”