Rothy’s just got a major boost as it heads into the new year. The San Francisco-based women’s brand, known for its trendy ballet flats produced from recycled plastic bottles, has landed a $35 million investment from Goldman Sachs to propel its expansion plans. The cash infusion caps off a banner year for Rothy’s that saw the brand sell more than 1 million pairs of its colorful knit shoes, pushing its revenues past the $140 million mark.
“We started Rothy’s to make shoes that would be loved for their style, practicality and comfort while pursuing our company’s mission of sustainability,” said Stephen Hawthornthwaite, CEO, who founded Rothy’s with business partner Roth Martin. “We are thrilled to welcome Goldman Sachs as an investor, and we look forward to the next phase of our journey in becoming a globally recognized brand.”
Ian Friedman, co-head of Goldman Sachs Investment Partners Venture Capital and Growth Equity team, cited Rothy’s tremendous growth potential and unique positioning in the crowded footwear marketplace. “Rothy’s has achieved the rare combination of attributes we look for in a brand: a production process and product offering with differentiated IP, a passionately supportive and loyal customer base and rapid growth achieved through viral means,” he said. “We believe that Rothy’s has the opportunity to eliminate consumers’ historical need to compromise on style, comfort or sustainability.”
Since its launch in 2016, Rothy’s has kept up a brisk expansion pace. Over the past year alone, the brand introduced new women’s silhouettes including a slip-on sneaker, added a girls’ collection and opened its first retail store on San Francisco’s Fillmore Street. Additional U.S. store openings are planned in 2019. The brand also had a major publicity triumph in October when Meghan Markle was photographed in its pointy-toe flats during her royal tour of Australia with husband Prince Harry.
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