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Shoes of Prey inks new Nordstrom deal

Shoes of Prey has secured $US15.5 million in capital from a number of global investors to fund the custom shoe brand’s continued US expansion.

US department store, Nordstrom, is among the investors, officially coming on board as an equity partner. The deal follows the roll out of physical Shoes of Prey design studios in six Nordstrom stores in the US.

The capital raising, Shoes of Prey’s largest funding round to date, was led by BlueSky Venture Capital.

Venture capital firm, Greycroft, also joined Nordstrom as a new equity partner, and Khosla Ventures, which led Shoes of Prey’s $US5.5 million Series A-2 round in 2014, also increased its investment. This brings the company’s total combined funding to $US24.6 million.

“The Nordstrom investment follows a number of acquisitions of, and investments in, innovative retail companies in recent years, and shows the company’s continued commitment to offering customers an unparalleled shopping experience,” said Jodie Fox, co-founder of Shoes of Prey.

“It was an easy decision for us to welcome Nordstrom, the leaders in shoe retail and customer service, to our investor group, alongside Greycroft and BlueSky.”

Last year Nordstrom bought Trunk Club, a subscription shopping service, in 2011 it acquired online retailer, HauteLook, and has previously invested in online fashion label Bonobos.

Scott Meden, executive VP and GMM shoes at Nordstrom, said the department store wants to deliver highly relevant experiences to its customers.

“With personalisation becoming more important to how the customer views good service, it’s important for us to find opportunities to stay increasingly relevant,” Meden said.

“Shoes of Prey offers us a way to enhance and deliver a great customer service experience that aligns well with our strategic vision and long-term goals as a company.”

The now LA-based Aussie startup will use the cash to continue growth in the US market via its omnichannel strategy. The funding will also increase production capacity in the company’s dedicated factory in China to cater to increased consumer demand in the US and globally for customised products, and to accelerate future expansion into new products, starting with women’s handbags.

Following the relocation of the company’s headquarters from Sydney to Los Angeles earlier this year, Shoes of Prey is also aggressively hiring to support its rapid growth, currently at 120 per cent year on year.

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