How Allbirds went from a Kickstarter campaign to $1.7 billion company

  • Sustainable shoe brand Allbirds has experienced massive growth since being founded by Joey Zwillinger and Tim Brown in 2016, with celebrities and Silicon Valley elites alike favoring the brand.
  • The company announced a new $100 million round of funding Friday, which increased its valuation to $1.7 billion from its previous $1.4 billion.
  • In just four years, the shoe-maker grew from a small operation making unconventional shoes into a fashion icon.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Footwear unicorn Allbirds brought in $100 million in Series E funding led by Franklin Templeton, it said Monday.

That new round valued the company at $1.7 billion, up from its last valuation of $1.4 billion, the Wall Street Journal’s John Stoll reported.

The company’s famously comfy shoes have exploded in popularity since it was founded in 2016 by an ex-soccer player and a former biotech executive. The brand is known as a fashion staple of Silicon Valley, but cofounder and co-CEO Joey Zwillinger attributed investor interest to a slow-and-steady growth philosophy, he told the WSJ.

Yet the company’s expansion has been anything but slow. Cofounder and co-CEO Tim Brown debuted an early version of its sustainable wool-and-sugarcane shoes on Kickstarter in 2014 that attracted the attention of Zwillinger, and the duo founded Allbirds in 2016.

Keep reading to learn about how Zwillinger and Brown turned a small, unusual shoe company into a ubiquitous brand that Silicon Valley loves in less than four years.

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