StyleTread, the leading Australian online shoe store modeled around Zappos principles, has secured a Series C financing of AUD$12 million led by Starfish Ventures, joining existing investors Lakestar, Nine Entertainment Co., and Adinvest. Nine Entertainment recently invested $4 million and is further evidence of a bit of a tech boom in Australia, where a few startups have emerged in recent years including 99designs, Envato, Remember the Milk, SitePoint and DesignCrowd, though many prefer to bootstrap at the outset rather than take VC.
Founded by Mark Rowland and Bjorn Behrendt (a former Berlin-based entrepreneur) in late 2010 using incubation capital from Lakestar, StyleTread is going up against Samwer Zappos clone Zalando. The Germans against the Germans it would seem.
Based in Melbourne, Starfish Ventures is a venture capital firm with over $400 million under management. The investment from Starfish, who will now hold a significant stake in the company plus the increased investment by Nine Entertainment Co., means that StyleTread is now owned by a majority of Australian shareholders. Bonza!