Rothy’s, a three-year-old, San Francisco-based company that makes a variety of colorful flats for women, has some more walking-around money today. According to Bloomberg, the company just closed on $35 million in funding from Goldman Sachs’ asset management unit.
The round brings the young company’s total funding to $42 million, including an early $5 million investment from Lightspeed Venture Partners, and $2 million in convertible notes, including from Finn Capital Partners, M13 and Grace Beauty Capital.
Goldman’s interest in the company isn’t surprising. Rothy’s doesn’t disclose how many pairs of shoes it has sold, but the company tells Bloomberg that it expects to see slightly more than $140 million in revenue this year, and, as the outlet surmises from some back-of-the-napkin math, that equates to roughly 1.4 million pairs of shoes sold.
Judging by its enthusiastic consumer base — it has 161,000 Instagram followers, for example — many of those are likely women who own multiple pairs, too.
What they love about the shoes, seemingly: their style, in large part. On this front, it helps that some fashion icons have gravitated toward the shoes, including actress-turned-Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, who has been photographed in Rothy’s.
The company is also selling eco-conscious comfort by making the shoes out of recycled materials that include water bottles. Because of their constitution, they are also machine washable, yet another selling point.
Yet where Rothy’s has really shined is in marketing, including spending hugely on Facebook and to a lesser extent, Instagram and other social media platforms. Indeed, the company has been recognized repeatedly (including by us) for its shoes’ seeming ubiquity online. Though these platforms have grown more crowded in the short time since Rothy’s launched, it spent big on marketing from the outset — it flooded the zone, so to speak — and that campaign has seemingly paid off for the startup.
Today, the company, which runs its own 100,000-square-foot factory in China and employs roughly 500 people — including 50 people in the Bay Area — is selling four types of shoes, including its two best-known silhouettes — a $125 rounded flat shoe and a $145 pointed flat — along with loafers and, more newly, sneakers that are reminiscent of Van’s iconic shoes.
Somewhat ironically, one of the biggest threats to Rothy’s ongoing rise — other than fickle shoppers — is companies that are beginning to copy Rothy’s designs, reports Bloomberg.
The company says, for instance, that it is currently suing at least one outfit, a Virginia-based company, for selling a shoe that looks to Rothy’s alarmingly like one of its own productions.