ACBC, an Italian start-up company that is offering a patent-pending modular footwear technology, is looking for an investor to help support its strong development. The majority of its capital is currently held by the company's founders, Gio Giacobbe and Edoardo Iannuzzi.

The shareholders have mandated an Italian bank, Banca Sella, to find an investor to buy a 30 percent stake in the company for about €8.5 million by the end of March 2019, which corresponds to the end of ACBC's fiscal year. The company also has the ambition to be publicly listed in about five years' time, possibly on the London Stock Exchange.

ACBC, which stands for Advanced Commuter Basic Concept, has developed a unisex shoe whose upper, referred to as a “skin,” can be entirely removed thanks to a zip and replaced by another skin. This enables users to wear several types of shoes, from smart to sporty models, while carrying just one sole that fits them all. 

Customers are invited to use a 3D configurator to select the best possible combinations. To save space, the skins can be packed in vacuum-sealed pouches. The zips are produced by a South Korean supplier and the shoes are manufactured in China, even though some of the production is being moved to Europe.

ACBC booked revenues of €1.7 million in the past financial year, up sharply from around €700,000 in the previous one. The revenues came from royalties on licensing agreements.

The company claims that a total of 250,000 pairs were sold in the past year using its technology, representing an aggregate retail turnover of about €27 million. The volume is expected to rise to 350,000 in the present financial year, with aggregate retail sales of around €37 million.