HandsFree Labs, the Utah-based company that partnered with Nike to create the Go FlyEase laceless clog due to become available on nike.com on Apr. 30 for $120 per pair, has raised $3 million in a new round of funding led by the Frazier Group.
The hands-free footwear technology company had already secured an investment from Nike in November 2019. In addition to licensing its technology to Nike, HandsFree has placed it at the disposal of Kizik, an accessible casual footwear brand. Monte Deere is the CEO of HandsFree as well as Kizik.
The company has hired a new chief product officer for HandsFree and Kizik, Skip Lei, who worked at Nike for more than 30 years. He ran its global tennis operations and developed its Quick Strike program. He also served as a product liason with other brands owned by Nike such as Converse, Hurley, Bauer Hockey, Starter, Cole Haan and Umbro. Claiming more than six patents, HandsFree Labs uses among others a titanium midsole tensioner band combined with a retractable heel that comes up when the foot moves into the shoe. The chairman and founder of the company is Mike Pratt, who also founded Ogio International.