Wendelin Wiedeking, the former chief executive of Porsche, has reportedly invested “several million euros” in Shoepassion. The investment will enable the young startup, based in Berlin, Germany, to strengthen its position and to grow internationally as a premium omni-channel retailer.
Wiedeking became financially involved with Shoepassion when it merged with a traditional manufacturer of men's shoes, Heinrich Dinkelacker in December 2016. Heinrich Dinkelacker, an exclusive maker of handcrafted high-end men's shoes, was on the verge of closure in 2005 until Wiedeking, along with Norbert Lehmann, a former manager of IBM, and Anton Hunger, a former Porsche spokesperson, stepped in to rescue the company.
It was the first time that Shoepassion took money from investors. Previously the company relied on bootstrapping and debt financing for funding.
Tim Keding and Henry Bökemeier launched Shoepassion in 2010 as an online shop selling goodyear welted shoes, as well as traditional leather accessories such as gloves, belts and luggage. It now has six physical shops in Germany, located in Berlin, Cologne, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Munich, as well as stores in Warsaw, Poland, and Zurich in Switzerland. The firm operates online shops in seven countries.
Shoepassion, which does not report its figures, says it has turned in a profit since 2011. The company plans to pursue its expansion in Asia, the Middle East and the U.S.. In also intends to open further stores in the German-speaking region.
Shoepassion retails frame-stitched shoes produced in Spain that sell for €200 to €550. Additionally, a team of 40 master shoemakers in Budapest, Hungary, make Dinkelacker shoes in one of Europe's oldest factories. Approximately 45 pairs are produced each day with each pair requiring 300 manual steps to finish. Prices charged under this brand start from €550.