Nordstrom has participated in a $15.5 million round of investment raised by Shoes of Prey, an Australian start-up that pioneered on-demand customizable fashion footwear. The Aussie start-up has raised $24.6 million so far, with other investors including BlueSky Venture Capital, which has led the latest funding round, as well as Greycroft and Khosla Ventures, a venture-capital firm based in California's Silicon Valley.
Shoes of Prey, founded in 2009, offers shoppers the opportunity to design their own shoes online, choosing from a multitude of combinations of style, material, color, heel height, size and width. The company claims customers have designed more than five million shoes on Shoes of Prey since the company's foundation. Earlier this year, while relocating from Sydney to Los Angeles, Shoes of Prey rolled out physical design studios in six Nordstrom department stores across the U.S. The brand is now also available on Nordstrom.com.
Shoes of Prey will use the new funding to expand its omni-channel retail presence in the U.S. and to accelerate future expansion into new products, starting with women's handbags. The funding will also allow the company to increase production capacity in its dedicated factory in China, which serves the increasing consumer demand in the U.S. and globally for customized products.
Nordstrom gets about 19 percent of sales online, according to recent data from eMarketer, as reported by Fortune. It invested early in e-commerce. It made other acquisitions recently in the apparel sector to keep track of changing shopping habits more quickly.