- Trendy, digitally native footwear brand Allbirds on Thursday announced it has raised $50 million of Series C venture capital funding in a deal led by T. Rowe Price. Other investors included Tiger Global Management, Fidelity Management & Research and other undisclosed parties, according to PitchBook.
- The three-year-old brand headquartered in San Francisco has raised $77.45 million in VC funding to date, according to PitchBook. That now crosses it into unicorn territory, according to The Wall Street Journal, which reported the company is now valued at $1.4 billion, according to sources familiar with the matter.
- With the fresh funding, Allbirds plans to debut new stores in the U.S., U.K. and Asia, according to multiple media reports.
There's a lot that traditional brands can learn from digitally native ones, and vice versa, argues Erik Morton, senior vice president of Strategic Development at CommerceHub.
"Allbirds has an innate understanding of the direct-to-consumer approach and has built a strong presence because they speak directly to consumers on the digital channels where consumers are most engaged," he said in comments emailed to Retail Dive. "Traditional brands are following their lead and utilizing various digital channels outside of their website to reach consumers directly."
In turn, digitally native brands are learning how to open physical stores. Allbirds opened its first flagship store in New York City just last month and at the same time reopened its Hotaling Alley store in San Francisco with a remodel following the same approach. The company also has a store in Toronto. And now, it's looking at stores across the globe.
"This [is] how traditional retailers or digitally native brands can compete and stay relevant. It's about creating an exceptional customer experience to meet the needs of consumers no matter the channel," Morton said.