The last four years have been a whirlwind for Joey Zwillinger and Tim Brown, the founders of Allbirds. The brand first popped up in March 2016 with a funny-looking sneaker made from sustainably sourced wool, a material that hadn’t been commonly used in footwear before. And remarkably, the shoes were an overnight hit, allowing the Zwillinger and Brown to roll out other designs made from equally unusual materials, like eucalyptus tree fibers (otherwise known as Tencel) and sugarcane-derived soles. Today, the brand has a global presence, selling shoes in London, Germany, China, and soon, Japan. It’s got a dozen stores in these locations and plans to add another 20 to the mix.
This rapid expansion requires a lot of money. And fortunately, Allbirds is well-capitalized.