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StyleTread, Australia's leading online shoe store, secures AUD$12M in new funding

Wednesday, 28 March 2012
StyleTread, Australia's leading online shoe store, secures AUD$12M in new funding

March 28th, 2012: StyleTread, Australia’s No. 1 online shoe store, today announced that new investor Starfish Ventures has joined existing investors Lakestar, Nine Entertainment Co., and Adinvest to participate in the Company’s Series C financing of AUD$12 million.

Founded by Mark Rowland and Bjorn Behrendt in late 2010 using incubation capital from Lakestar, StyleTread has now grown to over 70 employees across its headquarters and warehousing operations in Sydney Olympic Park. The company prides itself on customer service, attracting over 1 million visitors per month and 48,000 Facebook fans & counting as well as having an over 40% repeat buyer rate.  Inspired by the Zappos model around customer service, StyleTread offers free express delivery and a free 100-day returns policy on all shoes Australia-wide and is solely focused on ensuring customers continue to have positive shopping experiences online. Earlier this year, StyleTread introduced a 3-hour delivery within Sydney. Later this week, they will be launching next-day delivery for the New Zealand market.

Based in Melbourne, Starfish Ventures is a venture capital firm with over $400 million under management. The investment from Starfish, who will now hold a significant stake in the company plus the increased investment by Nine Entertainment Co., means that StyleTread is now owned by a majority of Australian shareholders.

Mark Rowland, Chief Happiness Officer at StyleTread said:  “We welcome Starfish Ventures as a partner given their extensive operating and investment experience in the Australian market. This latest round of funding allows us to considerably expand the range of already over 60,000 shoes and over 150 brands, as well as explore adjacent geographic markets and fashion segments. We are also looking forward to extend our strong relationship with Nine Entertainment Co. especially around media innovations merging TV, print, online and mobile advertising campaigns.”

The Investment Director at Starfish Ventures Nick Peace will join the board, adding to the existing board members Mark and Bjorn of StyleTread, Manu Gupta of Lakestar, Daniel Jarosch of BrandsExclusive and David Coleman of Nine Entertainment Co.

Nick Peace said about the investment:  “Online retail in Australia has exploded over the past three years and we have been looking for some time for the right investment to make in this space. StyleTread has had phenomenal success in the Australian online shoe market in the 15 months since its launch, thanks to their excellent customer service, wide product offering and great team. We are excited about StyleTread and its potential to become Australia’s leading online fashion destination.”

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