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Unicorns Wear Sneakers – Allbirds Valued at $1.4 Billion

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Allbirds

Another unicorn from Silicon Valley? Whatever next? Shoemaking startup Allbirds now joins the list, valued at $1.4 billion, after closing a $50 million series C funding round. The investors behind the deal are Tiger Global Management, Fidelity Management & Research Company, and T. Rowe Price Investment Management.

The valuation wasn’t publicly disclosed, but people familiar with the deal say that the investors collectively received about a 3.5% stake for their investment. With a growing customer base in New Zealand, Australia, the US, and Canada, Allbirds has raised $75 million in venture capital so far.

From Wood and Wool to Billions

Allbirds makes eco-friendly footwear for men, women, and kids. The shoes have conquered celebrities and capitalists because they’re made with sustainable materials only, which include a fabric made from eucalyptus fiber (called “SweetFoam”), merino wool, sugarcane-based, carbon-negative foam rubber for the shoe soles, and recycled plastic bottles for laces.

Last year, investors valued Allbirds at $370 million. According to co-founder Joey Zwillinger, the company was “profitable since day one,” and rumors confirm this statement. In fact, Allbirds has brought in over $200 million in revenues in the last two years.

The company says it will use the funds to research new sustainable materials and to accomplish its expansion strategy.

First UK Allbirds Store to Be Opened in London

The San Francisco-based company sells casual sneakers directly to its customers through its online store in New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and the US. The company has two brick-and-mortar stores, in San Francisco and New York.

Allbirds will open its first store in Europe in London’s Convent Garden at the end of this year. It’s a 1,600 square foot store, located at 121-123 Long Acre, where British people can try on and experience the design of the eco-friendly casual shoes and sneakers that venture capitalists and celebrities alike seem to love so much.

The company plans to open more locations in the US and even launch its fashionable shoes in Asia in 2019. Tiger Global’s partners across the region and locations in Singapore and Hong Kong should give them a headstart here.

Featured image from Allbirds.

Christina is a B2B writer, MBA, fintech and crypto reporter with a fascination for technology and a passion for starting interesting conversations. When not at her computer you can find her surfing a wave or sipping on wine. Sometimes, at the same time.

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Billion Dollar Companies

Procter & Gamble Surpasses Expected Revenue Thanks to Beauty Products

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P&G

Procter & Gamble (P&G) stocks have surged by 5% since Friday morning, as reported by CNBC. P&G announced that its beauty products are responsible for driving sales and helping the company in surpassing the expected revenue in the fiscal fourth quarter of 2018.

Wall Street was expecting earnings per share (EPS) to be $1.09 and revenue to be $16.46 billion. However, P&G’s report shows an increase in both these numbers–$1.12 for the former and $16.69 for the latter.

Compared with beauty products, P&G’s fabric and home-care brands sales jumped by 2%, while grooming, health care, baby, feminine, and family care dropped by 1%, 3%, and 3% respectively.

In this year, P&G’s shares slumped by 11%; the company now has a market cap of $202 billion.

Even though P&G faces competition from other rising startups, the company is positive that the current boom in revenue will “hold up.”

On October 16, Nasdaq published a post anticipating the results from the fiscal fourth quarter. The report stated that net sales would rise by 4% due to P&G’s beauty, fabric, and healthcare products. They predicted that Q4’s sales would come from baby, feminine and family care products. However, these categories are the ones that dropped the most in the latest quarter.

P&G Has Some Fierce Competition

P&G’s biggest competitor in the grooming industry is the Dollar Shave Club, which was acquired by Unilever in 2016. In an interview with Cincinnati Business CourierJon Moeller, the chief financial officer of P&G, said that grooming and baby products were:

“the two sales growth challenges.”

He added that the company was developing and funding ideas to support Gillette. Moeller also said that the stakes were higher since competitors are now expanding their products into Europe.

An online subscription program called Gillette on Demand was also launched by the company. It offers three different packages compared to the two packages offered by the Dollar Shave Club.

Gillette has been around since the 1980s but Dollar Shave Club has managed to attract more attention due to advanced marketing tactics. Currently, P&G expects its organic sales to fall between 2% to 3%, EPS between 6% to 8% and all-in-sales growth by approximately 3% in fiscal 2018.

Meanwhile, David Taylor, P&G’s CEO, recently launched 2019’s CEO Challenge where students solve various business problems. The finals will take place in May 2019 in Dubai.

Last year’s challenge was won by a group of industrial engineering students from Saudi Arabia. These students were also offered jobs in the company. This year, the real-world business problems students will solve are based on its grooming brand Gillette.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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