Sneaker studio Fctry Lab inks $6 million investment
Los Angeles-based footwear prototyping lab and venture studio Fctry Lab announced its debut on Wednesday, launching with an initial $6 million tranche round of financing.
Founded by Omar Bailey, the former head of the Yeezy-Adidas Innovation Lab, and Abhishek Som, a former Wall Street and private equity executive, the BIPOC-led sneaker innovation and production studio describes itself an independent innovation studio that is "U.S.-based to avoid the risks and delays of overseas supply chains, thus shrinking product development time from 8-12 months to a short 1-3 months."
It claims to make "high-technology accessible"..."working to provide equity in an industry where large sneaker corporations often make an overwhelming majority of profits off the creative power of minority designers, influencers and athletes," according to a press release.
The company said it has already designed, prototyped and manufactured multiple lines of collaborative footwear with top design and brand partners and a reigning Super-Bowl winner, without disclosing further details.
Coinciding with its launch, Fctry Lab announced funding from a diverse group of venture capital firms, top professional athletes and angel investors including the co-founder of Tinder via Time Zero Capital, the co-founder of WeWork, the West Coast Head of Warburg Pincus and a consortium of NBA and NFL stars via Chicago-based Aurelien Capital.
Venture capital investment was led by Slauson & Co, with additional investment from Relay Ventures, Elysian Park Ventures, Level One Fund and Fog City Capital, among others.
With over 20 years of global product development and manufacturing practice as a design engineer, Bailey has developed footwear for entertainers such as Jay-Z and Lady Gaga, athletes such as Karim Benzema and worked alongside brands like Supreme, New Balance, K-Swiss and Timberland.
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