According to Bloomberg, the retailer expects to post more than $140 million in revenue this year, which equates to around 1.4 million pairs of shoes sold.
This latest round brings the company’s total funding to $42 million, including an early $5 million investment from Lightspeed Venture Partners, and $2 million in convertible notes from Finn Capital Partners, M13 and Grace Beauty Capital.
The brand offers four types of shoes, including a $125 rounded flat shoe and a $145 pointed flat, as well as loafers and a recently released sneaker. The shoes are made from recycled plastic bottles, which are melted into pellets, stretched into fibers and then hit with air until they turn into a thin yarn. Knitting machines are then used to weave the upper of the shoe around a plastic mold. The shoes are then shipped directly to the consumer or to the only Rothy’s store, which is located in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights neighborhood.
The process of getting the shoe’s creation just right took four long years. “I could have made a cell phone in a fraction of the time,” said Roth Martin, the company’s cofounder and namesake.
In January 2017, Rothy’s opened its own factory in China, just north of Hong Kong, with nine employees. The factory now has 450 workers and 160 machines knitting shoes 22 hours a day, with demand growing even more after Meghan Markle wore a pair of Rothy’s while touring Australia two months ago.
“The business just caught fire,” said Martin.
So it isn’t surprising that Rothy’s success has sparked a slew of copycats. The retailer is already suing Virginia-based OESH for selling a shoe that looks like one of Rothy’s own creations. OESH denies the claim and is fighting the suit.