Shoes of Prey: An Aussie tech ecosystem pioneer
Launched in 2010, Shoes of Prey is a platform that allows users to create their own customised women’s footwear. It has been somewhat of a pioneer for Australia’s growing startup and technology ecosystem.
Founded by Jodie Fox, Michael Fox, and Mike Knapp, the company has slowly changed the way that consumers think about retail within Australia and has paved the way for many other customised clothing and accessories platforms like Institchu, Disrupt, and Mon Purse to enter the market.
In December 2014 the startup closed a Series A round of funding of US$5.5 million to help accelerate its growth and expansion into the US market. The round was led by US-based firm Khosla Ventures, with participation from other prominent investors including Bonobos’ cofounder, Andy Dunn; former Partner at Sequoia Capital, David Spector; Australian venture capital firm BlackBird Ventures; and Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes.
The key to the success of Shoes of Prey is the company's solid back-end infrastructure. This has always been an important part of its strategy and has enabled the company to reach multimillion dollar revenues within a few short years and expand their team to over 70 staff across six global offices.
Given this highly distributed workforce and its headquarters in Los Angeles, Shoes of Prey relies on Dropbox Business for continuous access to the files that keep the company operating.
“We have people working everywhere from Tokyo to Manila to New York to LA,” says Knapp. “Mobile file access is so important, especially if we accidentally forget a presentation or need a file on the fly. Dropbox Business is a lifesaver. I don’t think we could do what we do without it.”
By helping Shoes of Prey run as efficiently as possible across global locations, Dropbox Business has played a key role in the delivery of “dream” footwear to shoe lovers worldwide.
Shoes of Prey is unique in the online retail world due to its dual tech / bricks and mortar approach, which has seen the company close some very significant strategic partnership deals both in Australia and the United States.
These deals include collaborations with brands like David Jones and Nordstrom, a critical ingredient in the US go-to-market strategy.
One of the reasons that retailers like teaming up with Shoes of Prey is because it creates a different level of engagement with their customers, blending the online and bricks and mortar experience together
With department stores like David Jones judging brands in their stores on a return on investment that is based on revenue per square foot, Shoes of Prey has proven to be a very high performer given:
- the fact they don’t sell ‘stock’ per se and therefore don’t carry any real significant inventory in its space;
- the variety attracts a higher return rate of customer; and
- they only need a small boutique space from which to operate
All of these combined mean that Shoes of Prey delivers a higher income per square foot to department stores than their non-technology driven clothing and accessory counterparts.
Find out more about how Shoes of Prey and Dropbox are working together. Download the full case study here.