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HICKIES, an innovative shoelace company led by Endeavor Entrepreneurs Mariquel Waingarten and Gaston Frydlewski, raised US$10 million from top global footwear brands with participation from Endeavor Catalyst. Strategic investors included the Wizard Martins family, controlling shareholders of Sforza Holding, which manages Topper Brazil and Rainha, two of the largest Latin American footwear and sporting goods brands.
This round increases the company’s total funding to almost $16 million. Use of proceeds will include development and launch of new products, expansion into new international markets, and exciting brand collaborations.
HICKIES’ colorful, stretchable no-tie shoe-fasteners contour to feet to improve shoes’ fit and fashion. Made from a patented, memory-fit elastomer, HICKIES adapt to each shoe’s size and responds to a foot’s movement to support an active lifestyle. The no-tie design and myriad of color options enable consumers to personalize kicks with a sleek, fashion-forward look.
“Thanks to this strategic investment, we are now well positioned to redefine the way people wear their sneakers,” Co-Founder and CEO Gaston Frydlewski, said in a statement on the investment.
HICKIES has seen explosive growth since its modular lacing system hit the market in 2012. Since its launch, HICKIES has sold more than 2 million units of its modular shoelace replacements in 45 countries, and the company has since expanded their headquarters to New York. In 2017, HICKIES plans to open distribution in Brazil through its new partners at Topper Brazil and Rainha.
“This investment marks the beginning of a new chapter in the HICKIES story and it is amazing to reflect on how far we’ve come in such a short period of time,” remarked Co-Founder and CMO Mariquel Waingarten. “What started as an idea and grew into a Kickstarter project, is now a global trend. We look forward to building on this momentum with our partners both globally and in Brazil.”
Selected into the Endeavor network in 2015 at the 60th International Selection Panel in San Francisco, California, HICKIES has since been seen on a number of celebrities, including 2016 Masters Tournament winner Danny Willett and 2015 Endeavor Gala honoree Diane von Furstenberg, whom they met during the 2015 Endeavor Fashion tour.
This marks Endeavor Catalyst’s 41st investment to date. Read more about HICKIES and the new round of investment here.
About Endeavor Catalyst
Endeavor Catalyst is the innovative co-investment fund of Endeavor, set up to invest exclusively in Endeavor Entrepreneur-led companies and to sustain Endeavor’s long-term operations in a mission-aligned way. Since launching in January 2012, Endeavor Catalyst has raised $35M in philanthropically donated and invested capital, and invested into more than 40 Endeavor companies in 15 countries. To date, Endeavor Catalyst has co-invested alongside a number of leading venture capital and growth equity funds, including Accel Partners, General Atlantic, NEA, Sequoia Capital and Tiger Global. Investments include Globant (NYSE: GLOB) in Argentina; Yemeksepeti.com (acquired by Delivery Hero) in Turkey and Ruma in Indonesia.
Learn more about Endeavor Catalyst by clicking here.
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