Allbirds, Inc. is an American company that sells footwear and apparel. Allbirds’ first shoe was the Wool Runner, which is made from New Zealand superfine Merino wool. The company claims to keep its products as eco-friendly as possible and is a certified B Corporation. Allbirds uses a direct-to-consumer model, selling its products exclusively through its website and retail stores, in order to avoid the low margins commonly-associated with the wholesale selling model.
Allbirds co-founder Tim Brown got the idea for the company while he was vice captain of the New Zealand football team. He had previously attended business school and used to make leather shoes for friends but was aware of how uncomfortable they were. In 2014, he received a research grant from the New Zealand wool industry to engineer a sneaker. He then launched his idea on Kickstarter, raising US$119,000 in five days. After launching on Kickstarter, Brown teamed up with Joey Zwillinger, a biotech engineer and renewable materials expert. They began developing their process and officially launched Allbirds in March 2016.
The name Allbirds is a reference to New Zealand having almost no native land mammals. It is a land of “all birds”. During their first year in business, the company raised US$7.25 million from investors including Maveron, Lerer Hippeau Ventures and other firms. In December 2017, Allbirds sued Steve Madden, alleging that the company’s Traveler shoes look nearly identical to its Wool Runners.
As of 2017, the company had 50 employees in their headquarters in San Francisco, US; 40 employees at its warehouse in Nashville, US; and 350 contractors in a factory in South Korea.In the end of 2017 the company launched in Australia. As of January 2021, Allbirds has Retail Stores in countries including New Zealand, the United States, China and elsewhere. In October 2018, the company raised US$50 million in Series C funding, bringing its total valuation to Us$1.4 billion.The company went public on the Nasdaq on 3 November 2021 under the ticker symbol BIRD.