Neeman's, an eco-friendly footwear startup, announced that it raised a Series-A round of funding of Rs 20 crore (approximately $2.7 million) from Sixth Sense Ventures.
Founded in 2018 by first-generation entrepreneurs - Taran Chhabra and Amar Preet, who come with an aggregate experience of over 25 years across startups and large US-based corporates - Neeman's is disrupting the $11 billion Indian footwear segment. The startup has introduced India shoes made with Merino Wool. This unexplored yarn suits the Indian subcontinent because of its unique temperature regulating property, sustainability and comfort, making it apt for all-day wear.
While the Indian footwear industry has seen a drought of innovation, Neeman's has launched new-age products such as Sustainable Flips Flops, Slides and Recycled Cotton Sneakers within the last two years. Their focus on both product and customer has yielded an explosive growth of 600 percent last year despite restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
India is the second- largest footwear consumer in the world, with the overall category growing at a near 8 percent and the non-leather footwear segment growing at a much faster rate. This trend is attributed to various factors, including premiumisation, a growing concern for the environment, and the shift towards branded footwear.
The company will be utilising the funds towards intensive product development, launching Neeman’s in international markets, expansion of categories, and further strengthening their commitment to the planet and being a champion of sustainability through research and development of new eco-friendly technologies.
Commenting on the funding, Taran Chhabra, Founder and CEO Neeman's, said, "The investment from our new partner, Sixth Sense Ventures, reassures us that we are taking the right steps and strengthens our commitment to providing people with superior quality comfortable, eco-friendly and stylish footgear. We are excited about our soon-to-be collection, which is made with a material that is so far considered to be a key pollutant. Without revealing much, can say, the shoe is a first-of-its-kind sneaker in India and will change how Indian's wear shoes," adds Chhabra.
Nikhil Vora from Sixth Sense Ventures said, " We at Sixth Sense have a strong belief that the next few years will witness the advent of a new class of consumers making bold choices with regard to environment-friendly and sustainable products. The same will create a rub-off on challenger brands in deep categories (such as alternate meat, footwear, among others). Our partnership with Neeman's underpins this belief, with the brand has created a strong affinity among new-age conscious consumers."
"We are excited about the funding raised and geared up to bring our customers a more exciting line-up," added Amar Preet, Co-founder of Neeman's.
The firm had raised its last round of funding last year from Anicut Angel Fund, the equity arm of Anicut Capital. The deal was led by seasoned angel investors Tushar Singh and Rohit Anand at Anicut and got participation from Ashvin Chadha, partner Anicut Capital.
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