Private equity firm TZP Group announced a strategic investment and partnership with Xero Shoes last week.
A provider of “natural movement footwear,” Xero manufactures high-quality, casual and performance shoes, boots and sandals “built with a foot-first design that allows customers’ feet to bend, flex and move naturally,” TZP Group said. Since launching in 2009 with its original DIY sandal, Xero has expanded its product portfolio over the past several years to now include a full lineup for all four seasons.
“I am excited about the partnership with TZP and the experience they bring to the table,” Xero Shoes co-founder and chief financial officer Lena Phoenix said in a statement. “With their support, I am looking forward to our next chapter of growth.”
TZP Group partner Erin Edwards described Xero as “uniquely positioned” to benefit from growing consumer preferences for health and wellness, outdoor, active and affordably priced products.
“The company has had tremendous success to date and has created a loyal customer base of brand enthusiasts,” Edwards said in a statement. “Xero has experienced strong growth since its launch and we believe there is significant potential to further build on its success with increased investments in awareness, distribution and product development.”
Marc Schneider, a senior advisor at TZP Group with more than 35 years of industry experience, including serving as CEO of Kenneth Cole Productions, also made a direct investment in Xero and will join its board of directors.
“I am thrilled to partner with TZP and Xero on this exciting opportunity,” Schneider said in a statement. “Xero shoes offer an amazing combination of style, fit, comfort, and function, with tremendous growth potential.”
Xero says customers use its shoes for walking, hiking, yoga, CrossFit, kayaking, rafting, paddle boarding, jogging and even running hundred-mile ultra-marathons. The company sells its products primarily through e-commerce channels, with growing distribution at retail both domestically and internationally.
“After years of bootstrapping Xero Shoes’ growth, Lena and I are thrilled to have a partner that shares our vision and has the resources to help us become a global brand that helps more people experience the comfort and benefits of our footwear,” Xero Shoes CEO and co-founder Steven Sashen said in a statement.
TZP Group’s investment portfolio covers a wide variety of businesses, including consumer products, hospitality, real estate logistics and services, industrial services, education and tech services. Among these are several apparel companies, including outdoor lifestyle clothing business SA Co., winter sports specialty retailer Christy Sports, men’s formalwear provider The Black Tux and Swiss cycling brand Assos. Since its inception, the firm has raised $1.7 billion across its family of funds.
Xero Shoes is not the only footwear company to receive an influx of cash recently. Through its affiliate Eurazeo Brands, global investment firm Eurazeo invested 56 million euro ($66.1 million) in premium sneaker brand Axel Arigato. The funding arrived amid sustained growth at the digitally native brand. Since 2016, the six-year-old sneaker label has nearly tripled its revenues, Eurazeo Brands said.