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Online footwear brand Rapawalk raises angel funding
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Online footwear brand Rapawalk has secured Rs 2.4 crore ($350,000) in its angel round of funding from a clutch of wealthy individuals, it said in a statement.

The angel investors who participated in this round include Raveen Sastry, co-founder of fashion retailer Myntra; Sanjay Ramakrishnan, former marketing chief at Myntra; and  Ravi Garikipati, former chief technology officer at Flipkart, among others, the statement added.

The firm will use the capital to hire experienced professionals to strengthen its business, it said.

Rapawalk allows customers to shop for curated designs or personalise any style as per their feet size, width and comfort using its advanced 3D configurator.

The venture was founded in 2018 by IIM-Ahmedabad alumni Kashif Mohammad and Aravind Maddireddy.

“Each and every pair of shoes that come from Rapawalk is the outcome of learnings from years of working as an original equipment manufacturer making leather shoes for global brands, deep understanding of footwear-specific technology, combined with the skills of local and international artisans,” the founders said.

Rapawalk currently offers its services online and aims to expand its operations offline to offer an omnichannel shopping experience to customers.

“It’s a direct-to-consumer play where the entire customer journey is managed by the brand. Added features like customisation, half-size fits etc. help in great fitting shoes,” said Ramakrishnan, one of the investors.

Deals in the space

In the broader footwear space, several Indian firms have attracted large cheques from institutional investors in the past, and some of them have even listed themselves on the bourses.

In December 2018, mid-market private equity firm Lighthouse Advisors Pvt. Ltd had invested Rs 250 crore ($35 million) in Delhi-based footwear manufacturer Aqualite Industries Pvt. Ltd last December.

In November 2018, Info Edge (India) Ltd, the parent of job portal Naukri.com and real estate website 99acres.com, hiked its holding in online business-to-business footwear marketplace ShoeKonnect to 27.27% from 20%. It invested Rs 3 crore ($422,000) in the transaction.

In September 2018, multi-brand footwear chain Metro Shoes Ltd, which counts ace stock-market investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala among its backers, hired merchant bankers for its stock market listing.

In November 2017, Khadim India Ltd, the country’s second-largest branded footwear retailer by exclusive stores, listed on the stock market.

In August 2017, budget sports shoe brand Campus raised its first institutional round of funding led by TPG Growth, the growth equity and mid-market buyout fund of private equity firm TPG Capital Inc.

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