Venture debt firm Stride Ventures has announced debt funding of Rs 7 crore in the eco-friendly footwear brand Neeman's Pvt. Ltd. This is the 40th investment in Stride's portfolio, the company said in a statement.
The amount, deployed by Stride Ventures India Fund – II will be utilised by the footwear brand for expanding its portfolio and in product development, the statement said . to become a strategic partner in Neeman's journey of disrupting the Indian footwear segment that primarily comprises leather shoes, the statement said.
In May, the venture debt firm launched Stride Ventures India Fund II of Rs 1,000 crore, with a green shoe option to raise an additional Rs 875 crore.
Founded in 2017, the Hyderabad-based brand uses natural, renewable, recyclable and chemical-free materials to make shoes. The brand also makes shoes made from merino wool, that is suitable for the Indian subcontinent, the statement said.
"From starting 2.5 years ago to selling over 2 lakh pairs, our journey has just started. Partnering with a fund which aligns with our founder-driven mindset is just the right step for us,” said Taran Chhabra, Founder & CEO of Neeman's.
In August, the footwear brand raised Rs 20 crore (about $2.7 million) as a part of its Series A funding round led by Sixth Sense Ventures.
Last year, Neeman's raised nearly $1 million (Rs 7.23 crore) in a funding round led by Anicut Angel Fund.
"While the Indian footwear industry is poised to grow at a steady pace, the D2C segment has become the fastest-growing channel. With its strong marketing strategy and large social media presence, the brand has expanded across PR, marketing, brand strategy, influencer partnerships and other allied functions," said Ishpreet Singh, Founder and Managing Partner, Stride Ventures.
Founded in 2019, Delhi-based Stride Ventures is a sector-agnostic venture debt fund, managed by veteran ex-bankers. It provides tailor-made debt solutions to startups, enabling them to strategically allocate capital. The fund uses its portfolio companies leverage the banking ecosystem through their domain expertise and extensive network. The total commitments have crossed Rs 1000 crore in portfolio companies, the statement said.
In October, Stride Ventures invested close to Rs 115 crore in three health tech companies in the wake of the second wave of Covid-19.
Earlier this year, Stride Ventures invested over Rs 6 crore ($809,500) in the rural insurance marketplace GramCover Insurance Brokers Pvt Ltd.