Greats, a mens sneaker brand founded last year by footwear industry veterans Ryan Babenzien and Jon Buscemi, has raised $1.5 million in an oversubscribed seed round led by Resolute
Ventures. Other participants included High Peaks Venture Partners, Mark Gerson of
Gerson Lehrman Group, and NFL player Adrian Wilson of the New England
Patriots, as well as other undisclosed investors in the finance and
The capital will allow the brand to scale its vision of offering
premium-quality men’s footwear inspired by classic silhouettes for a
great value, meet customer demand by scaling inventory, and focus on
growth initiatives such as hiring and rolling out new sneaker styles. Its price range starts at $59.
Greats launched in August 2013 to offer a premium-quality mens sneaker at an accessible price point. Babenzien and Buscemi bring a combined twenty years of category expertise designing and marketing footwear for K-Swiss, Puma, DC Shoes and Gourmet Brand. At launch, the company released two lines of sneakers, The Royale and The Wilson, each available in three colors. Within its first sixty days on the market, Greats sold out of its entire inventory, consisting of 2,400 pairs of sneakers, and quickly attracted the attention from celebrities such as Kanye West. In January 2014, Greats released The Wooster, a classic slip-on sneaker named after the brand’s stylist in residence Nick Wooster.
“At Resolute we love seeking opportunities that will create real and lasting brand value, and that is why we invested in Greats,” says Mike Hirshland, founder at Resolute Ventures, “They aren’t just building a new men’s fashion site or app – they are building a new brand. We love backing founders who have both the vision and the chops to do just that.”
“We’re incredibly excited to have finished our seed round and get back to doing what we do best; building a brand,” says Ryan Babenzien, CEO and Founder of Greats. “As the first e-commerce direct-to-consumer mens sneaker brand, we understand that building the brand first and foremost is the most fundamental part of what we’re doing. Unlike some of our other direct-to-consumer e-commerce peers, we have category expertise in our industry and will be able to perform at a level that has not been seen by most online-only businesses.”
“The mens footwear industry is ripe for disruption and both Ryan and Jon have the industry expertise and know-how to propel this brand into success,” says Ben Sun, General Partner at High Peaks Venture Partners. “We’re thrilled to support Greats’ growth and watch their rise as leaders in this space.”
For more information on Greats Brand, please visit www.greatsbrand.com.