Hyderabad-based sustainable shoe brand Neeman’s has raised close to $1 Mn round led by investment firm Anicut Angel Fund’s Tushar Singh and Rohit Anand. Other investors from the angel network had also participated in this funding round.
Neeman’s, which had been bootstrapped so far, will expand its operations and solidify its marketing strategy as it looks to go omnichannel. Besides that, the company is also planning to enhance its product lineup by using other natural materials to make shoes.
Currently, the company relies on merino wool sourced from South Korea to make its product and assembles the shoes in China. The company is also looking to spread its manufacturing to other countries, including India, by partnering with third-party manufacturers.
Neeman’s was founded in 2017 by Taran Chhabra and Amar Preet Singh, but it started operations in December 2018. Between 2017 and 2018, the cofounders brainstormed the shoe design, built the supply chain and created the product line.
Till now, the company had been selling its products through its website and Amazon. But now, the company has decided to go to omnichannel with exclusive stores that will be launched by the end of the year. Neeman’s highlighted that it has a re-order rate of 22%.
“We are here to redefine the shoe industry. Using natural, superior quality and environment-friendly products. Creating extremely comfortable and durable shoes that can be worn year-round with the same comfort has been the key motivating factor in starting Neeman’s,” said Neeman’s CEO and founder Taran Chhabra.
The company claims that the shoes are all-natural, lightweight, flexible, breathable and odour resistant. Apart from that the shoes also remain cool in summer and warm in winter.
One of the challenges of such sustainable shoes is giving the customer the “touch and feel” of the product. Since Neeman’s uses an online distribution model, the company has laid stress on customer service to replace this experience. “When I go to a particular restaurant, I remember the food and how people treat me there. So, that’s differentiation. The day we launched, we decided to spend very heavily on customer service and we are going to have a 24-hour dedicated team to answer the customer’s queries,” Chhabra told Inc42.
Besides this, the company understood that apprehension customers would have about buying shoes online. Therefore, Neeman’s offers a seven day free trial for its products. “From the day it is delivered, if it doesn’t match the customer’s expectations we give a full refund,” Chhabra added.