By Jessica Schiffer.
It took an email from Andy Dunn, the CEO of Bonobos, to convince Bianca Gates to quit her cushy job as a sales executive at Facebook to devote all her time to Birdies, the luxury slipper company she founded in 2015 with Marisa Sharkey, a former group vice president of strategy at Ross Stores. She had been wavering on the idea for months, when he wrote both women in January, urging them to start fundraising — beginning with a check from him. “You guys have so much traction. Let’s start moving this to the next level,” he said.
His advice paid off: Birdies announced a $2 million Series Seed funding round on Tuesday, led by Forerunner Ventures, the investors behind Jet.com, Dollar Shave Club and Glossier. Other investors include Slow Ventures, Graph Ventures and Social Capital.
Gates and Sharkey said the process, which began formally in late June, was surprisingly painless, given all the horror stories out there about fundraising, typically told by young women. “It went faster than we anticipated, and we had more interest than we knew what to do with,” said Sharkey.
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