The startup plans to use the incoming funds to expand to new markets and bring new products to its catalogue
Plaeto’s website claims that its shoes have a 50% lesser environmental impact than an average athletic shoe at 6.5 kilos of CO2 per pair generated
The startup is targeting to serve 5 Mn customers in the next five years
Bengaluru-based D2C footwear brand Plaeto, which makes footwear for children, raised INR 40 Cr ($5 Mn) in a Series A round of funding led by Florintree Advisors, with participation from other investors. The startup plans to use the incoming funds to expand to new markets and bring new products to its catalogue.
Founded in 2020 by Ravi Kallayil, Sara Kilgore and Pavan Kareti, Plaeto designs and sells footwear for children. The startup uses an omnichannel approach and sells on major ecommerce platforms along with its website. Plaeto also has a B2B2C front which it uses to collaborate with schools and educational institutes for uniform shoes.
The startup claims to have an eco-friendly approach to making its shoes; with Plaeto’s website claiming that its shoes have a 50% lesser environmental impact than an average athletic shoe at 6.5 kilos of CO2 per pair generated. The startup further has a number of proprietary elements designed specifically for the growing feet of children.
First, the FitSystem contains a proprietary fit liner that allows the user to get a size more from the same product. Second, Plaeto365 is another proprietary part of the shoe, being a midsole. Lastly, the D2C brand has Plaeto FitWiz, which is a recommendation engine and recommends shoe sizes based on a child’s measurements.
Ravi Kallayil, cofounder and CEO, previously of Nike Innovation, told Mint, “As a technology-driven D2C footwear brand, we have always focused on science-based shoes and innovation that meets the Indian requirement. While innovations have happened across the board including footwear, children’s footwear, as a category, has remained untouched, without any consumer-centric design or performance built into it.”
“The company is seeing a high level of interest from schools and online channels. We are seeing double digital growth month-on-month online. We would like to serve five million consumers in the next five years,” Kallayil added.
According to an Inc42 report, India’s total ecommerce market opportunity stands to reach $400 Mn by 2030. India’s ecommerce startup ecosystem, featuring the likes of Flipkart and Nykaa, has raised $29 Bn in funding since 2014 and has minted 23 unicorns so far, the most from any sector.
Within ecommerce, D2C has emerged as a fast-growing subsector, driven by the likes of Mamaearth, boAt, Lenskart and WOW Skin Science, among others. The subsector has seen significant funding activity over the last few quarters, having raised $3.6 Bn in funding since 2014.