A Pakistani couple Sidra Qasim and Waqas Ali have raised $8.1 million for their startup sneaker brand Atoms.
The everyday footwear is designed for maximum comfort and durability, and comes in quarter sizes for each foot.
“We will make only one shoe design a year, but we want to make that really well,” co-founder Qasim told TechCrunch.
Announcing our seriesA lead by @Initialized and @alexisohanian joining the team. And a big thank you to @aatif_awan @Nivo0o0 @TEDchris @jnovogratz @mashadrokova @jeffweiner @yurimilner @kleinerperkins https://t.co/VJxnMkFAlI
— sidra qasim (@sidraqasim) August 30, 2019
The husband and wife duo plan to use the funds to invest in further development of shoes and to expand the company’s retail and marketing presence. The company has been selling its products to US consumers through its website.
The investment firm, Initialized Capital first discovered Atoms and its co-founders as mentors going through Y Combinator (a startup accelerator that invests in a large number of startups) with their previous startup Markhor.
Garry Tan from Initialized Capital tweeted to announce the news, and said he is very proud to back the team behind the “most comfortable shoes I have ever worn”.
Very proud to back the team behind the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn.
Better shoes with perfect fit turn out to be one surprising thing you can do for yourself that makes your life appreciably better. https://t.co/rtwmMhMwcS
— Garry() (@garrytan) August 30, 2019
Investors have been attracted to the brand by way of being customers. “The thing that I love about Atoms is that it isn’t just a different look, it’s a different feel,” said Initialized Capital’s owner Alexis Ohanian in a statement.
“When I put on a pair for the first time, it was a totally unique experience. Atoms are more comfortable by an order of magnitude than any other shoe I’ve tried, and they quickly became the go-to shoe in my rotation whenever I was stepping out. That wouldn’t mean anything if the shoes didn’t look great. Luckily, that’s not a problem, I wear my Atoms all the time and even my fashion designer wife is a fan.”
The startup had earlier raised $560,000 in seed funding. Combined with the founders’ personal savings, Atoms created a supply chain of companies that would make the materials and shoes it had in mind. They soon developed a gradual, but strong marketing pipeline by networking with influencers in tech, fashion and design.