Astia UK Company, Upper Street, Raises £750,000
Luxury made-to-order shoe label Upper Street has secured a round of investment for 750,000 GBP putting it firmly on the fashion industry radar and allowing the company to accelerate growth through investment in its online platform, marketing and product development. Previously only online, Upper Street plans to open its first experience store in central London later in the year.
Founded by sisters Julia Grinham and Katy Chandler in March 2010, Upper Street is revolutionising the way women shop for shoes, allowing them to create their perfect design from a range of styles, finishes and sizes. Their personalised, luxury footwear is loved by consumers and style leaders alike, including celebrities Helena Bonham Carter, Hayley Atwell, Erin O’Connor and Mollie King who all designed their own shoes as part of a collaboration with charity Save the Children.
The funding round is led by Venrex Investment Management, the fund focuses on identifying start-ups and growth companies with well-defined demand and management teams that exhibit high growth and profit potential. Its existing portfolio includes Charlotte Tilbury, Sheer Luxe, Smythson, Notonthehighstreet, Astley Clarke, Lyst.com and Just Eat to name a few. The funding round also includes additional investment from The Aspire Fund for women-led businesses, part of the government’s British Business Bank programme.
Melanie Perkins, Director of the British Business Bank’s Aspire Fund said: “We are delighted to be investing in this innovative and promising young company and look forward to helping Upper Street grow from strength to strength. The Aspire Fund seeks to support and encourage female entrepreneurship. Upper Street is an excellent example of a business set up and run by two female entrepreneurs, who thoroughly understand the needs of their target customer.”
Julia Grinham, co-founder of Upper Street London Ltd said: “The global luxury footwear market is worth 87 billion GBP but for those women who want individuality to reflect their style there is very little choice. This is why Upper Street’s time is now, why we are growing, why we have secured investment and why our growth potential is huge. My sister and I are delighted to have received backing from Venrex Investment Management and the Aspire Fund, which will enable us to execute our growth plans for the business and become a leader in affordable personalised luxury footwear.”