Case study – Footway

Daniel Mühlbach previously co-founded Lensway (contact lenses online) and built that company to SEK 500 million in sales and market leadership in the Nordics. Thereafter Daniel analyzed a large number of product categories before he decided to dedicate 10 years to build the market leader in selling shoes online in the Nordics, today Footway.

 

Business overview

Footway is focused on building the leading consumer brand for selling shoes online in the Nordics and to deliver the best customer experience.
Footway currently offers 28 000 different shoe styles and 480 different brands.
The addressable market for shoes in the Nordics is about SEK 30 billion where only 6 percent is currently online. The online penetration in the US and UK is about 20 percent where we believe the gap will decrease over time.

How we have built the company and enhanced the value

Increase in working capital to allow for broader selection of products and expansion to the rest of the Nordics outside of Sweden.
Two strategic acquisitions (Heppo and Brandos) where eEquity has been instrumental.
Strengthening of the management team and board of directors.
Replacement of the bank and replacement of payment processing partner.
Strategic focus on online marketing and search engine optimization.
Initiating private label.

 

Many of our investment criterias where met when we invested in Footway

Very experienced management team

EV target size (SEK 60-150 million)

Large addressable market with a low online penetration expected to rapidly increase

Low average customer acquisition cost enabling Footway to experience strong organic growth under profitability

Potential to increase sales >300% times over holding period

Expected exit multiple of >4,0x invested capital

 

 

Sales split – by geography

Sweden is so far the dominant market due to Sweden being yet the only market where offline marketing has been initiated.

 

footway_sales_split

Historic sales development

Footway has experienced very strong organic growth since eEquity invested. The growth is expected to continue going forward.

footway_sales_development

Favourable add-on acquisition

When eEquity invested in December 2011, Footway was number four in the market after Zalando, Brandos and Heppo. In April 2012, Footway acquired Heppo from CDON and in December 2013 Brandos was acquired. Both Heppo and Brandos have been fully integrated in Footway where there is now one IT platform for eight different domains, one warehouse in Helsingborg in Sweden and one organization with one customer service. However, the company is still using the brand name Brandos in addition to the Footway brand name to increase visibility in Google and to drive more traffic.

 

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