Case Study

Footway

Footway is the leading online footwear retailer headquartered in Stockholm.

Founded by Daniel Mühlbach, the former owner and co-founder of Lensway (contact lenses online) which he built to SEK 500 million in sales.

Investment overview

  • Footway is a rapidly growing online footwear marketplace, headquartered in Stockholm
  • The company was founded by Daniel Mühlbach, who previously founded Lensway
  • eEquity saw an attractive investment case in Footway, as the Nordic footwear market was estimated at 30 SEK billion per year, yet with low online penetration (c. 10%) compared to other markets such as the UK or US (c. 20-25%)
  • Moreover, eEquity saw significant potential to accelerate growth via ramp-up in working capital, broadening the product offering and expansion into new geographical markets

Key achievements

  • Best-in class IT system infrastructure with 150+ integrated applications
  • Significant focus on automating business processes:
    • Warehouse automation increasing efficiency and flexibility
    • Sourcing algorithms that efficiently, with AI and machine learning balancing product supply with demand
    • Fully integrated marketing automation solution enabling significant scaleup without meeting marketing inefficiencies i.e. the marginal cost of a new customer remains the same over time
  • One of few companies in Europe with complete real time automatic integrations with Facebook and Google
  • Strengthening of the management team and Board of Directors
  • Increase in working capital to allow for broader selection of products and expansion international expansion outside of Sweden
  • Two strategic acquisitions (Heppo in Apr-13 and Brandos in Dec-13)
  • IPO on Nasdaq First North in Stockholm on December 20, 2018

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

Historic sales development

Footway has experienced very strong organic growth since eEquity invested in Dec-11. On average sales has grown 119% per year from 2011-2018, and the growth is expected to continue going forward.

Sales per market (Q4 2019)

28% of 2019 sales are from outside Nordics vs. 12% in 2018

Key strategic initiatives and value creation

Group 10

Since eEquity’s entry, Footway has grown by over 550x into a pan-European online marketplace

Group 10

Growth by M&A, now operating Sportamore, Caliroots, Heppo, Brandosa, Runforest and Solestory

Group 10

Best-in-class IT system infrastructure with 150+ integrated applications

In December 2018, Footway was listed on Nasdaq First North in Stockholm

Group 10

Infusing scalability and process automation in warehousing, sourcing algorithms and marketing

Group 10

One of few companies in Europe with real-time automatic integration of FB and Google analytics