World prominent shoe designers and shoe junkies can now launch their own footwear brand without the initial investment capital, thanks to Rooy (CEO Hee Seung Kang), a Korea-based crowdsourcing footwear launching platform.
Through crowdsourced designs and ideas, Rooy saves time and money for footwear designers in their initial steps in launching new products. The platform also brings the market closer to the designers, enabling direct communication between the consumers and the producers.
Founded 2012 first in South Korea, Rooy moved to Silicon Valley early 2014. It plans to move again to Portland, where world-renowned footwear brand headquarters are located. Rooy recently secured a $0.4 million from GS Shop and American angel investors, and is preparing for Series A funding from global investors in 2015.
Rooy signed a strategic partnership with Pensole Footwear Design Academy, the world-class footwear design institution founded in 2010 by Dwayne Edwards, legendary designer of Nike’s Air Jordan series. Through this partnership, Rooy expects to get more than 6,000 up-and-coming designers to join the platform and work with Pensole’s partners like Zappos, MIT, and Parsons.
On Dec 18, Rooy is launching a new sneakers collection through GS Shop. This collection was created in partnership with French shoe designer Arsen Rock and Korean celebrity Seung Heon Song. The collaboration has been touted by a number of European fashion magazines as one of the most anticipated collections among sneakers junkies around the world.
CEO Kang remarked, “although Rooy has had some initial difficulties in predicting market trends and cutting expenses, launching the project was a success thanks to the increasing use of crowdsourcing method and high participation of the consumers.” He added, “our ultimate goal is to give opportunities to as many talented shoe designers as possible to help them turn their dreams into reality.”
-Inspired by Platum