Stride Ventures leads 7 Crores debt funding round in Sustainable footwear brand Neeman's

Stride Ventures, a venture debt firm in India, today announced debt funding of INR 7 crore in Neeman's, India's first sustainable footwear brand. With this investment, the venture lending fund with deep relationships across banks and corporates is committed to being a strategic partner in the brand's journey of disrupting the Indian footwear segment that primarily consists of leather shoes.

This is the 40th investment in Stride's portfolio across both funds. The amount will be deployed from Stride Ventures India Fund – II and will be utilized by the young shoe brand for expanding its portfolio, intensive product development and commitment to the planet. It will also enable them into at entering newer markets and segments.

Commenting on this development, Ishpreet Singh, Founder and Managing Partner, Stride Ventures, said, "Customers are increasingly gravitating towards environment-friendly businesses, as the world moves towards a sustainable way of living. While the Indian footwear industry is poised to grow at a steady pace, the D2C segment for the footwear industry has become the fastest-growing channel. With its strong marketing strategy and large social media presence, the brand has expanded across PR, marketing, brand strategy, influencer partnerships and other allied functions. Taran and Amar have ensured that Neeman's is well-placed to tap a huge target addressable market, and we are pleased to partner with them on this journey."

As a sustainable brand that uses completely natural, renewable, recyclable and chemical-free materials, Neeman's has maintained a strong focus on product development and intensive R&D. The most significant value proposition of all its products is comfort, durability and eco-friendliness. Furthermore, the footwear is lightweight, flexible, machine washable, and can be worn with and sock-free, making them suitable for the varied Indian weather.

Commenting on the funding, Amar Preet Singh, Founder & COO Neeman's, said, "We are excited to have Stride Ventures as our partners in the journey of changing how India wears shoes. Since our inception, our motto has been to craft sustainable and comfortable shoes. Thus, we launched footwear using unexplored natural and renewable fabrics such as Merino Wool, Recycled PET bottles and even recycled tyres, which the new-age conscious consumers have well accepted. This investment will enable us to strengthen our journey towards reducing carbon footprint and stay committed to producing well-crafted comfortable shoes. It will also facilitate us in extending into other categories such as fashion and apparel."

We are super excited and thrilled to partner with Ishpreet and the Stride team to build and grow Neeman’s. From starting off 2.5 years ago to selling over 2Lakh pairs and being rated as ‘The Most Comfortable Shoe’ by 95% of our customers our journey has just started. Partnering with a fund which aligns with our founder driven mindset is just the right step for us, said Taran Chhabra Founder & CEO Neeman’s.

Since its commencement, Stride Ventures has focused on investing in market leaders across sectors. Having been one of the most active venture debt companies this year, the total commitments have crossed INR 1000 crores in portfolio companies across both its debt funds.