10 Aug Topo Athletic Receives Funding, Adds Board Seats
Topo Athletic announced the appointment of two new board members and Series B funding from legacy investor Norwest Venture Partners (NVP). Founded by footwear veteran and former Vibram USA CEO, Tony Post, Topo Athletic recently saw 110 percent year-over-year sales sales growth.
As keen observers of Topo Athletic’s market emergence, Kristin Kohler Burrows and Jef Holove welcomed the opportunity to join the company’s board of directors. Kohler Burrows is currently the CEO of Second Time Around and brings more than 20 years of experience in the fashion and lifestyle industry, holding executive positions at G.H. Bass & Co. (president), KEDS (president), Fila (VP & GM) and Converse (director). Holove, formerly the CEO of BASIS and now a general manager in Intel’s New Devices Group overseeing development of BASIS wearable fitness and sleep tracking devices, brings more than 20 years of consumer technology experience at established and emerging companies such as Eye-Fi (CEO) and Logitech (VP & GM).
“Topo Athletic has an opportunity to redefine the athletic footwear market with product that authentically enhances what our feet and bodies do naturally,” said Kristin Kohler Burrows. “Given the experience of Topo Athletic’s management team, their ability to execute on a vision of ergonomic design, and my own passion for the fitness industry, I was thrilled by the opportunity to join their board!”
“My experience with Basis has not only offered a glimpse at the future of fitness, but also perspective on the entrepreneurial journey in building a new business and brand,” said Jef Holove. “I’ve been a fan of outdoor and athletic gear for some time, and I actually owned a pair of Topos a year before I was asked to join the board. Topo Athletic seems poised to redefine how athletic footwear fits and feels, by combining protection and cushioning with a responsive ride and natural fit.”
Two years ago, Topo Athletic launched its signature ergonomic fit and feel in road running, trail running, and functional fitness footwear. Since then, Topo has earned stellar reviews in major running and consumer fitness publications. It won gold medal honors from ISPO for performance footwear and was named a 2015 editor’s choice by Health magazine. The brand has also developed a growing fan base, as evident by Topo’s substantial social media growth over the last year: Instagram followers increased 258 percent and Twitter followers increased 400 percent.
Since its launch, Topo Athletic has sought to market thru premium sit-and-fit retailers. Current U.S. retail partners include: Marathon Sports, Playmakers, Fleet Feet (select locations), Gazelle Sports, Nordstrom, REI and nearly 300 premium independent running and outdoor stores around the country. In 2015, Topo also expanded into international markets, starting with Canada, Spain, and the UK.
Silicon-Valley based investment firm, NVP, has been a strong supporter of Topo Athletic’s vision since its inception and continues to invest in the brand’s ongoing growth in the form of Series B funding. “Topo’s vision to develop innovative products that help athletes become better, stronger, and faster was a vision we were eager to support from the start,” said Jon Kossow, general partner at NVP. “Tony’s leadership and strong track record has been a clear driver for Topo over these first two years. Topo’s ‘fit’ is a unique offering, and we’re encouraged to see this traction in the marketplace.”
“We’re just getting started, but it’s gratifying to know we’re already becoming recognized for a superior fit and responsive feel that runners and athletes don’t find in other brands,” said Tony Post, CEO and founder of Topo Athletic. “I couldn’t be more optimistic about our future: we have a terrific pipeline of new products coming, a strong distribution base of premium retail partners, and a growing fan base that’s helping to spread the word.”