StartupLand, darling of Shoes of Prey, declares itself insolvent

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One of the best-selling technology companies in Australia, Shoes of Prey, a bespoke shoe manufacturer, filed a bankruptcy lawsuit.

Of course, co-founder Michael Fox explained why in a Medium article.

TL; DR: Even though she had loyal fans among affluent women who appreciated her shoe customization service, the company was never profitable and could not find a way to get there.

Shoes of Prey schtick was an online shoe design tool, focused on elegant women's shoes. The company has been hailed as a pioneer of custom clothing. He has won numerous awards in the retail and start-up sectors to attest to his debut. Its founders were invited to speak at conferences to describe their views on the future of fashion trade.

But while the company was able to realize this vision and won many customers and applause, it continued to burn money and discovered that its business model was flawed.

"Despite all the good trends in personalization and our success in the niche of personalization, unlike our market research, the retail customer did not respond as expected," wrote Fox.

"The niche of personalization is made up of creative people who like to spend time creating something unique that they can wear. We have learned the hard way that mass market customers do not want to create, they want to be inspired and show what they have to wear.

"They want to see the latest trends, what Instagram celebrities and influencers are wearing and they want to wear exactly that – the style and the brand. They do not want to invest time in creating a product themselves, and striving to do so, even on a small scale, leads to the paradox of choice that causes decisional paralysis, which in turn lowers conversion rates. "

In search of a profitable model, the company has tried to use its customization expertise to offer new footwear designs to major retailers in just a few weeks, in decent sized packages. He also ventured to "clients who have small, tall, wide, and narrow feet" in the hope of explaining to them that they were wearing ill-fitting shoes. But this plan posed "a big education problem associated with a complex manufacturing company".

None of this has worked. The company ceased operations at the end of 2018 and filed on Monday documents in case of insolvency, FTI Consulting ensuring the liquidation.

The company has received at least $ 27 million in funding, according to CrunchBase.