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DIY shoe service Shoes of Prey steps it up with $3M investment

Gals, rejoice — we’ve got a new way to buy shoes. Shoes of Prey lets you customize your shoe from the sole up with leather, sequins, suede, glitter, silk, or cotton. If you’re feeling more exotic, you can slap some genuine fish or snake skin on your new pumps. And the company just received $3 million in funding to boot (ha).

Love the shoe, but hate the heel? You can change its height or style too. Want a different strap? Yep, you can change that too. The site has 16 shoe bases to start with, plus multiple fabrics and designs so you can customize to your shoe-obsessed heart’s content. Prices range from $140 to $330 depending on the style.

When I first looked at the website, I rolled my eyes a bit at the thought of a women-focused shoe service. But, I just lost ten minutes of my life customizing a pair of shoes, so clearly there is a place for such a product. The shoes pictured above (created by myself and Senior Editor Heather Kelly) were made for fun, but you can make far less tacky shoes on Shoes of Prey’s website.

Shoes of Prey just landed a $3 million round of funding from Crunchfund and other investors. The full press release is below.

Design-Your-Own Shoes Site Shoes of Prey Secures $3 Million with Silicon Valley’s Most Influential

SYDNEY, June 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Shoes of Prey, the mass customization site that lets users design, buy and share their own bespoke shoes, announced that the company has secured $3 million in funding from a global syndicate with some of Sillicon Valley’s most influential players.  This is the first series of funding for the startup, which has gone from bootstrapped to multimillion in under two years.

Launched in 2009, Shoes of Prey is pioneering the consumer-centric commerce movement by combining user-driven interface, high-fashion product, and innovative social integration.  The site allows women to design bespoke shoes across over 4-trillion possibilities using a proprietary web- based 3D design platform.  Products are designed entirely online via computer, smartphone or tablet, and then handmade using premium leathers and received anywhere in the world in around two weeks. With fans including The Wall Street Journal, Oprah, and Tyra Banks and jubilee-themed shoes in the hands of The Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton, Shoes of Prey has earned a following among the pinnacle of business and fashion influencers alike.

The syndicate investing in Shoes of Prey counts Silicon Valley’s top players, including TechCrunch founder Mike Arrington under his new investment company CrunchFund and legendary venture capitalist Bill Tai, whose track record includes nineteen IPOs. Investing alongside them is Australian trailblazer Atlassian founder Mike Cannon-Brookes.

The capital raised will enable Shoes of Prey to further development along several key initiatives, including innovating social shopping functionalities, broadening retail presence, expanding product array with new fashion-forward options each month, and driving in-person experiences blurring the traditional separation between brick-and-mortar and online retail.

Women around the globe have already logged 20 million minutes on Shoes of Prey and designed tens of millions of shoes,” says co-founder, Jodie Fox. “We are excited about the opportunities ahead as we begin to work with our new investors to redefine how women interact with the products we buy and wear.”

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