Startup of the Week - Flatheads
Founded in - 2018
Founder - Utkarsh Biradar and Ganesh Balakrishnan
CEO - Utkarsh Biradar
Location - Bangalore, Karnataka, India
Website - www.flatheads.com
The rapid emergence of e-commerce platforms and the evolution of social media platforms as digital shops continue to disrupt the retail industry. The sheer number of retail products in the market and the number of new products being launched act as a challenge for retailers to seamlessly manage their dynamic product portfolios.
The Lifestyle changed the consumer mindset in shopping. Everyone looking for a consumer experience space. To solve the modern, consumer-centric problem several innovative start-ups came out and explored the trend with help of digital shopping platforms.
The workplace dressing gets more casual, denim and tees are now becoming the weekday dress code. A little more formal wear usually means to be as chinos and casual shirts. However, shoe choices continue to be either leather slip-on's or rubber-soled keds which are not comfortable while sports shoes don’t befit the workplace vibe.
Nowadays, Young urban Indian consumers are looking for stylish and comfortable footwear that they can wear in both ‘work’ and ‘fun’ environments all day long and Flatheads sees a clear opportunity there.
Flatheads, an online-only men’s footwear brand that focuses on semi-casual and casual styles and was founded by Utkarsh Biradar and Ganesh Balakrishnan in 2018. It's an aspirational brand of dress sneakers that complete a well-groomed look and provide optimum all-day comfort.
Flatheads are the first Indian brand to introduce bamboo fibre shoes that are uniquely suited for the Indian tropical climate. The hipster sneaker vibe with their minimalist shoes made of bamboo yarn made a naturally cool, and use innovation. The stretchy laces, anchored tongues, sweat-and-odour-exorcising insoles cut the brand into the international footwear race. Never has an Indian shoe brand who have been built a mobile payments system.
Flatheads created a sophisticated simple and sharp form and made rip and tear-resistant making them durable and low-maintenance. The shoe incorporates techno-aesthetic accents that blend in modern lifestyles and environments.
“A pair of our sneakers weigh 400g—no more than a glass of water. You shouldn’t feel them on your feet, The comfort that you get from switching out of a dress shirt into a t-shirt hasn’t been matched by a shoe that feels like a t-shirt on your feet,” says Biradar.
The Flatheads D2C (direct-to-customer) online brand, on Thursday, announced that it has raised $1 million in pre-series A round from We Founder Circle, Dexter Angels, Gaurav Kapur (TV presenter and founder, Oaktree Sports), Sahil Barua (co-founder, Delhivery) and Radhika Ghai (co-founder, ShopClues). The firm plans to utilize funds in international expansion and product differentiation in the market.
“The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of online D2C brands, and we are seeing the supercharged growth with a focus on everyday comfort. With the current fundraising, we aim to establish our Flatheads as a lifestyle brand made in India for the world - by building the brand identity, expanding our presence in internationally, and investing in product differentiation,” says Utkarsh Biradar, co-founder and chief executive officer, Flatheads
Keywords: Flatheads, bamboo fibre, bamboo fibre shoes, Utkarsh Biradar, Ganesh Balakrishnan, digital shopping platforms, men’s footwear brand, semi-casual and casual styles, dress sneakers, Indian shoe brand