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Chicago-based BucketFeet raises $3.7 million in funding

BucketFeet, a Chicago-based startup that connects art and footwear, announced Tuesday that it raised $3.7 million in venture capital funding.

Founded in 2011, BucketFeet works with artists from around the globe to design shoes for men, women and children. CEO Raaja Nemani said the company will use the money to fund product development and increase its team. Nemani said it also plans to expand its artist network, which artists join to submit shoe designs.

"We want to double down on those things that have really been driving the business," he said.

In addition, Nemani said the company hopes to enhance its website in a way that engages artists and provides a more fluid consumer experience.

Bridge Investments and Jumpstart Ventures led BucketFeet’s recent venture round. The company also received support from business leaders including Gordon Segal, founder of Crate & Barrel, and Glen Tullman, managing partner of 7wire Ventures.

BucketFeet has raised $5.8 million to date. Nemani said the company is testing pop-up stores in Chicago, New York and Taiwan as a way to "build our own retail footprint."

How BucketFeet draws on its sole purpose