Tecovas Raises $56M to Scale Its Handmade Cowboy Boots and Western Wear
It’s been more than 40 years since Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings urged the mothers of America not to let their babies grow up to be cowboys.
Although cowboys still work the ranches across Texas and beyond, it’s fair to say most people — mammas and babies alike — have heeded the advice of the classic country song and steered away from the cowboy lifestyle. Still, western wear is growing in popularity, even amongst those who work in offices or, more likely, home offices.
One of the most popular makers of handmade leather boots is Austin-based Tecovas, which has sold more than a million pairs of handmade, high-end cowboy boots since its founding in 2015.
Tecovas grew its business more than 80 percent last year, pushing its revenue above $100 million for the first time. The company plans to grow an additional 50 percent in 2022.
On Wednesday, the company announced it would fuel additional growth with $56 million in Series C funding, bringing the company’s total fundraising to $120 million.
Tecovas started as an online-only, direct-to-consumer company in 2015. The company has its roots in cowboy boots, but it has since expanded to include leather bags and other western wear, such as pearl-snapped shirts and jeans.
The company expanded to brick-and-mortar retail in 2019, when it opened its first retail store in Austin. The company has continued to build upon its physical footprint. On Friday, it will open its twentieth store in Fairfax, Virginia.
Tecovas, which is now doing business in 11 states, plans to open another five to seven retail stores in 2022.
The company said about 60 to 65 percent of its sales come from the website, while the remaining 35 to 40 percent come from its retail stores.
Tecovas has also seen a massive growth in employee headcount, growing from 80 employees to more than 400 employees since April 2020.
Ninety of those employees are based at Tecovas’ Austin headquarters. The company told Built In it plans to hire at least 40 additional employees at its headquarters by the end of the year, including positions in merchandising, design, operations, marketing, finance, accounting, human resources and legal.
Tecovas founder and CEO Paul Hedrick said in a statement that the company’s goal is to be “the most welcoming brand in western.”
“This latest funding will allow us to scale our vision and welcome even more customers to the brand,” he said. “We’ve seen rapid growth since Tecovas’ launch in 2015, and we plan to use the proceeds from this round of funding to continue on that trajectory, investing significantly in hiring, expanding our retail footprint, buying more inventory and launching many new products.”
The Series C round was led by Elephant, who led Tecovas’ Series A and Series B round. The Series C round was joined by Access Capital, Seamless Capital and Kemmons Wilson Companies.