At $2b, Allbirds’ value has been assessed at twice that of space powerhouse Rocket Lab and way more than merino clothing company Icebreaker, which was valued at $288m when it sold in April. That valuation follows Allbirds’ announcement last month that it had raised US$50m ($72.5m), a price which would value the entire company at US$1.4b ($2.03b).

Brown dreamed up the idea behind Allbirds in Wellington in 2009, when he was playing professional football for the Wellington Phoenix. “This business was born as a curiosity project … and was really a reaction to the free shoes I used to get as an athlete – from one of the major sportswear companies that shall not be named – in the belief it was very hard to find simple sneakers,” the 37-year-old says.

Read the whole NZ Herald interview or watch a short video here

Pictured, Allbirds’ ‘Tree Topper’ shoes, its SweetFoam sole is derived from sugar cane.